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Meg Loncharic: Alumni visit Erie’s Roosevelt before demolition

Staff Writer
Erie Times-News
Former classmates, from left, Arlene Iavarone, Carol Freitas Trimper, Phyllis Pope, Denise Honard LaBorde, Evelyn Phillips Smith, Kitty Perseo Nick, Karen Leone Reynolds and Dina Tavinello Miller pose on the steps of Roosevelt Middle School, which is soon to be demolished.

Early school years typically form lasting memories – even into one’s golden years.

Roosevelt School alumna Carol Freitas Trimper has many fond recollections of her years at the school at West 23rd and Cranberry streets, which was built in 1922 and named for Theodore Roosevelt. As a member of the class of 1966, she made many friendships that have stayed with her and other “teddies,” as they called themselves. Their group has held dinner outings monthly since 2011.

For that reason, Trimper helped plan a photo-op to help retain those memories.

The Erie School District closed Roosevelt Middle School in 2007 due to its poor condition. The building will be torn down this fall after 13 years of vacancy.

“There were approximately 269 in our class,” Trimper wrote in a recent email, “The eight of us on Wednesday, Aug. 19, went down to the school and got a picture taken in front of the school. We held our breath, took off our masks for the photo op and put them back on.”

Trimper also said: “It was unfortunate they closed the school down because it was starting to (get dilapidated). A few of my classmates who still live in Erie get a little nostalgic remembering the grand old majestic school which is scheduled to be demolished sometime soon.”

Demolition work is set to begin the week of Sept. 21. You’ll want to catch a glimpse before it’s obliterated.

Sign of the times

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Erie recently received a grant from the Catholic Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania to help purchase an electronic sign for the church property. Located on the busy southwest corner of East Avenue and East 28th Street, the new sign is a way to share welcoming messages with neighbors and passersby.

“We want to reach out with inspirational words and invite people to our vibrant parish,” said the Rev. John Jacquel, pastor. “We especially want to welcome those who have been away from the church.”

Kathy Grisier, development coordinator of the Catholic Foundation, shared news of additional grant opportunities.

“We are accepting grant applications now through Sept. 26 from Catholic parishes and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Erie for education projects and ministry training,” she said.

The Erie-based foundation is guided by Catholic values and investment principles. Lisa Louis, its executive director, said, “We work closely with a governing board of Catholic lay men and women from throughout the diocese to raise and grant funds to ensure the perpetual viability of Catholic ministries.”

Visit for more information.

Kloecker family visits

Erie residents Cathy and J. Patrick “Pat” Kloecker and their five daughters, all of whom live in Southern California, are hoping they will soon be able to visit.

The California families usually spend their summers here in Erie. However, because of COVID-19, it was not possible this year. Cathy and Pat Kloecker said they look forward to hopefully to once again spending the winter with their daughters, sons-in-law and 11 grandchildren in California.

Daughter and son-in-law Alizabeth and Ness Hamaoui and their three daughters live on their ranch, Jason Ranch, in Santa Ynez.

Bridgett and A.B. Fischer and their two sons live in Studio City.

Katie and Matt Apice and their two daughters live in Burbank.

Tricia and Bryce Dixon live with their two sons in Del Mar.

The youngest daughter and her husband, Sarah and Ryan Kohler, and their two sons live in Silver Lake.

Fortunately, no one is near any of California’s horrific wildfires.

Now you know

Woman’s Club of Erie President Judy Husted and members Laine Addessi, Mary Jane Blair and Patty Raydo felt that the organization needed to do something special to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote.

Due to the pandemic, it was not possible to gather to have a big celebration, so they chose to join the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission’s Forward Inntolight) to light buildings and landmarks across the country in purple and gold. They are the colors of the American women’s suffrage movement. This campaign was named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan “Forward through the Darkness, Forward in Light.”

A large banner stating “100 Years of Vote, Your Vote Counts” was hung on the fence in front of the Woman’s Club of Erie, 259 W. Sixth St., and the mansioto Light campaign ( was awash with purple and gold lights, which can be seen in a photo at The Erie mansion plus over 130 buildings, memorials, private homes and monuments throughout the nation that celebrated this monumental event can be seen at

If you missed the lighting of the Woman’s Club, it will once again be lit from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4, to remind everyone, especially women, to vote on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Incidentally, the Woman’s Club of Erie is looking for new members.

If you’re interested in joining this group of dynamic, creative and inspiring women, contact Loretta Seigley at or call 814-520-8784.

POSTSCRIPT: Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? – Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890-1995), mother of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and two U.S. senators.

Meg Loncharic can be reached at

The Rev. John Jacquel, left, and Holy Rosary Catholic Church parishioners, from second from left, Joe Mattis, and Pat and Richard Marshall, show off the new sign purchased with help from the Catholic Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania.