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The "Liberty Project"
Help preserve
our heritage.



Helena Dropcho

Born in Czechoslovakia, June 1933. Emigrated to United States January, 1935, along with her mother and four brothers. Raised in Nanty Glo, 1951 graduate of Nanty Glo High School. Married to John Dropcho since August 1953. John and Helena have 5 children, 8 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and live in Indiana, Pa. Retired (1984) Personnel Manager for Montgomery Ward. Interests are family, flower gardening, and her work with the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum and Historical Society. "My goal as a Lifetime member is to help the Historical Society move forward and to make The Liberty Museum a success."

Janet Toth

A Nanty Glo native born in 1933 Janet is a 1950 graduate of Nanty Glo High School, Windber Hospital School of Nursing, and 1984 graduate of St. Francis University with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Married to Vintondale native Bill Toth since 1956. Nine children. Retired Registered Nurse. Member of the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum and Historical Society since 2000. "We have a lot of artifacts...a lot of beautiful things that should be preserved and properly displayed." Janet lives in Ebensburg.

TREASURER and Liberty Museum Projects Manager
James Toth
Born and raised in Loretto, Jim is a graduate of Penn Cambria High School. Retired, honorably discharged Navy veteran of 16 years. Tours of duty include Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving in the Navy, he earned his degrees in Principles of Law Enforcement, Hotel/Motel Business Management as well as a degree as a pastry chef. He has also earned certificates in basic electrical wiring, structural framing, etc. At the request of his mother, Janet Toth, he came out of retirement to take on the task of finding a permanent home for the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum and Historical Society. Jim lives in Loretto with his partner, Rob Port. Email:
Board Member/Membership Chairman
Karen (Donaldson) Tummino

Karen (nee Donaldson) Tummino was born in Johnstown, raised in Vintondale, and graduated from Blacklick Valley High School in 1977. Married and the mother of two sons, she returned to the area in 2008 after spending thirty years in Virginia and now resides in Nanty Glo. Karen's hobbies include travel, reading, writing, scrapbooking, and helping others in the community.

Board Member and Webmaster
Jon Kennedy
Born in 1942 in Vintondale, Jon attended Blacklick Township Schools, the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown and Pittsburgh, the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, and earned his Master of Arts in Mass Communication from UCLA. The third editor of the Nanty Glo Journal while at Pitt, Jon is the founder-proprietor of the Nanty Glo Home Page and helped co-found the NTAMHS. His career was primarily in campus ministry at Stanford University and the University of California. Now working in retirement as the self-supporting writer-in-residence at the Loom in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he writes nonfiction books, teaches writing, and is a webpage developer for not-for-profit enterprises. His three grown children and four grandchildren live in California's Bay Area.
Board Member
Nancy DeBiase
Born and raised in Belsano and a graduate of the former Blacklick Township High School. A veteran of the U.S. Navy WAVES. Graduated with a B.S. in Education from Seton Hill College. Five children and five grand-children. Lived in the Murrysville area before relocating in Belsano. Currently the membership chair for the Historical Society, Nancy is the Secretary/Treasurer for Blacklick Township. She supports the Tri-Area Historical Society because she believes it is important to record and preserve the history of this area.
Board Member
John Dropcho
Born 1932 in Nanty Glo. 1950 graduate of Nanty Glo High School. Graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, and completed post-graduate courses at Carnegie-Mellon University. John has taught Art at the junior high, high school, and college level. Retired from IUP since 1991. Upon his retirement, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status at IUP. A talented artist, his paintings are on display in many corporate and private collections both in the United States and abroad. Founder of the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum & Historical Society with the goal of having a museum to preserve the coal mining and ethnic history of Nanty Glo and the Tri-Area, he is married to the former Helena Soyka and lives in Indiana, Pa.
Libery Museum Project Co-Mgr.
Rich McDowell
Born 1936 in Johnstown and a 1954 graduate of the former Ebensburg High School. Employed as a draftsman at Bethlehem Steel from 1955-1985 (completed Bethlehem Steel four-year apprentice drafting course 1955-1959) including eight years at Bethlehem Steel's Burns Harbor Plant Engineering Department where he served as a squad leader in drafting. After his 1986 return to the local area, Rich worked as a draftsman at several local technical and engineering firms. He shares the Liberty Museum Project managerial duties with Jim Toth. Except for his eight years in Indiana, Rich has considered the Vinco area of Jackson Township his home where he lives with his wife, the former Kathleen Kerr. The McDowells are the parents of four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Member of the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area museum Historical Society since 2000.
Staff Member
Bob Ford
Born in 1945 in Flint, Michigan, raised in Carrolltown, Pa., and a graduate of Cambria Heights High School, Bob is a Vietnam War veteran and a retired 20-year member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. A retired coal miner, Bob was employed by Bethlehem Mines and Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company. Member of the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum and Historical Society for approximately two years. Bob and his wife, Nanty Glo native Mary Lou (Ciprich), are the parents of four grown sons and have six grandchildren. The Fords live in Jackson Township.