BAS Alumni Association held their 11th Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet at the Sons of Italy on September 20th, 2014. We had an outstanding attendance and honored the following alumni:
William Johnson, Class of 1943
Bill was born January 23, 1926, the son of William F. and Grace (Furlong) Johnson. He graduated from the Brownsville Area High School in 1943 and immediately enrolled in the Pharmacy School at the University of Pittsburgh. His schooling was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II. After service in the Bainbridge MD., Naval Hospital Pharmacy, he received an honorable discharge and promptly resumed his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating from the School of Pharmacy in 1949. He began his career as a Pharmacist at the Brown Drug Store, working there until 1956, when he branched out into the business world on his own with the purchase of Central Pharmacy.
Through family friends, Bill met his future wife, Margaret in Brownsville and they chose to make their home on Pearl Street in the Borough of Brownsville. To this union three children were born, namely, Dr. William F. Johnson III, Mary Grace Johnson-Bohna, and Muriel Ann Johnson-Nuttall, all Brownsville Area graduates and all of whom chose to put down their roots and raise their families in the Borough of Brownsville. Margaret passed away in October of 2001 and though missing her greatly, Bill chose to remain in their home and is blessed by an abundance of family including five granddaughters, four of whom are Brownsville Area High School graduates including: Dr. Amanda S. Johnson, Pharmacy Resident UPMC; Elizabeth A. Johnson, Secondary History Teacher, Berkley County Public Schools; Kelsey Margaret Johnson, Junior Physiology Major, University of Pittsburgh; Rachel K. Bohna, Sophomore Nursing Major, Waynesburg University; and Sarah Margaret Nuttall, grade 2. Additionally he has three grandsons, Jacob Edward William Bohna - High School Sophomore, Daniel Johnson Nuttall, - High School Freshman and Andrew Johnson Nuttall, Grade 5. Bill is very proud of his family!
Bill is also an ordained Deacon and Elder at the Fort Burd United Presbyterian Church where he was a Sunday school teacher for over 40 years, played the piano and was a long-time clerk of session for the congregation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce, an active member of the Brownsville Rotary Club with over 50 years of perfect attendance, and is a past District Secretary-Treasurer. Bill is a past noble grand of the IOOF Lodge #51 – Brownsville Odd Fellows, and is a Board Member and past officer of the Brownsville Free Public Library. During his years in business, he was a member of the Fayette County Pharmaceutical Association, Pennsylvania Pharmacies Association, American Pharmaceutical Association, and the National Association of Retail Druggists. Bill is proud to have spent his entire life in the Brownsville Area. He was born and raised on Bank Street, raised his family on Pearl Street, and made his living on Market Street. Bill is proud to call himself Brownsville Alumni.
Robert (Bob) James Charlton was born on September 3, 1940 and died on May 6, 2002, at 61 years of age. At the time of his death he resided at 20 Melwood Drive, Coal Center, Pa. Robert was born in Brownsville, PA to Donald and Julia Steiner Charlton. Bob graduated from Brownsville High School with the class of 1958. While attending Brownsville High School, he was involved with Brownsville High School Marching Band and a member of the High School football team.
Following graduation from Brownsville, Bob attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1963. He was awarded a teaching fellowship at the WVU School of Engineering while working for his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering which he received in 1963. During those years he received his private pilot's license as part of ROTC training. With his pilot's license, Bob would fly from Sunnyvale, CA to Morgantown, WV to attend football games.
During Bob's military service he was stationed in Sunnyvale, CA at the 65th 94th Aerospace Test Wing at the Moffet Naval Field from 1965 to 1968 where he worked as a top secret classified agent. He received the "Air Force Commendation Award" in 1967 and received an honorable discharge as First Lieutenant in 1968, once top secret mission was completed.
Bob returned to the local area where he worked for many years as an Engineer in the coal mine, helping to design the Emerald Mine in Greene County, PA. In 1978, he formed and became President of Barbara Jean Coal Co., Inc/AMD Industries, Inc/Warrior Services Inc. which is currently located in California, PA and now managed by his son-in-law John DeFranco. The companies currently employ 18 families and are involved in Acid Mine Drainage, treating over 35 million gallons of abandoned coal mine water per day at 15 abandoned coal mine sites, including a site at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. Treatment is done in correspondence with the Department of Environmental Protection in the State of PA and WV as well as private coal and chemical companies.
Bob belonged to the Beallsville Masonic Lodge with a 32nd degree. He received the Republican of the Year and National Leadership Award in 2000. He was a member of SME (Society of Mechanical Engineers), Pittsburgh PA and MAC (Mountaineer Athletic Club) lifetime member as a "Gold Scholar" in Morgantown, WV. Bob and his first wife Margaret Santmyer are the parents of two children, Donald Eugene Charlton currently residing in California, PA and Lynn Rae DeFranco living in Coal Center, PA. Bob has 5 grandchildren. Donald has a son Michael and Lynn has four children, sons Robbie, Johnny and Ryan and daughter Jenna.
Lenora was born and raised in LaBelle, PA and following graduation from Brownsville high school in 1958, she attended CALU for 2 years before deciding to enlist in the Army in 1961. She served a total of 21 years active military service as enlisted (SGT) and an officer in the Women’s Army Corps & US Army Military Police Corps and retired from the Army at age 48 in 1989 with the rank of Major. Lenora eventually obtained her BA in Social Work at CALU in 1971 and her Masters in Secondary Education/Consulting in 1982 while assigned as an ROTC instructor at CALU. Her civilian jobs included a social director in San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC; part-time teacher at Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; a researcher at Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and when she returned home in 1994 she was the WIC director at Community Action, Uniontown, PA.
Beginning at age 16 while in high school, Lenora became involved in entertaining as a vocalist and bass guitar player and travelled all over Mon Valley performing with coal miner band members. She continued entertaining while in the Army and always had a jazz band while serving stateside and enjoyed entertaining in Germany during her tour there. At age 73, she continues to strum her bass and belt out some songs when the opportunity arises.
In 2007, Lenora decided to write and publish her book, titled WAC Major (Herstory), A Black Woman in the White Man’s Army that depicts her struggles and victories while serving in the US Army. She has also authored 3 autobiography E-books that tells her story after retiring from the Army. As a teenager, Lenora was an avid softball player and the only girl on the boy’s baseball team during elementary school in Maxwell. After joining the military, she became a semi-professional fast pitch softball player and played stateside and on championships team in Frankfurt, Germany. She had the privilege of participating in the 1966 Olympics in Mexico City with a team from San Antonio, TX.
Lenora’s current community and BAS activities/involvement are as follows: BAS Alumni Association Vice president, recording secretary, membership campaign, selling bricks & T-shirts, Power of Music committee chair, event planning, Scholarship and Distinguished Alumni coordination; Social media creator/manager of BAS Blog, BAS FB club, POM Music Lover’s Only FB group. She is also the creator & coordinator of the BAS Alumni courtyard—ordering bricks, developing/managing the brick website.
She is the only child of Eunice Byrd (deceased) who dedicated her entire life to ensure Lenora was able to attain her goals. Lenora is the proud mother of an only child, Chantay Lindsey, age 48 who is a GS-14 military contractor at the Pentagon.