Frank Charney

Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard


The passing of a long-ago childhood friend

Sometimes my Sunday Post might make readers think they're reading the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat obituary page, but I recently saw the obit of Donald Dugan and decided to write an article about him. Labeled by an easily recognizable Disney character name, "Duck" was a boyhood friend from a long, long time ago. In recent years I seldom encountered "Duck." The Dugan family once resided on Rodgers Street, not far from my parents' home. Later, they moved to a home in Nanty Glo near St. Nicholas Church, where I still occasionally paid visits.

At their Rodgers Street home, I easily recall the parents, a brother, Harry, and two sisters, Rita and Ann. They were the youngest members of the family who still resided at home. The older family members had married and struck off to lead their own lives. It was like two separate Dugan families, the younger and older set. The Dugan family comprised a total of 10 children, and "Duck," I discovered, was the last surviving member of a once well-known Nanty Glo family.

I remember, at about 10-12 years of age, I was a visitor at the Dugans' home and became engrossed one evening in some children's game. A surprise knock came at the door and it was my father, eagerly searching for me. I had become completely oblivious to the time, between 11 p.m. and 12 midnight. The gracious Mrs. Dugan or any of the family members didn't want to embarrass me by telling me to go home. As a youngster, I also remember my excitement at my first-ever away-from-home "sleep-over" at the Dugans' home. Also, a question might be asked of a senior citizen like myself, "Where where you when FDR died in 1944?" My reply is always easy, for I remember being in Dugans' front yard, playing either "Lone Ranger" or "Tonto."

At a very young age two sons preceded "Duck" in death, an event we never wish to experience. I always recall him as likeable, fun-loving individual. I hope this dreadful experience never changed him too much. His full obituary follows:

DUGAN - Donald R., 76, Mundys Corner, passed away Oct. 28, 2006. Born Nov. 5, 1929, in Jackson Township, son the late Harry L. and Dorothy (Hall) Dugan. Preceded in death by sons; Donald R. and Martin Dugan, brothers, Elmer, Bert, Lawrence, Glen, Earl and Harry; and sisters, Grace Dushaw, Ruth Heffron, Rita Wadium and Ann Ceneskie. Survived by devoted wife of 56 years, Virginia (Martin) Dugan; daughter, Jacqueline Ann, wife of Ricky C. Miller; and son, Daniel Dugan; grandsons, Scott Donald Miller, and wife, Rachael, and Brad Miller; great-grandson, Dominic Scott Miller; and numerous nieces and nephews. Member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Mundys Corner. Don was actively involved in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff of Cambria County. He was a firearms instructor and area training counselor for the National Rifle Association. Don also helped organize FBI firearms training courses for area police agencies. He served as a Jackson Township supervisor, and retired from Bethlehem Steel, Gautier Division. Don served in the Armed Forces Division Company 628th Tank Battalion and the 28th Infantry Division during the Korean War. Don loved his family and was truly devoted to them. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Askew-Houser Funeral Homes Inc., Nanty Glo, where vigil prayer service will be held. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. John Vianney Church, the Rev. Paul Robine, celebrant. Committal, Holy Name Cemetery, Ebensburg. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don's memory to St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

— Frank Charney





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