Connellsville lost two of its finest citizens over the past week.
Christine Wagner, a former Connellsville councilwoman who also served as a director of the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and State Theater in Uniontown, was well regarded by family and friends as a go-getter. John “Wally” Schroyer, Fayette's former register of wills, was a prisoner of war, an accomplished athlete, a coach and mentor for thousands of area children.
Both knew the meaning of “giving back” to their communities.
Mrs. Wagner, 59, served many years with the chamber and other nonprofit clubs and organizations, and she devoted considerately time to projects that have benefited the city. Among these, she helped other volunteers realize the completion of the bike/hike trail through the city. She also organized parades, festivals and other downtown events.
Mr. Schroyer, 88, a 1942 Connellsville graduate, was a standout athlete in football, basketball and track. In the army, he was shot seven times during the Battle of Anzio on Feb. 18, 1944; three of the bullets struck Schroyer in the right leg. He was taken prisoner by German forces and spent 13 months in five different prison camps throughout Europe. His right leg was amputated, and he received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and several other awards for his military service.
For many years, Schroyer dedicated much of his time coaching youth baseball, football and basketball. His young players saw him as a role model, a surrogate father.
As their families and the community mourn the loss of these two fine citizens, their legacies, separate and distinct, will live on.
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