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Beaverdale High School Yearbook 1948


Mike George Smigelsky
(March 13, 1930 - )

married June 29, 1952

Rosella Elizabeth Bereznak
(October 31, 1933 - )

Mike was born March 13, 1930, the 9th of 10 children and the first born at the house we all know at 410 Cameron Avenue in Beaverdale, Pennsylvania.

One Sunday at church, when he was about 7, Mike noticed a girl with “beautiful curly blonde hair”. He discovered that she was visiting her grandparents who lived in Beaver Run. Over the years, he would periodically see her in church. Her name was Rosella.
Mike started going to Beaver Run to have Rosella's grandfather George cut his hair. By the time they were teenagers, the courting began in ernest.
Mike would go there when Rosella was visiting. They would sit on the porch swing, hold hands and talk. He worked in the movie theater, so he would take her there on dates.

In 1952, during the Korean War, Mike was drafted into the army. But before leaving for bootcamp at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri, he proposed to Rosella.
While he was away, he had his sister Helen and brother-in-law Mike take Rosella out on weekends and look after her. She graduated from High School and Mike returned home on furlough after finishing bootcamp.

On June 29 1952, Mike and Rosella Elizabeth, daughter of Anna and Andrew Bereznak of Conemaugh, Pennsylvania were married in Holy Trinity Church.

Mike & Rosella's Wedding Picture
June 29, 1952
More Wedding Pictures


Right after their wedding, they moved to Monterrey, California. Mike was in the Army stationed at the Presidio in Monterrey. While there, Rosella worked in a fish cannery. To this day she hates fish!

In June 1953, eight months pregnant with their first child, Rosella returned to Beaverdale. Mike was transferred to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Mike was home, on leave from the Army, on July 21, 1953 when their first son, Michael George was born in Lee Hospital, Johnstown, PA. He then returned to Fort Bragg until his discharge several months later.

Mike and his family lived at 412 Cameron Avenue in Beaverdale until 1960.

Sixteen months later on December 8, 1954 their second son John Andrew was born.

Also a member of the household at this time was Rosella's sister Sandy. Sandy had lots of friends in Beaverdale and wanted to go to school with them. So starting with 7th grade, she moved in with Mike and Rosella. In 1958, Rosella's sisters Maxine and Sylvia would also live in Beaverdale. Their parents had moved to New York, so they lived with Mike and Rosella to finish the school year before following their parents to New York.

In the summer of 1960, Rosella was pregnant with their third child. Mike moved to New York with the two boys, followed by Rosella and of their first daughter Roseann Marie after her birth on August 13, 1960. Sandy remained in Beaverdale, living with Baba, until she graduated High School in 1961. She then moved to New York to study at Bellevue School of Nursing.

The family would live in Great Neck, New York for the next four years. For the first 2 years Mike worked as the superintendent of an apartment building complex at 221 Middle Neck Road. Then in 1962, Mike was hired as an apprentice with the Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers’ Union and family moved to 804 Middle Neck Road.

In 1963, Rosella was pregnant again with their fourth child. On November 3, 1963 Denise Michelle was born in North Shore Hospital.

The summer of 1964 was a busy one for Mike and the family. First, they moved to Old Bridge, New Jersey. Then they drove cross-country to California to visit Mike's sister Anna and her family in Tujunga. Denise, who was only 8 months old stayed with Rosella’s sister Barbara in Old Bridge and Barbara’s son Billy went to California with Mike and Rosella.

While in California, they did the usual tourist things including swimming in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, going to Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland and taking a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico.

The next three years would be uneventful. But in the summer of 1967, Rosella was pregnant again with their fifth and last child.

On February 14, 1968, Valentine’s Day, Deborah was born.

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Mike & Rosella Prom
Senior Prom 1952

Mike‘s sister Kay got married the day before he did. Rosella and Kay wore the same wedding dress.

Rosella is known as “Aunt Rose” to most of her nieces and nephews.

Mike & Rosella in California
California, July 4, 1952

Sandy & John Christmas 1955
Sandy & John - Christmas 1955

Tijuana, Mexico
Tijuana, Mexico: Michael, Aunt Annie, Rosella, Mike, John Kevin, Rosanne, Maryann, Rosella’s nephew Billy and John

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