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Weather forces elderly couple to move indoors from porch

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By Emma Jene Lelik
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

John and Eva Gernot, a familiar sight waving at passersby from their porch on Leeds Avenue in Monessen as they enjoyed the pleasant weather, have been forced inside by the cooler weather that has accompanied the arrival of the fall season.

Eva, 93, and John, 96, have given up most of their active hobbies due to age, although John still dabbles in woodworking occasionally.

"He enjoys making frames for holy pictures, especially those taken from greeting cards, encases them in Plexiglass and mounts them on a wooden stand," a family member said.

In his younger years, John was known for his work plastering homes and did all the remodeling around their house. He also performed odd jobs for many friends.

Something else John had to curtail was his daily morning sessions at McDonald's in Rostraver.

"He liked being with the breakfast crowd but, when he decided to give up driving at age 90, those trips stopped," the relative said.

His wife was active in the Altar Guild at their church, St. John the Divine, in Monessen, and was a regular when pirohi and pascha (Easter bread) were being made.

In the summers they spent many hours sitting on the front porch and waving at those walking or driving by.

The couple celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on Sept. 12.

They have three children - Ann Prentice, of Fallowfield Township; John R. (Christine) Gernot, of Charleroi, and Gerry (Wilbur) Paulman, of Monessen.

There are eight grandchildren: George and Curt Pidich, of Fallowfield Twp.; Natalie Gust, of Ellsworth; David (Cindy) Gernot, of Monessen; Jon R. (Marcie) Gernot, of West Virginia; Mark Gernot, of Charleroi; Cheryl Lenhart, of North Versailles, and Brian Paulman, of Monessen.

They also have 12 great-grandchildren: Melissa Pidich, of Michigan; Sandell Pidich, of Monessen; Curt Pidich Jr., of Fallowfield Township; Jena Pidich, of North Charleroi; Gayle Pidich, of Charleroi; Erica Gust, of Monessen; David Gernot Jr., of Uniontown; Juliana and Jacob Gernot, of Monessen; Aleiza and Aidan Gernot, of Carroll Township and Nicole Lenhart, of North Versailles.

They have welcomed three great-great-grandchildren to date: Jamayla Jones, of Monessen; Danny Hudock Jr., of Monessen, and Justin Kowalski, of Michigan.

John Gernot retired from Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel 46 years ago.

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