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|Neville Majorette, United Flight Attendant|
|Neville Alumnus Elaine Bereza Dies In California|
On June 2, 2020, Elaine Bereza (Glover), formerly of Neville Island, PA, died peacefully in her sleep from pancreatic cancer. She was the daughter of William and Julia Bereza (Druga), formerly of Fourth Street. She will be missed by her 2 sisters, Julianna (Bereza) Frahlman, Austin, TX, and Laurie (Bereza) Purcell, Los Alamitos, CA, and her 7 nieces and nephew and their 19 children.
Elaine graduated from Neville High School in 1965. She was the head majorette there for 2 years. After high school, she worked locally until she was employed by United Airlines as a flight attendant in 1969. She moved to Chicago and then San Francisco.
She became an officer and grievance chairperson for the Association of Flight Attendants. She had a golden retriever, Bentley, who became her constant companion. She was also a licensed massage therapist. She purchased a house in Pleasanton CA and flew mostly to and from the Hawaiian Islands. She retired in 2003.
Elaine married William Allen “Al” Glover, an attorney, in 2006. They moved to Long Beach CA, to be closer to Laurie and to help care for her mom, Julia, who passed in 2010. Elaine helped Al while he endured dialysis and waited for a kidney. Then she developed pancreatic cancer and it was his turn to care for her.
|Long Ago Cory Star Nick Spinelli Killed In Florida|
One of the greatest sports stars in Coraopolis history, Nick Spinelli, was killed in a car wreck Monday night in Florida.
Spinelli was a three sport star at the old Coraopolis High School from 1957 - 1960. He led the Blue Devils to undefeated seasons and championships in football and basketball and was a star on runnerup teams in baseball. He was named All WPIAL and All State. He was recruited by almost every Big Ten, SEC, ACC and major independent team, and signed with Miami of Florida. There, he played five positions and made All American. He joined the Boston Patriots, where he had an outstanding career and was named All Pro before being sidelined by an ACL injury.
The police report describes the accident as happening at 11:30 pm Monday night just west of Boca Raton, where Spinelli had retired to and had lived for years. He had been driving a 2020 GMC Terrain, heading north. Lucas Oliveira of Deerfield Beach was driving a 2006 Isuzu NPR truck west. He ran a stop sign and struck Spinelli's vehicle from the side. Both were rushed to DelRay Medical Center in critical condition. Spinelli died from his injuries Tuesday morning. Oliveira remains in critical condition.
Spinelli was born and raised in Coraopolis. His father ran Spinelli's Market on State Avenue, and the family lived on Maple Street just above Vance Avenue.
Nick first emerged as a star in Little League, and many fans always thought baseball was his best sport. He was an All Star catcher at every level from Little League through Pony League to high school, but it was as a hitter that he achieved most of his recognition. He consistently hit balls over fences all over western Pennsylvania and would almost never strike out. He led the WPIAL in home runs his junior and senior years and received offers from several major league teams.
But in junior high he became a dominant football and basketball player. Nick was a high energy, aggressive character who loved to joke and tease, had little tolerance for sitting still, was always pushing the envelope, and was rarely quiet. But on a football field he was a rare and special talent.
He had speed, quickness, great hands and feet, strength, and seemingly inexhaustible stamina. He had an inner gyroscope, a sense of body balance, that made him extremely difficult to bring down; halfway to the ground he would somehow regain his balance, struggle loose and keep running. If he could get just a few fingers on a pass he could bring it in; opposing coaches marvelled constsntly at how he seemed to have glue on his hands.
Rip Engle of Penn State considered him "the finest broken field runner I've ever seen in high school."
As the season progressed, the area around the Cory press box filled with college scouts. Many of them were here to see other players, since Coraopolis was loaded that year, but at least half of them were there to see Nick. Coach Fred Milanovich's log book at the end of the year showed visits by Ohio State, Syracuse, West Virginia, Pitt, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Alabama and two dozen others, but in the end Nick signed with Miami.
In addition to his physical skills, he had a certain intensity about him; he hated losing and was determined that in his senior year of high school, he would not allow it. Nick not only had quicker physical reactions. He had quicker instincts; he just saw and thought quicker. Several times a game he would be completely surrounded by opposing tacklers, two or three of which already had hands on him, only to spin, dart and twist loose and escape for long runs.
As a basketball player, long before the three point rule, Spinelli could reliably sink shots from 20 feet, but if the defense came out to guard him, he had an explosive first step and could fake the shot and drive around them for layups or close in jump shots. Coraopolis back then competed in the old Class A Section 9, which included North Allegheny, Shaler, North Hills, Quaker Valley, Moon, McKees Rocks and Stowe. In December they played Midland, Aliquippa, Swissvale, Hopewell, West Allegheny, Montour and a holiday tournament. Against this level of competition, Spinelli led his team to a 21-1 regular season as a junior and they lost an 81-80 decision to Dormont in the tournament. As a senior, Coraopolis again won its section. In a crucial tournament game with Avonworth, Spinelli was given the job of guarding 6-6 All Stater David Sauer. Despite his 5-11 size, he shut Sauer down, kept him boxed off the boards, and eliminated Avonworth, preventing them from repeating as WPIAL champions.
After leaving Coraopolis, Spinelli played five positions at Miami, starring at all five. He played on the kickoff return unit, the punt return unit, as a running back, a wide receiver and a defensive back. He was named All American in 1962 and 1963.
Back then, college freshmen were ineligible for varsity competition. They played three game freshman team schedules. So Spinelli's first varsity season was in 1961. He became more and more important to Miami as the season wore on, climaxing it with a punt runback for a touchdown that won the Liberty Bowl over Syracuse. Back then, Syracuse was a national power and the Liberty Bowl was much bigger than it is now. Spinelli is beloved by Miami fans because he was part of the team, led by quarterback George Mira, that led the Hurricanes to national prominence and established it as a powerhouse. Spinelli became Mira's favorite passing target, but if defenses were keying on Mira, Nick could also drop into the backfield and, as a running back, could take the pressure off the quarterback.
He harbored no nostalgic feelings for Coraopolis. Once he left for Miami, he adopted Southern Florida as his home and even while playing for Boston he returned to the Miami area during the off season. He only returned to Coraopolis once, for his mother's funeral. His classmates were never able to convince him to return to their class reunions.
But that did not diminish the appreciation local fans held for him. He is considered one of the three greatest players in Coraopolis history, the other two being Serafino "Foge" Fazio and Frank Letteri. All three have now died.
|1957 Montour Grad Richard Hammil Dies|
Richard Fording Hammil, born and raised in Robinson Township and a 1957 graduate of Montour High School, has died at his home in Painesville, Ohio.
After graduation from Montour, Hammil earned a B.A. and M.A. from Morehead State University, then served in the U.S. Army, where he was a member of the Army Band.
Returning to civilian life, he became a music teacher and band director in the Mentor (Ohio) Public Schools for 30 years. He also served as a Past Master in the Masonic Temple Lodge for three terms, where he was a member of the York Rite and Scottish Rite.
He is survived by children Charles Hammil of Akron, Sherri Hammil (Doug Prince) of Thompson, and Eric Hammil of Painesville. There are also grandchildren Hunter Hammil, Monica Hammil, Katelyn Smith, Michael Prince, Charlie Prince, Justin Hammil and Paige Hammil. He also has a brother Dan Hammil of Hanover, Md.
Visitation was Wednesday, October 2, at Johnson Funeral Home, 368 Mentor Ave., Painesville, Ohio 44077. A Masonic Service was held at 7:00 PM followed by the funeral service. Burial was Thursday at 12:30 PM at Smithfield Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA with military honors.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Ohio Masonic Home Foundation, 2655 W. National Rd., Springfield, OH 45504.
Online condolences at www.johnsonfuneralservices.net
|Martha Barr Passes Away At Age 95|
Martha Helm Barr has passed away at age 95.
Born December 3, 1924 to Walter and Ann (Burns) Helm in Sewickley, Martha was the 5th of six children. She married Paul Barr and had one daughter, Martha Ann Shade.
She worked as a fund raising coordinator for Ketchum, Inc. In 2018 she had moved to Akron to be closer to her daughter and grand daughter.
Martha was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, rarely missing a game on TV and usually enjoying a Rolling Rock beer while watching it. She was well known for her deep laugh.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents Walter and Anne Helm; her husband Paul Barr; her brothers John "Jack" Helm, Jim Helm, and Sonny Helm; and her sisters Mary Louise Heffron and Geraldine Ann Young. She is survived by daughter Martha Ann Shade, grand daughter Kellyann (Robert) Callahan, and great grand daughter Jordan McKenzie Callahan, all of Akron, Ohio.
There will be no public visitation but will be a private ceremony at Billow Funeral Home (Akron) with final interment at Coraopolis Cemetery. In her memory, donations are auggested to the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts Band (1055 East Ave., Akron, Ohio 44307), with whom Martha greatly enjoyed watching her great granddaughter perform.
Her family expresses its deep appreciation to Akron General Hospital, Brookdale Montrose, Brookdale Hospice, and Home Instead Senior Care.
|Isabel Berardi Dies At 91|
Isabel Berardi, a Coraopolis entrepreneur for much of the 20th Century, has died at age 91.
Mrs. Berardi and her husband, Rico, opened Berardi's Restaurant on 4th Avenue and ran it for 41 years. The restaurant was a favorite of Rockwell International Steel executives. But it was also popular with locals, who dropped by on the way home from work, after a big football or basketball game, a movie, school board meeting or borough council meeting. It was Isabel's cooking that drew them. She made everything from scratch in the kitchen : noodles, soups, meats, sauces, salads, breads and desserts. Berardi's sponsored a baseball team in the old Pittsburgh Area League, winning several championships. Games against Standard Steel, Dravo, Forgings, Shenango and Blaw Knox drew crowds, but the games against arch rival Segneri's would be standing room only. Isabel always left early to prepare the post game meals back at the restaurant.
However, Isabel had a full life before and after the restaurant. She was born September 26, 1926 in Martins Ferry, O., to John and Mary Hodor, who had eight children. She worked at Continental Can Company in Martins Ferry. When World War II broke out, she came to Pittsurgh to become a bomb ring dipper at Ackerman's. They were impressed with her work and sent her to Dravo, as a First Class welder on the LST-750 landing craft used to land soldiers on the Normandy beaches. After the war, she and Rico honeymooned at the Pittsburgher Hotel, and she saw a job listing. She applied and worked there until she and Rico decided to go into business for themselves.
Isabel and Rico did not start out in the restaurant business. First, they opened a gas station, and then added two more. After seven years, they sold the stations to launch the restaurant on 4th Avenue. While busy with these businesses, Isabel also raised three daughters and a son.
Isabel developed into quite an enterpreneur. After the restaurant had become a success, she invested in wig shops, real estate and Florida rental condos. She and Rico would use a condo for vacations, where Isabel would invite relatives down and cook for them. Long after she and Rico closed Berardi's, she continued to take great pride in her cooking.
She developed an early interest in music while singing in the choir at her Catholic church in Martins Ferry, and that led to an interest in opera. She was a devoted fan of Luciano Pavarotti, who was both a singer and painter.
She treasured a painting the famous tenor had signed. It hung in her living room and, finally, in her room at the nursing home.
Isabel was preceded in death by siblings Alishia Berardi, Mary Vetanze, Francis Groza, Nancy Smith, and Charles, William and Paul Hodor. She was the mother of Joyce Krane and Anita, Cheryl and Edward Berardi. She was the grandmother of Ryan Krane, Michael, Mark and Aaron Bodrog, Austin Manuel and Courtney and Dominic Berardi. She was the great grandmother of Isabella Krane and the sister in law of Elsie Hodor. She also had a sister, Dorothy DeFede, who survives her.
Visitation will be Sunday 2-5 pm, Copeland's, 981 Brodhead Road, Moon Township. A Blessing Service will be held Monday at noon. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery
|Eric Diana Loses Battle With Cancer|
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Eric Matthew Diana, a graduate of Moon High School who had moved to South Carolina, has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 39.
He was born in Wisconsin but soon moved to Moon Township with his parents. While a student there, Eric played tuba in the band, was a disc jockey, and worked at Wendy's. He attended Lock Haven, the College of Charleston, South Carolina and Trident Tech. Eventually he became a home builder and procurement director in Charleston, accounting for 650 homes in the Coastal Carolina area. His hobbies included four wheeling, camping, collecting guns and flashlights, doing home repairs and building Lego modelling projects with his son Matthew.
He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Cristhiane, seven year old son Matthew, his parents Andrew and Diana, sisters Rachel (Cate) of Blacksburg Va. and Allison (Tuten) of Moore SC, grandparents Genevie Diana and Dorothy Kabel, nephews Jacob and Nathaniel, and niece Lily Anne.
A memorial service will be held at the Coraopolis Presbyterian Church, 1201 Coraopolis, at 3:00 pm Sunday, January 15, followed by a reception in the Social Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice of Charleston Foundation, 676 Wando Park Boulevard, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or the American Cancer Society, 5900 Core Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406. Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted to www.mcalister-smith.com or www.post-gazette.com/gb.
|Flo Lemley Dies in Indiana|
Longtime Coraopolis and Moon Township resident Flo Lemley has died at age 100 in South Bend, Indiana.
Flo was born June 23, 1916 in Dyersburg, Tennessee, to Sydney and Fannie Hendren. She married Ed Lemley on September 1, 1944 and moved to Coraopolis, where they lived on Montour Street for 16 years before moving to Moon Township. Ed worked with Standard Steel Spring Company, which was bought out by Rockwell Steel. When Rockwell Steel closed its Coraopolis plant Ed moved with the company to Indiana in 1960. Flo was hired by Stanley Home Products, where she became a manager and stayed for 40 years. Ed died in 2001.
She remained in good health until recently, and celebrated her 95th birthday by riding a motorcycle.
Flo is survived by three children : John and Gary Lemley and Margie Pickens. A fourth child, Mara Lynn, died in 2002, and two children died at birth. She has 11 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, and 12 great great grandchildren. A nephew, Jeff Lemley, still resides in Coraopolis, and a niece, Helen Hayman, resides in Moon Township.
Interment will be Monday, December 5, at 10 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery in Mishewaka, Indiana.
|Danny DiNardo of Coraopolis Dies at 82|
Danny DiNardo, 82, of Hiland Avenue in Coraopolis, has died.
He will be remembered on Friday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. at a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Coraopolis, followed by entombment at Resurrection Cemetery.
Dinardo is survived by nieces Arlene Connor of Pennsbury; Patricia Ceron of Yorba Linda, California; and Michele Dinardo of Los Angeles; and nephew Daniel Ferdinand DiNardo of Fullerton, California.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Marie Grace (DiStiso).
DiNardo graduated from Coraopolis High School, then went on to Penn State's College of Business and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He pursued a career as a tax attorney, working for the Internal Revenue Service in Washington D.C. and later at Rockwell International in Pittsburgh. He taught Business Law at Robert Morris University and remained an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association through 2015.
He was the fourth child of Daniel and Velia DiNardo, who emigrated from Abruzzo in Italy to Coraopolis in 1920. His older siblings, Valerio, Rudolph and Anne each predeceased Danny.
Much of his spare time was spent working with the Coraopolis School district and the Borough of Coraopolis in various development projects. As a former IRS tax attorney, his advice on tax matters was valued by small local businessmen, especially those just starting their businesses.