Graziano, Dunbar's first female mayor, dies at 99
As a politician, Angela F. Graziano — Dunbar Borough's first female mayor who died at 99 on Monday April 22, 2013 — always spoke her mind, according to Donna Myers of the Dunbar Historical Society.
“She could be a bit controversial,” Myers said.
Mrs. Graziano's obituary made note of a story in the National Enquirer. A photo showed her sweeping the streets in Dunbar as an elderly mayor.
“She had a good heart,” Myers said. “She was always involved. She was very confident, outgoing. …”
Myers said the former mayor also was a singer, entertainer and orchestra leader who studied music at West Virginia University.
According to former Councilman John R. Maddas Jr., she was the borough's first female mayor.
“She liked to work with people, especially to do stuff with kids,” said Maddas, who served on council when Mrs. Graziano was interim mayor in 1989. “She started the Christmas party in Dunbar for the kids.”
Myers said the programs for the children were something that Mrs. Graziano took special care.
“When she was doing children's programs (for Christmas), she made sure all of the kids had gifts,” Myers recalled.
Myers said she didn't know Mrs. Graziano well, but said the former mayor “was just in her glory” when working for the children. “She just loved to do that.”
The programs for the children might have helped keep her enthusiasm at a high level later in life.
“I was surprised to find out she was 99, when I saw her obituary in the paper,” Myers said Wednesday.
Mrs. Graziano was listed in the centennial history of the community, published in 1983, as mayor for four years, starting in 1978 — making her one of the first elected female mayors in Pennsylvania. She also served as interim mayor in 1989 and ran again but lost in 1990.
The historical society maintains a scrapbook with photos and clippings of Mrs. Graziano. Those interested in viewing the scrapbook may go to the society's museum at 42 Bridge St. during business hours. Special arrangements can be made by setting up an appointment. Call 724-277-8800.
Mrs. Graziano died Monday in LaFayette Manor, Uniontown. She was born Jan. 28, 1914, in Connellsville, a daughter of the late Salvatore and Philomena Tatarelli Andyjohn.
She was a graduate of Connellsville High School, a member of the singing group Angel Aires and a member of the Sammy K. Orchestra.
She served as Township Ladies organizer; past president of the Women's Culture Club of Connellsville and the Connellsville Eagles Aerie; and a member of Dunbar Historical Society. She organized bus trips for Elizabeth Seton called “Seton Tours.”
Mrs. Graziano was a member of St. Aloysius Parish in Dunbar and the church's Rosary Altar Society. She was involved with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Joseph F. Graziano, in 1987; a grandson, Mark Burnsworth; three sisters, Mary Sante, Parmina Andyjohn and Ada Caringola Homonai; and three brothers, Patsy, Joseph and Arthur Andyjohn.
She is survived by a son, Joseph “JD” Graziano; a daughter, Patricia “Patti” Toprani; a granddaughter-in-law, Jolinda Burnsworth; two great-granddaughters, Christina and Kelsey Burnsworth, all of McKeesport; a sister-in-law, Kathleen Andyjohn, of Connellsville; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- A Christmas story: Childhood holiday in Dunbar recollected
- Trinity United Presbyterian offers Festival of Lessons and Carols
- Uniontown self-help book author finds ‘Inner Peace’ through writing
- Uniontown man charged with raping 2 girls
- Connellsville teen charged in attack on 80-year-old man, daughter allowed to play high school basketball
- Fallen Perryopolis police officer chased his dream
- Uniontown programs get $900K
- Normalville church performs Christmas play
- Fayette inmate represents self at hearing
- No tax increase for Everson next year