“In April, the first soft tender delicate green of spring salutes the eye in every direction.”

— Joseph Grimaldi

THIS WEEK IN

U.S. HISTORY

April 2, 1792, Congress established the first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia.

April 6, 1896, After a break of 1,500 years, the first Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens, Greece.

20 YEARS AGO (2001)

Mayor Ed Coleman was pictured in The Danville News signing a proclamation declaring the first week of April ‘Week of the Young Child’ surrounded by Shelley Snyder, president of the Danville Head Start policy council; Darla Koser, guest reader; Faye Hinson, school board member; and Amy Ashton, policy council member.

Cadet Jillian Hafer, a 2000 Danville Area High School graduate, was named to the dean’s list of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., majoring in civil engineering. Cadet Hafer participated in the VMI Regimental Band, Concert Band, Glee Club, Officer’s Christian Fellowship and Equestrian Club. She was also to be inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, a national society for freshmen.

Riverside resident Abbey R. Rejmer, was named to the dean’s list at Messiah College. Rejmer, a senior mathematics major, the daughter of Mrs. Deborah L. Rejmer. She was a 1997 graduate of Danville Area High School.

Two Danville graduates were included in the dean’s list at Albright College for the 2000-2001 fall semester. Bradley R. Bird, a senior business administration accounting major, and Andrew M. Harris a freshman history/religious studies major.

40 YEARS AGO (1981)

Dr. Thomas Royer, medical director and senior vice president at the Geisinger Medical Center, was presented with the prestigious “Citizen of the Year” award by William Rohrbach, chairman of the American Legion committee.

The Legion was commended for their choice as noted, “without a doubt, an excellent one; his accomplishments were endless and earned him the respect and admiration of the entire medical community as well as the residents of the Montour County-Riverside area and other regions he served.”

Among them were the Ronald McDonald House, the Susquehanna Poison Center, involving a weekly newspaper column, books and puppets with other aspects connected to it. 

Royer was involved with the start of the LifeFlight helicopter for the hospital. LifeLine, another of Royer’s programs that dealt with saving lives, extending a watchful eye over the elderly and ailing with a device to keep the participants in touch with help. He also served as an adviser for the Explorer Scout Troop 31. His contributions to the Medical Center and the surrounding area were innumerable.

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Bobby Corey, Danville High School’s “greatest basketball fan,” received a “Fan Appreciation” award and T-shirt at the McCloskey Classic Banquet at the Danville Elks Club. Bob Marks, Jr., chairman of the Classic Committee and Jack Curry, vice-president, presented the items to Corey.

Dignitaries receiving awards at the banquet were: Duane Ford, PIAA Coach of the year and mentor of the Central Columbia state championship basketball team; Eddie Gayeski, Northwest coach, held the state record for most wins in a career; and Charlie Blackburn, 70 year-old basketball master of South Williamsport High School.

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Christen Mowad, a sophomore from St. Cyril Academy, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Mowad, attended the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Leadership seminar in Lancaster.

The leadership seminar, a two and one-half day workshop, featured the theme “America’s Incentive System: the Challenging Eighties.”

There were many speakers from business, government and industries throughout the state highlighting the event, addressing the participants.

According to the local newspaper, the purpose of the seminars was to provide high school sophomores with the opportunity to utilize their capabilities of leadership by sharing with their communities their knowledge, enthusiasm and youthful energy. 

Mowad was selected as one of eight finalists competing to represent Eastern Pa. at the National Youth Leadership Seminar in Dallas, Texas.

60 YEARS AGO (1961)

Joseph A. Nied, a member of Explorer Post 130, was recognized as an Eagle Scout at the annual recognition dinner of the Columbia-Montour Council, Boy Scouts of America. Nied was pictured in the local newspaper with other Eagle Scouts of the Council receiving awards.

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Henry Hostelley submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors of the YMCA after serving 15 years as the general secretary. Hostelley noted that the local youth center made numerous advancements during that time and was continually widening its program to include activities of interest for youths of all age groups.

He commented that “working at the Danville YMCA was a rewarding experience.”

Hostelley was a Danville graduate and was active on both the football and basketball teams.

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Easter egg hunts were held throughout Danville in spite of the cold weather. In a photo in the Danville News, three youngsters, Keith Hackenberg, Cathy Moyer and Valerie Hackenberg, who were winners in the hunt sponsored by the Danville Eagles, looked over their prizes.

Many of the local churches had inspirational messages in the newspaper inviting all to their Easter services.

“Let us rejoice”

— Psalm 118:24

75 YEARS AGO (1946)

The Society of the 28th Division held its regular meeting, with Commander Clifford Faux presiding, at the American Legion Post Home.

Twenty-seven members of the local branch favored placing World War II Memorial in Memorial Park and further recommended that the World War I Monument be moved from its present location, at the Montour County Courthouse, placed there in 1919, to the park.

The dedication of the WWII monument took place July 2, 3, and 4, 1949.

As part of the observance, of Spring Arbor and Bird Days for 1946, Governor Edward Martin designated it to be held on April 9.

Fred W. Diehl, Montour County superintendent of schools, requested that trees be planted on every Montour County school yard, if available space, in honor, or in memory of Montour County service.

In a letter addressed to teacher and directors, the suggestion was that one or more trees be planted in dedication of former pupils of the school who lost their lives in World War II; residents of the district who paid the supreme sacrifice; or in honor of all residents of the school district who served in the recent war.

It also suggested that a brief, but fitting, program be held in connection with the planting ceremony of each school ground to which the public was invited.

(I will add to this story next week.)

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The Central Grammar School basketball team defeated the Bloomsburg Grammar school 55-29. Dick Deitrick, of the Danville team, was the outstanding player in the game as “he ‘rung’ the bell 12 times for 24 points” while Dick Mensch “sounded the ‘gong’ six times plus a foul shot for 13 points.”

Deitrick, who played on the football, basketball and baseball teams at DHS, graduated in 1950, received 72 scholarship offers and chose Pittsburg University.

He lettered in football, baseball and basketball for Pitt and was captain of both football and basketball teams in 1953 and was voted the most valuable player at the close of his senior year.

Deitrick was co-captain of the Blue-Gray All-Star game; played in a college All-Star game against Detroit Tigers; was named an All American in 1953; and was the recipient of the inaugural Kodak Academic All-American team.

He was drafted by Los Angeles Rams after college but decided to follow his dream of becoming a doctor and attended the School of Medicine at Pitt.

Also, in 2005, he was named to receive the Outstanding DHS Alumni Award from the Danville Community Foundation.

The awards didn’t stop after sports, they continued through-out his medical career. Dr. Richard Deitrick passed away on Aug. 6, 2011.

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May the miracle of Easter inspire you all year and may hope and happiness fill your home.

— Sis Hause

Sis Hause is a Danville historian. Her weekly columns appear in The Danville News.

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