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             Monday, September 30 2002  

Where are they now? Mario J. Creany



Mario Creany in a recent photo and one from a 1950 Nanty Glo High School yearbook, right.

Born May 16, 1920, in a house on McCoy Street, Nanty Glo native Mario Creany is the son of Italian immigrants Emilio and Virginia (Lenzi) Creany, both now deceased. His siblings include brother Eugene, a former Cambria County Judge, deceased since 2001; sisters; Mary Gulla, also deceased, and Genevieve Palko of Nanty Glo.

Mario and his now-deceased first wife, the former Ann Hutsky of St. Michael, are the parents of three daughters: Ann Weaver, Louisville, Kentucky; Mary Beth Whited, Lilly, and Peggy Scott of Houston, Texas. Mario is a proud grandfather to Matthew and Zachary Whited and Caleb and Madison Scott. Married to second wife, Matilda "Tillie" Dalpra of Cresson since 1991, Mario is step-father to Stephanie Neola of Indiana.

A 1938 graduate of Nanty Glo High School, he's a 1946 graduate of St. Francis College, Loretto, with an undergraduate degree in elementary education. He obtained a graduate degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1948, and has compiled 71 credits toward a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State. Money to pay for college expenses was earned while working side by side with his father in Nanty Glo's Springfield Mine No. 1, getting paid 98 cents a ton for hand-loading caol.

A highly decorated veteran of WW11, having served in Europe under Gen. George Patton, he was decorated with the Purple Heart, three Bronze Battle Stars, and a Bronze Medal for heroism. He confides that seeing the devastating effects of war on the children of Europe was a motivating factor in his decision to make teaching his life's work.

As a child growing up in Nanty Glo's "Little Italy," surrounded by families with names like Casale, Buige, Prave, Sidola, Dino, Zeto, Fontana, and Chiappini, Mario learned and lived the words "Economically deprived." But as he says: "You have to want things because you don't have them in order to be successful." And successful he was. His years as an educator within the Nanty Glo and now Blacklick Valley School District include elementary principal for 3-4 years; high school guidance counselor, and teacher, having taught economics, U.S. history, sociology, and home-school visitor.

He was also an administrator of Admiral Peary Vo-Tech, and ultimately retired as Superintendent of Blacklick Valley School District in 1978. And although he has great and lasting memories of the students, the schools, and his years of teaching and administrative accomplishments, many students also remember him with respect, love and admiration. The following comments by some of those former students reflect that.

"He treated everybody equally in his class...a very nice person."..... Eleanor (Kozlovac) Farabaugh, Class of 1953.

"When Dwight Eisenhower was inaugurated, Mario told our class, 'Do you people realize how lucky you are to live in the United States? There has been a change in government, and there are no soldiers in the streets and no tanks on the roads...the change in government has been made with the will of the people, in peace and understanding,'" Phil Cronaurer, Class of 1953.

"If anyone asks who my greatest mentor was in life, it was Mario Creany. He was more than a teacher; he was a good friend. I could talk to him about anything," Bernice (Rose) Silbaugh. Class of 1954.

"I think he was an excellent teacher...he taught us to treat our fellow humans with truth and respect. He disciplined with understanding and without belittlement. He was our friend and our teacher," Shirley (Jackens) Kovach, Class of 1948.

"I was in high school in the '60's. I'm not sure what Mr. Creany's title was, if he was Superintendent or Assistant Principal, but I just remember him being a soft-spoken, always-smiling man. Thank you, Mr. Creany, for being a pleasant memory of my high school days," Judy (Fye) Shultz.

"Mario was not one of my teachers in life since I attended Belsano, Twin Rocks, and Bishop Carroll. But, in my adult life, and many community activities in life, I crossed Mario's path many a time. He's one of the most gracious gentlemen I know. A gentleman and scholar, and I have the greatest respect for the man, though I haven't seen him for years now. But I know that I respect and appreciate this man very much. We need more like him," Trudy Myers.

"My memories of Mr. Creany go back many years. When I think of Mr. Creany, I remember a very popular teacher, who was pleasant, humorous, and dedicated to teaching. He touched my life in a very positive way and I will always think fondly of my days at Nanty Glo High. Thanks, Mr. Creany," Marion (Myers) Butz, Class of 1950.

"Mr. Creany was one of my greatest teachers and a wonderful person. I have never forgotten him. I feel honored to be one of his former students," Donna Lee (Murray) Dunwiddie, Class of 1952.

"I think he was a great guy and a special teacher....he gave credit where credit was due," Shirley (Gamber) Rhoades, Class of 1950.

"He was one great guy," Dave Rhoades.

"All I can say is, he is a wonderful guy. I worked for him selling tickets for skating parties to earn money for our class. He was all for kids," Jim "Gus" Gallagher, Class of 1950.

"I had Mr. Creany as a driver's ed teacher. He was very good. He also taught my mom how to drive; he had classes for older people on the weekends. As a matter of fact, I think he taught the whole family except my dad," Angie (Scappino) Tomlinson, Class of 1964.

"Mr. Creany was the best teacher in the high school. He always seemed to connect with the students. I always looked forward to his class. Schools should have more like him," Dolores "Sally"(Prindle) Bogovich, Class of 1950.

"I remember Mr. Creany just like it was yesterday. He was a teacher who made a real good impression on a student. He was someone you could go to at any time and ask him a question. He was there for you. Thank you so much for the years I spent at Nanty Glo High School. God bless you!" Donna (Gamber) Salyards.

"I remember Mr. Creany telling me at the end of the school term, 'I knew you always did your business math homework in my room, but since you did alright in civics, I never said anything.' I never knew until then he knew what I was doing. He was a great teacher, one of the best I had," Helen (Kankula) Dugan.

"Hi, Mr. Creany. This is your former student Dominic Covolo. When I hear your name, it brings back wonderful memories of my youth in Nanty Glo. I miss those days and love to think of my high school years in Nanty Glo. I wish you health and happiness. Love, Dominic Covolo, Class of 1953.

"I had Mr. Creany as a civics instructor in high school. He was always self-assured and in control of the classroom," Francis "Frank" Charney, Class of 1950.

"On our graduation night, Mr. Creany said, 'This will be the last night all of you will ever be together.' That 'prophecy' came true shortly after 4 a.m. the next morning when our valedictorian was killed in a car-tractor trailer collision. He also said,'the class of '57 will always have a special place in my heart.' It was the first class to have him as a guidance counselor," Bill Martin, Bureau Chief, Nanty Glo Journal, Class of 1957.

Now elderly, Mr. Creany no longer pursues his past hobbies of hunting, fishing, and raising top-quality beagles. Though he had extensive involvement in many local organizations, the only organization of which he remains a member is The Pennsylvania State Education Retired Teacher's Association. He attends St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Cresson.

Favorite memories of Nanty Glo: "When I was a boy growing up in Nanty Glo, my favorite thing was to take my beagle and my B-B gun into the woods during the fall, my favorite time of the year. I remember swimming in the 'Sulpher Creek' (Blacklick Creek). It was pure then. I swam in swimming holes with names like; Butternut, Six-foot Hole, and Nine-foot Hole. "We had dances with live bands in the Slovak Hall. Boy, it was a wonderful town!"

Hopes for the future: "I hope Nanty Glo becomes a nice peaceful place in which to settle. I hope the Blacklick Creek becomes pure again so that you can fish in it. I always had hopes for an electronics industry in the area, maybe in the Cardiff section. It would generate jobs and boost the economy."

Anyone wishing to send greetings may send them to Judy Rose at HRoses2@Peoplepc.com for forwarding.


If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

T-shirt sayings (fourth in series)

16. Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
17. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
18. Beer ~ the reason I get up each afternoon.
19. Frankly, Scallop, I don't give a clam (seen on Cape Cod).
20. That's it! I'm calling Nana! (seen on an 8-year-old).

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

A proper understanding of our spiritual foundation will destroy the false and artificial "either/or" [of "faith" versus "works"]. Then we will have not less faith but more godly works; not less praying, but more serving; not fewer words, but more holy deeds; not weaker profession, but more courageous possession; not a religion as a substitute for action but religion in faith-filled action!

A. W. Tozer
Sent by Judy Martin

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