BC: F A M I L Y
FC: Del & Carol's Book of Memories
1: Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. It means that you will yell scream and fight. but in the end you'll always be there for each other. Having a family like ours is something that any sane person should be jealous of, because there is no other family that loves as hard as ours does! We're crazy, and at times dysfunctional, but that's what makes us so special. We make crazy look good! We're all unique and beautiful in our own ways and we have you to thank for that! We may grow in different directions, but our roots remain as one. Our family is a circle of strength founded on faith, joined in love and kept by God. Our family is forever!
2: Some of my favorite memories of mom are how she can make an absolutely delicious meal out of practically nothing! No matter what the situation of her finances, our mother has a God given talent of stretching a dollar and making the most of what she has. We have been truly blessed by her talents and efforts. She helped me make fried cabbage and noodles one time to sell at the Scottdale Heritage Festival for the swim team fundraiser. We cut up so many onions for it, Kate and Aaron came running into the kitchen from upstairs saying, “Why are our eyes burning so bad?” Mom and I laughed, and still laugh about that and how much cabbage we cut up! I love that she helped to make that endeavor such a huge success and now it’s such a wonderful memory. My favorite memories of my dad are unquestionably the spiritual influences he has had on my life! I can't sing the songs It Took a Miracle (by John Peterson), Somebody Bigger Than You and I or My Tribute (by Andrea Crouch) without tearing up and thinking of my father singing those songs with all of his heart before different congregations when he was a lay pastor when we were kids. Also, one morning as a teen, I got up early before school and I overheard him in the basement praying and crying out to the Lord. He didn't know I was up and heard him, but it had a tremendous impact on my life and I will never forget it! It made me feel safe and comforted to have a father who poured his heart out and interceded for us all. I love him for instilling in me that prayer isn't a religious thing you do out of obligation, or that I have to. It's a never ceasing, ongoing, loving relationship with Jesus Christ, who I want to know more and more! That's what means the most that my dad gave me. How to truly know my Jesus! Love, Wendy
4: Del, you are the man that pointed me to Jesus and fed me with “The Sincere Milk of the Word.” Through you, I got a glimpse of how the church is supposed to function and how we are to love as Christ loved. We have not always agreed, but I have ALWAYS seen you as a mentor. As Paul writes, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers.” And Del, I see you as my father in the faith, and for that you deserve my honor. I love you Brother, Randy Carol, you have always made me welcome, and treated me as your own. I thank you for loving me when I was not lovable. And Carol, I thank you for the woman I have been blessed to marry, because I see a lot of YOU in her. Love, Randy I Love You Grandma and Grandpap! Love, Aaron We love when our whole family gets together for Christmas and other holidays. We love you Grandma and Pappy! Love, Zoe and Roland
5: I have some amazing random memories of Grandma & Pap. I remember riding in the big black van to go see Christmas lights and Pap coming to our house in Scottdale and teaching me to clean windows! I remember going to their house and basking in the noise and love because no matter how much everyone argued and yelled, they always loved each other! I can’t forget my mom's old Christmas parties and Grandma and Pap coming to State College to see us. I remember Gram helping me get ready for a dance where I had to be a hillbilly! Taking Zoe over as a baby to just hang out on my days off, and Grandpap stopping by to give me and Zoe Valentine presents is always something that I’ll never forget. Obviously, you can’t forget the countless Thanksgivings, Christmas’, New Years’ and Easters in between. Love, Katie
6: Well it’s easy to talk and talk, and we all know how much we do this. It’s harder to sit down and document how you feel. My parents created 8 wonderful human beings. Is the world a better place because they did so? That is yet to be determined, but I think so! I am sure some hold the opinion they should have stopped at Scott, or maybe only Scott, tehehe (As my dad would do, why not create a little drama by alluding to favorites (cough um Amy)). My mother was a very playful and engaged mother. She had no problem going sled riding and swimming with us. She wasn’t the kind of mom that sat on the side and just watched. She was always right in there with us. Oh, and her laugh. so infectious!! When I was on the swim team, | my mom probably ran as many laps as I swam. She ran back and forth, yelling for me. Yes, I was in the pool under water, but I could hear her. Something Weston told me about a wrestling match that I was going to miss, took me back to those days. He was in 2nd grade and very nervous. When I told him I might not attend, he said “Mom, you have to be there.” I said, “Your dad will be there.” He said, “But mom, I can’t hear dad. I can hear you and it makes me do better.” I was on my way to becoming the mother she had been. Some days I think I am almost there and then, something I do reminds me; I am a work in progress. My father also holds a dear place in my heart. If ever there was a bunch of daddy’s little girls, even today, it is Del’s daughters. I know Wendy and I often get emotional, remembering that young man coming home from a long day on the Pepsi truck. Thought!! Is this where my intense need for Pepsi comes from?? Umm, something to discuss with my therapist! Ha-ha! Back to the memory..Daddy would put Wendy, Jeff, Scott and me, on the sled. We lived in Ohio and there weren’t hills to ride down. I can still see the steam from his mouth as he soldiered up and down the street, pulling us on that sled. My dad wasn’t as welcomed as my mom at my sporting events. At the only Powder-Puff Football game I had, he was opinionated and yelling at my coach. At a break, I had to tell him I know you mean well, and want me to win, but please the coach is trying to find out whose father that is because he is going to bench them. I drove him nuts (probably still do), when I had to special order. We didn’t go out
7: to eat much. Drive up’s were specifically created for our family Ha-ha! I would request my cheeseburger pickles only, fish sandwich ketchup and cheese, you get the picture. Where were chicken nuggets when we were kids? Anyway, I remember often crying as I wiped off the mustard, ketchup and onions from my cheeseburger. Again, issues I must remember to discuss with my therapist. Ha! I remember fun times on family trips. Our first vacation was to VA Beach and D.C. We stayed in a hotel and saw the ocean for the first time. It was amazing. I remember in D.C. the wonderful landmarks. Who could forget the amazing view of the city from the Washington Monument? Oh that’s right we didn’t do that. One of the twins (who cares which one) got sick. We were in line to have a memorable experience and the twins were sick, so we had to leave. See they should have stopped with Scott, no Lori I need her to do my hair. Just kidding, but not about the twins ruining vacations though or drinking all the milk, teeheee. Another trip was to Sea World. It was awesome. We climbed the bleachers to watch Shamu’s show. We were ready to enjoy the show. Of course the twin (one, both, who cares) was now, afraid of heights. Who are these kids’ parents? The people who raised me would have made me stronger, told me to suck it up (no special ordering, remember?). No, we had to move, and yes we missed some of the show. Oh well, wouldn’t trade them in now! Family camping trips, as married adults, have too many events. Let’s just say watching my dad sweep dirt, is to be admired. Really sorry we don’t do these anymore. When we were young we didn’t have a lot of things. We had something more valuable than material possessions. I miss those simpler times, so can I move back home? Only kidding. I was the first member of our family to attend college. When they took me to Duquesne, it was a very proud moment for all of us. I know my life took a different turn. I hope I have made them proud of me, in spite of the turns. The faith of both my parents is to be unequivocally respected. Through all of their trials, they have remained faithful to God and to each other. I hope you all take my thoughts with the humor intended. All kidding aside, I love and respect you both. I thank God you were chosen for me!!! I love this amazing family! Love, Robin
8: I have known Del and Carol since I was 10 years old. Who can forget Del chasing me on his crutches? I supposedly did something to one of the twins and Del was having leg troubles. He came flying out of the house. I had to admit for an older guy on crutches, he was pretty fast. I never messed with the twins again, but I wish I had kept running. Just joking, Robin! Del bought me and a few neighbor kids some Cox cars when we were young. We had a great time using the carbide to make the spark the cars needed to take off. That was really cool. I have always respected Del and Carol's faith. I will never forget when Del prayed for Runner, the little black dog. Dave Spaugey had hit the dog with his motorcycle. We thought he was dead. Del laid his hands on the dog and prayed. It was amazing. All of a sudden, the dog just leapt up like nothing happened. I have always enjoyed Carol's cooking. I am so glad this was passed on to my wife. I am grateful to them both for my wife.I have had so much fun on our camping trips. I will never forget when Carol tried to kill me. I made a big mistake of pretending to have an animal in my shirt. It was dark and for whatever reason, Carol found it believable that the stuffed animal I had stuffed in my shirt was real. My mistake. She leapt to save me, by beating me on the back with a big stick. I was laughing so hard that it was difficult to get her to stop so I could tell her it wasn't real. I have also had some really nice times riding on the open road with Del on our bikes. The most memorable was the time we rode to Winchester Virginia with Sam Echard and Dave Baughman. We had to stay in a motel. We were drenched. It was a really nice time to get to know Del a little better. I also have always appreciated everything Del has always given in fixing anything he could in our home. I have learned a lot from him. I really love you guys and thanks for being there for my family. Thank you especially for allowing us to live with you before we moved to Johnstown. Thank you for my wife (Robin told me I had to say that!) Love, Todd
9: I am so very thankful and blessed to have such wonderful grandparents like the two of you in my life! You mean so much to me and I greatly appreciate both of you. I just loved watching you and Robert talk, spend time and smile together, Pap. And Gram, a special thanks goes out from Miss Kitty and me for your check up calls! Many small things from all these years will forever be remembered! You two have raised one strong AWESOME family!! Whether we speak or visit often or not, we always know the love is right there. I Love You! –Brook
10: Grandma and Pappy, thinking of all the wonderful memories I have with you guys in just my short 16 years of life, there is so much that comes to mind. Grandma, when I think of you, I think of one of the most caring and loving grandmas a grandchild could ask for. I can remember the times when I would always come to your house and we would watch the Price is Right together and you would make me grilled cheese and tomato soup with my favorite crackers. You always took good care of me when it came to feeding my belly. Oh, and you know how much I love that skillet of yours, but unfortunately you got rid of it. But don’t worry, I will have to take the new one you bought! And I’ll never forget all the times you played Trouble with me, or would just sit down and talk to me about anything. If I have to think of something that I can say I will never forget about you, it’s that time at the hospital when you talked about 50 Shades of Grey. I always get a laugh out of that! And remember that time we played Gestures at Thanksgiving? Let me say you are definitely creative when it comes to certain words! Ha-ha!! I know these are just some of the memories I have with you but I look forward to sharing a lot more! Pappy, when I think of you I think of one of the strongest people I know!
11: I remember when you always used to call me P.F. or poop face, and boy did you love to agitate me with that! I’ll never forget when you used to take me with you to that Harley Davidson Easter Egg hunt every year, and the one year on the way home I got sick and threw up everywhere. I could tell you were really upset but you didn’t say anything, so thanks for putting up with that! I love the way you joke about everything and through the worst of everything you always come out with a smile on your face. I would have to say you are one of the many people in my life that I look up to and I appreciate all that you have done for me! Thank you for watching me when I was little and spending time with me. I know I will never forget any of it and I can’t wait to share many more memories with you! I would just like to say that in life, not all people are blessed with grandparents like you two. You guys are so devoted to all of us and I don’t know how you put up with this loud family! I am so blessed to have you in my life and thank you guys for everything you do, and most of all thanks for loving me for who I am and supporting me in everything I do! Love, Hailey My favorite memories of Grandma and Grandpap are when I lived there. It was really nice having Grandpap steal my orange Jello all the time. Ha-ha. Grandma makes the best eggs in her black skillet. I liked when Pap took me on the Easter Egg Hunt at the Harley store. I always love playing Trouble with Grandma! I wish I could say I had fun camping with the family, unfortunately you all stopped going camping by the time I was born. I love Christmas at Gram's, with our whole family. I am so glad Pap got through this Summer. I love them to death. I love them for giving me my mom! This is the best family ever! Love, Weston
12: Prior to moving into Merit Manor, we spent a lot of time staying at various places. We stayed with friends and at Grandma Elaine’s. I remember sleeping in the attic with Daddy. Now, Colin sleeps in my bed with me. It’s nice to be able to be close with my son the way that I was able to be close with my Dad. When it came to vehicles, we always made do with what we had. I remember all getting into Dad’s Frito Lay truck and going to church every Sunday. Looking at the money that I’ve spent on vehicles, I realize what a waste that was! All you really need is a Frito Lay truck and a family of love to get you where you need to go. I used to love the days when I would go to work with my dad. I loved when we would go sit by the creek in Brownsville. We would trade Pepsi for chips with the “Pepsi guy.” We’d stop and get a loaf of bread and ham and make sandwiches. Those memories are priceless. Dad used to let me drive the Frito Lay truck in Confluence when I was Colin’s age. I remember going and taking orders at stores with him. My dad really did teach me hard work. One of my fondest memories growing up was the races!! Of course, that’s something I’m still involved with to this day. Now a day, it’s common to have semi trucks, motor homes and fancy bikes when you race. When it’s all said and done, I realize that all you really need is a green pick up truck with bad brakes, and parents and siblings to run a race team. If we would do things this way now, we sure would save a lot of money! | It was great growing up in a big family although it had its challenges. We shared and reused everything. I specifically remember wearing Robin’s plaid pants, and I looked good in them! We moved into Merit Manor on a flat bed truck, borrowed form Blackie’s Transmission shop (a friend of Dad’s), like the true clampetts. Ironically, my favorite TV show at the time was The Beverly Hilbillies, with Jethro Bodine. I eventually ended up creating my Rip Rock character from Dash Rip Rock, who was also on that show.
13: Nothing brought me more joy than going to the races and having my mom standing up at the first corner at High Point and putting her finger up. I always had the BEST fan club! Nothing was better than when the gate dropped and knowing that everyone was cheering for me. I loved being able to spend that time at the races with my family and I wish that I could have more times like that now! When I did bad at a race, it was always nice to go to mom first. She would tell me how good I looked out there and boost my spirits. My mom always gave me great support. Dad, on the other hand, would just tell me how bad I sucked. Ha-Ha. I always had the cleanest and shiniest bike and gear! Mom definitely had a way with the wash and Dad sure did love his WD40. Dad always made sure that my bike was ready. He would stay up all night if that’s what it took to get it in tip top shape. All of this resulted in me getting the name “Hollywood” from Tim Cotter because I always looked “so good.” Dad was always so meticulous. He was always making sure everything was done perfectly, whether it be cleaning the garage or stacking the potato chips. Although we didn’t have a lot, my family always had style. You would never know we were poor. My mom was beautiful and my brothers and sisters always looked good! Having all of this helped me mold the brand that I have today. Hollywood name, California image; here I was, just a poor kid from Connellsville who just so happened to be lucky enough to have a strong supportive family. A family who was maybe not rich with money, but rich with love and experience and all of those things that money can’t buy! All of the hardships that we went through have made me appreciate everything that I do have, and especially the things that I have to work to get. Mom and Dad were always able to get through tough times. I look up to them and their ability to do that. They stayed together, got through the worst and to this day, that gives me hope that no matter how tough or difficult, we can get through things because they got through worse. Their faith in God has never wavered. I love you both so very much! Love, Scott
14: Dear Del and Carol, I feel so blessed to have you both in my life. I fell in love with your son only a few months after I met him. He was so kind and charming. And when I came to meet you for the first time, I loved him even more! Your relationship together is a great role model for all of us. You are always kind and loving to one another, even when you are disagreeing. You have raised a wonderful family. Alexis, Anna and Colin get so much strength and joy from their large family, with tons of love to go around! Carol, you inspire me to be a better wife, mother and Christian. Del, your walk with the Lord gives me strength and encouragement to abide in him always. I wish you both many blessings this Christmas and always. Love, Shana | Dear Gram and Pap, I miss you so very much and every moment we spend together is memorable. I love you both so dearly and you two mean the world to me!! I Love you with all of my heart! –Anna
15: Dear Grandma Carol and Pappy Del, I love you both a lot, and I love being around my crazy family. Everyone in my family is great to be around, and you guys are one of the best to be around. I hope you have a great life. Love, Colin
16: Growing up as a kid, getting to travel to my PA home for the holidays was always the most exciting part of my year. Stepping out into the crisp winter weather, followed by the drive through the tunnel from the airport let me know I was just a short ways away from the cozy comfort of your home. Finally, my dad and I would pull into the drive way to be greeted by Pap from the garage. Or if that wasn't the case, the jingling bells outside the kitchen door would be the first to welcome me back. The initial late night conversation to ensue would always be high in priority, "How much pumpkin pie is left?" Grandma figured out quickly that she would need to start making two pumpkin pies to keep both Pap's and my stomach at bay. Next, my dad would set me up to sleep comfortably on the couch, just before Pap made his way over to tuck me in. I have always loved that scratchy beard, which would briefly tickle my face as he kissed me goodnight. Over the next few days, I'd wander throughout the relics of your 'big' and mysterious house, as if it were a living legend, trying to imagine how you all lived when I wasn't around; the aging family photos in the upstairs staircase, the scribblings on the wall of the garage, and the measurement marks in the kitchen doorway all under my inspection to lead my research.
17: During my trip, Grandma would let me out to play in the snow, only after the outdoor thermometer struck the magic number of 35 degrees. Brittany and I would create mischief in more ways than I could count, and everyone else made me feel a part of our big, loving, crazy Sepkovic family until I had to go home. As I grow older, the house has seemingly grown smaller, Pap's beard has turned whiter, and I'm not as able to make it home quite so often, but those holiday childhood memories will always be near and dear to my heart. I love you both so much. Thank you for being such a special part of my life then and now. Love, Alexis
18: Lets see, where do I begin? I have so many memories of my parents. They have been the most influential people in my life! Being a mother myself has shown me how selfless they have been!! I can’t be thankful enough for the guidance it has provided me. I can remember a time when dad was sick and unable to work. He was down, and in my recollection he even looked small and to me my dad was always big, bigger than even life! I felt so overwhelmed watching him be so frustrated. He was sitting at the table with his head down in his hands. I remember watching him put hands up and saying, "Lord, I give this to you. I give this to you!", and he thanked him! That week when we came home from church and he opened his bible,, money was between the pages without a note to say whom it was from! It was such a witness to my young life. Mom was also always teaching us to be thankful for what we have, even when we haven’t received it yet. We were all decorating for Christmas one year not knowing where Christmas diner was coming from and mom had the Christmas music playing, which to this day I sometimes start playing in October. Yeah, actually I'm just coming out to everyone about that! It just makes me feel like I'm in those moments as a child singing those songs and decorating with my whole family! There is nothing like it!!!! It's a feeling of warmth from the top of my head to my toes!! Oh sorry, getting a little off base here. Let's see, oh yes dinner and where was it coming from. All of the sudden there was a knock at the door and of course, the competitive siblings I have, we all raced to the door and I got there first. I was the track star of the family (just saying)! Which reminds me of another story of Dad! We opened the door to find no one there, but there was a basket full of Christmas dinner.
19: I remember my mom crying and saying, "God is so good!" Another witness to my young life! Dad always had a way of doing something completely surprising! As I mentioned earlier, I was the track star of the family, or so I thought until Dad changed that!! I started running from him one day and told him he couldn't catch me. Well...I was wrong!!! My very bigger than life father, who wasn't well at the time, didn't just catch me, but he passed me! I think as much as I felt beaten I also felt this joy to see him laughing and to know he could be so playful at a time he wasn't so healthy. I will never forget that! Mom could be so funny too. She took me to cheerleading one day in my favorite beat up old truck!!! Not!!! I asked her if she would drop me around back so no one would see me get out of that truck, and without a word she did! I think I happily skipped around the corner anticipating seeing all the cheerleaders and what practice would have in store, when my mother decided to change the next step of events by blasting around the corner beeping the horn and yelling, “I'll be back to pick you up later!” I was mortified!!! My friends were like who was that? I wanted to say I don't know, but something tugged at my heart and I said that's my crazy mother!!! She taught me something that day. Don't let her take me to practice again!!! Ha-ha. Mom and Dad, this is one of the hardest things I ever had to do! Picking some memories when I have so many is difficult, but these are the ones I thought of first! I have watched you grow old, but still have this young at heart way about you! It's made me want to be that way too and I thank you for it!!! You have been a true blessing from God and your witness has shown itself through your works! I love you! Lori
20: To have as many memories as I do with such an amazing family is truly a blessing, and sometimes I think it's easy to take that for granted because I have just become accustom to it being that way. It's times like these that I sit back and realize how lucky I am to have all the memories I do with people I love so much. First and foremost, let me say that I am, and always have been thankful to have such an insane family. When I say insane, I mean INSANE because I don't know any other family that acts like we do when we're all together. Not to mention, cackles as loud as Grandma while we all imitate her cackle until we can't breath anymore. I would never trade one of those holidays with everyone screaming over each other during the midst of about five different conversations going on. All the while, we're all still very capable of taking part in every single one of those five conversations, while still knowing what’s going on in the others. So, I guess I owe my attention span to the Sepkovic in me because I am proud to say I can keep up with those conversations every single holiday and not miss a beat (or a cackle). But, in all seriousness, when I think about the memories that I have with Gram & Pap, I have too many to sit here and type out because I could write a book. Now, I can't lie because my fondest memory of Gram definitely has to do with her cooking and I'm pretty sure she knows that every time I come home from school that the first thing I say when I walk in the door is "What are you cooking?" Grandma’s grilled cheese puts anyone else’s to shame and that's a fact. And no matter what Pap says, that’s MY couch and every time he leaves the house I'm sure to get my fair share of time on it because I know I'm getting kicked off as soon as he gets home.
21: I'm just glad he's worn that couch in for me so much because there is nothing better than taking a nap on that couch after I stuff my belly full of Grandma’s spaghetti while Pap bad mouth's the Steelers and Grandma sticks up for them. She says "Oh Delbert! Leave them alone!" Though I do have all these great memories, I have not always been the closest with my grandparents. I imagine it’s hard for them to keep tabs on all of their kids, grandchildren and even great grandchildren now, but over these past few years I have grown closer with them and I am very appreciative to have the relationship with them that I now have. Plus, Pap always tells me when I need my tires rotated now and informs me of any new dents that I've added to my car! But, I have the most loving family in the entire world and I'd be lost without them. I love you guys! –Lauren | granddaughter | I want to thank Del for taking the time (2.6 hours) to show me the standard operating procedures for the lower shower. Without his skills, ability and knowledge, I would probably stink. Carol, I've never had a real pumpkin pie until I tasted yours! You know I love my sweets, and man is that pie soooo good! Love, Sheldon
22: Once upon a time there were two people, a very slick and handsome young fellow and a sleek and beautiful young girl. They met, fell in love and decided to get married. This is where the real story begins. They had many beautiful and wonderfully talented children. They, however were given up for adoption and then they had us. (Except for me, I was one of the original children, you know the beautiful and wonderfully talented ones – yeah they kept me and to this day I am their favorite and now you know why.) I remember one of my more embarrassing moments was when I got into a fistfight with Jimmy Maddas (our neighbor) at about age eight. When Dad came out and pulled us apart he asked me what the fight was about. I told him Jimmy said I was flat chested and Daddy being Daddy was quick to proclaim, “But you are." Sometimes honesty is overrated! Mommy also had the great pleasure of breaking up one of my fist fights (I had a few and most were for Lori, Ha-ha). I was about 12 and I was fighting Lisa McDermot, another neighbor. Mom came down the street in the Volkswagon bus, promptly stopped at the corner and proceeded towards us. Now, you can imagine I was not paying any attention to my surroundings (other than Lisa) so when I looked up and saw her there I was shocked. I immediately stopped pummeling the girl and said hey I gotta go home. I can’t remember exactly what mom said to me, but I was at least glad I was winning. No but seriously, I can’t remember a time my parents weren’t there for me, and I mean ever. Of course, being a teenage girl is never easy, and in a big family it’s even harder to feel special. One of my fondest memories is turning 16. I was in school and I got called to the principal’s office. As I cautiously asked the secretary, "What am I here for?" She slowly brought a bouquet of 3 pink roses and baby’s breath from behind the counter and told me to read the card. It said,” Happy sweet sixteen, I love you, Daddy”. I will never forget that. It meant the world to me. As the years passed, there were many cheerleading fundraisers, in particular hoagie sales. Lori and I were good for NOT taking orders, but would still take 50 or more hoagies.
23: Mom would throw them in whatever car we had at the time and proceed to the nearest and busiest grocery store. There, we would stand for hours with our hoagie filled coolers until all were sold. Mom never complained, well not much, but that’s just the way she was with everything. Not only did my parents take good care of their children but others as well. There were many times that our house was opened to those who needed a safe haven, or just a place to call home. Somehow, with God’s help, they just made it work. That’s what is so special about my parents, they have always made things work; from their marriage, to raising a butt load of kids and now helping to raise their grandkids. They helped me raise Brittany and I am so thankful that they were able to provide her with a stable and loving environment when I did not. Even when Grandma Elaine was dying in the hospital my father, at a moments notice, drove me many hours to Buffalo, New York. My boyfriend at the time, Ron Russell, had been in a terrible car accident and was in critical condition. Fortunately my mother, being who she is, said go and I’ll take care of Brittany. My father stayed with me as long as he could, only leaving to be with his dying mother. Ron passed later that week, as did Grandma several weeks later. However, even with their own loss, my father and mother continued to be there to support me in my time of grief. I feel selfish now looking back on it. How hard that must have been for them, but it’s just a testament to who they are and what they’re willing to sacrifice for the ones they love. I was fortunate to find love again, and to have a husband that loves the Lord, but this too, was only because of the example my parents set for him. He was drawn to the love they had for a savior he knew nothing about. That’s what has constantly made them the center of so much and so many people’s lives. Their constant and abiding love for our Lord Jesus Christ has brought them through the loss of a child and loved ones, tremendous physical pain, life threatening surgery and more than a lifetime of hurt. They are my true heroes and I love them more than I could ever put into words. Thank you for all your love and support all of these years. I love you so very much. -Amy
24: My first experience with the Steelers was with Del and Carol. One minute Del was like, “Those bums, they stink!” The next minute, the Steelers have a 20 yard running play and they’re the greatest team ever! Meanwhile, Carol is in the background screaming like she’s being tortured! I came here a lukewarm Baltimore Colts fan and now I’m a true Black and Gold fan. Coming from a small family, I will never forget being introduced to a HUGE family, especially during the holidays. Those events were always hectic and comical. It was comical trying not to invade each others personal space when 30 people squeeze into 8 square feet of carpet to watch the kids open presents. The hectic part was my attempts to eat as much pie as possible before Del power housed the last one. But in all seriousness, at the core was the family that would do anything for each other, including inviting me into their house while Amy, Brittany and I tried to start constructing the framework for our own family. However, the greatest gift I received was an introduction to Jesus as more than just a name. From their example, I was shown a path to find the Lord and to the cornerstone of any well built family. Although it may not appear so all the time, I Love you both very much and I really appreciate everything you do for my family and I. Love, David
25: I love coming to their house! I remember that one time when me and Pappy went hiking in the woods. I like fixing things with him and riding his tractor! I like Pappy to bring me Sheetz coffee. That’s the best coffee I ever tasted! I like when Nin plays with me. She plays with me with my new Jeep. She tries to make me eat all of the time! I like your back porch at your house best because there is a lot of room to play. I Love you A LOT Nin and Pap! Love, Cooper You are the best grandparents ever! You are where my mom came from and I need my mom! I remember when you got me my WVU and Steelers PJ’s. They’re my favorite! Speaking of which, I’m wearing them right now! I remember when Nana introduced me to sugar. I came home and asked Mom if I could have some of that white stuff that Nana uses on Rice Crispies. I remember when Pap bought Cooper and me BB guns and took us outside to shoot. Pap was awesome. I like when Pap brings us coffee from Sheetz. I love you guys, and you’re the best grandparents in the world! Love, Ethan P.S. I need new PJ’s. I’m growing out of mine.
26: When I sit down and think of the memories I have of my grandparents, I'm overwhelmed with emotions. First of all, let me start off by saying just how much I love the both of you. From the day I was born, you not only showed me what wonderful grandparents should be like, but what wonderful parents are like as well. You played such an enormous role in raising me and I could not be more thankful to you for that. I am so lucky to be blessed with such an amazing support system as a family. When I think of my favorite memories of Grandma, I think of the fact that she was always thinking of new and inventive ways to keep me occupied! I can honestly say that I was very rarely bored as a child at her house. Whether we were coloring sand, making scrapbooks from magazine cutouts, polishing rocks or playing Frogger, or as she would call it, “The game where you have to make the turtle cross the street without getting smooshed”, we always had such a fun time doing it! My friends always loved coming to my house because she was always feeding us! Chicken noodle soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were usually on the menu because that’s all I would eat back then! I can remember one time when I was pretty young that she REALLY freaked me out!! She was taking a nap upstairs, and I, of course, wanted to wake her up! I walked up the stairs and into her room and there was this horrible noise coming out of her nose!! I thought maybe she sucked a bug up in there while you were sleeping or something, so I woke her up with a, “Grandma, Grandma!! Your nose is doing something!” Turns out she was just snoring. This makes me think of my most favorite thing about her! HER LAUGH!! I can say that she, without a doubt, has the most CONTAGEOUS laugh on the face of the planet. I like to call it “The Carol Cackle.” Whenever she starts laughing, I just can’t help myself but to imitate her knowing that it’s going to make her laugh even harder, eventually resulting in her running for the bathroom! She is just full of life! She's kind, nurturing, dependable and all of those things that make up a strong woman. I mean, she has to be strong to put up with a family like ours. There’s no time for mercy or weakness when it comes to the Sepkovic clan! When I think of my most favorite memories of Pap, I think of going to Stickles. I was his“Right hand man.” I loved going anywhere with him because any time spent with
27: my Pap, was the best time! Heck, I even enjoyed going on “Poop Patrol!” Who else can say that actually sounds like any fun? I LOVE the way he whistles. It’s beautiful! No one whistle’s like him. I can pick it out from the complete opposite side of Wal Mart. Ohhh, of course, camping comes to mind! I used to LOVE camping and sleeping in the black van (which was held together with duct tap, GENIUS!) I remember him and Tommy Karpiak battling over who could cover more of their site with tarps. One time in particular, I remember him being up in a rather tall pine tree, tying off one large blue tarp. The next thing we know, he had his arms and legs wrapped around the tree and he was sliding down it (OUCH!) That didn’t stop him though! He was right back up in that tree 5 minutes later. That’s one thing that I admire most about him. He is so determined (and often times, stubborn.) To me, he seems almost invincible. As a child, there was nothing that my Pap couldn’t do, and I still think that way of him. He always has a huge smile on his face! It’s infectious! Even at the most low times in his life, when he was so very sick, he always smiled and somehow managed to be a stable force to our family. I can say that without a doubt, there is no one that I look up to more. Seeing him go through his surgery and being so strong through it all, was humbling and made me admire him that much more. I’m sure that has so much to do with how strong he is in his faith! Thank you for always instilling that upon me. Thank you both for always being there for me and supporting me throughout the years, even when my decisions weren’t always the best ones. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and never giving up on me. Thank you for loving Cooper as if he is your own, just like you did for me. Lastly, thank you for just being you. I couldn’t ask for better grandparents! You both mean more to me than you will ever know! I Love You! –Brittany
28: I was in 1st grade and things were changing in my life. For the first time in my young life, I no longer had the comfort of my best friend and brother with me in my classroom. I knew things were going to be different, but nothing could prepare me for what I was going to experience. I entered into my classroom and met probably the most hateful teacher I have ever had. It was a difficult time for me and I was very emotional about being apart from Matthew. It could have been an opportunity for my teacher to be compassionate and understanding of my situation, but she was not. She would actually pick on me and call me a cry baby. I even remember her on the playground with another teacher making comments. It came to a point where I feared her and it was affecting me to the point where I would be sick and have stomach issues. I was telling my mom and dad that I was sick every day to avoid going to school. After this occurred multiple times, my hero stepped in. I remember | walking into the woods with my dad at my side. He was walking with a rather large walking stick and we continued on to the top of the large field behind our house. I remember that I was home from school that day because my stomach was upset. My dad and I sat at the top of the field in the grass and we talked about what I was going through. He prayed with me and said that he was going to take care of things. I remember walking down the hallway to my 1st grade room, to Mrs. Baker’s room. It was the last room in the school and it seemed like the longest walk I had ever taken. It was ok though, because I had my dad by my side. See my dad had taken me to school and made up his mind that he was going to have a meeting with Mrs. Baker and my principal. I remember sitting in my seat and Mrs. Baker, Mr. White and my father going into the hallway. I knew at that point that I was going to be ok. I was moved into Matthew’s class that week and although it was only temporary, his teacher did give me that compassion and understanding that allowed me to recover. If it wasn’t for my dad, who knows how much more pain I would have endured from that teacher. I love you Dad! -Mark
29: I remember when I was a small child; one of my favorite things was when my mom would rub my belly. I remember feeling so close to her and feeling so secure. My mom would sing or hum while she was doing it and I would drift off into space. She is caring and loving, most of the time! See, once I recall a monster coming into the bedroom. It had a smashed in face and it had some sort of tail coming out of its head. I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. I screamed for my mom. The monster started taking off his face and come to find out, it was not a monster but my mother with a pair of panty hose on her head. I still remember the terror. When she was done laughing, she hugged me and made it all better. You could always pick mom out in a crowd. She had her unique whistle that you could hear from at least a mile away. She also has a very unique and distinct laugh. One of the best laughs I have ever heard. Cackling Carol!! Also, when I wrestled, I could always hear my mom cheering over anyone else and that always made me feel good inside. She didn’t know the moves but she sure could get into my head. My mother is also one of the best cooks. She could literally make something delicious out of nothing. No eggs? Use mayonnaise. Powdered milk and flour would end up into a gourmet meal. I miss those days because it really taught me to appreciate the small things and to not sweat the big things. There are so many memories and I could go on and on. We did not have much growing up but we had unconditional love and that is the greatest thing that my mother ever gave me. I love you mom!! -Mark | Our Son
30: Dear Del: I always enjoy your visits. Hearing you roll up the street on your Harley always gets the kiddos excited because “Pappy’s Here!” I know you need the parking spot in the garage where you can clean the day’s road dirt off your bike. I know you will harass our cats after everybody else goes to bed. I also know that if I smell something burning at 4:00 a.m. it is not the house, but you making toast in the middle of the night. Our casual visits and conversations on the porch with a cup of coffee will always be warm memories of time spent with you. Thanks for being such a kind, loving and generous father and grandfather. Love, Traci Dear Carol: When I met Mark one of the first things he told me about you was that he loves your cooking! I enjoy the times we sit and look over cookbooks and talk about different recipes, and the ingredients you add to make everything extra special. I believe that when a woman prepares a meal for her family she is showing them how much they mean to her and how much she loves them. It is obvious you have a lot of love for your family, and cooking is just one of many ways you have shown them that love. Love, Traci
31: Dear Pappy Del & Grandma Carol: We love when you visit and love spending time with you back there and at your house. We remember riding the red wagon down the hill at the back of your house and how much fun we had and how much you laughed! We miss you and wish we could see you more. Love, Brady & Alison
32: As I sit down to write about a few memories of Mom and Dad, I think back through the years about how my mother and father have affected and molded my life. Growing up in big family, we didn’t have a lot, but we had every thing that we needed. I remember my mom beating up some type of red meat for an extended period of time. She called it “steak.” She could start with a six-inch block of “steak”, and 30 minutes later, it was 36 inches of “Rilla Drive Strip.” My mom was always the best at substituting the necessary ingredients with whatever was in the pantry, aka “the shelf on the wall going to the basement.” Tuna fish and beef broth could turn into a feast! It was great living in a big family, despite the fact that we did not have a lot. We shared, handed down and reused. It was the best. I especially loved wearing Lori’s shoes! (Janelle claims I secretly loved it!) I looked more feminine in those shoes than Lori did. (That was not a challenge considering Lori was thought to be a boy until she was 17.) I also wore Amy’s jeans. Guys could wear Jordache, right?? My mom actually called the school before the 6th grade dance to inform them that I was not violating the suggested dress code for the day. She let them know that I was wearing my “dress jeans.” They were ironed with a firm vertical crease, and had 6-inch cuffs, but they were formal. Then Scott started giving us all of his Polo swag. Well, we actually just started wearing it when he wasn’t around. Vacations, well who doesn’t want to travel 8 hours with 23 people in a VW bus? People gave us the “You guys know Woodstock is over?” looks! All jokes aside, I would not change any of it! You are the best parents a child could have! We had more memories than many people could only dream of.
33: Mom and Dad made a lot of sacrifices for us. I remember leaving for college and Dad saying to Mark and me that we needed to be leaders for the Gospel, and not to be followers to the wrong people. Although at that time I may have failed him on this advice, it sticks with me now. Dad used to get up every morning with me and Mark and read from the bible. To this day I try to do that with my kids. The patience Mom and Dad had in dealing with 8 children who fought over the dumbest things, from Mark and I fighting over who got to lay on the floor of the green truck on the way to Ohio, to letting them know, “Surprise! You are going to be grandparents!.... again!” Dad singing at the Rapp Christmas parties was always a treat. I felt in a small way like he was Merit Manor’s Harry Connick Jr.! Mom had an unbelievable ability to take care of all of us, never thinking of herself. On the rare times she sat down to watch any televised sporting events, we would find a reason to interrupt her. And like always, she got up and met our needs, regardless of how simple. We slept through alarm clocks, but could hear her whistle from Johnson Lane! I think you two should be proud! Look how great I turned out! I am so successful that I can buy lunch meat that I can’t see through! I am sad that Hostess went under! It was nice to be able to eat more than one Twinkie per day! Even though Mark and I got all the special “treats” saved for us because we were the TWINS. I got a little extra because I was a working man by 16 and carried a “bucket.” You did a great job! Your words and guidance took a little longer to stick for some of us, but in the grand scheme, mission accomplished! It makes me so happy that we have been blessed to spend another Christmas together! Here is to many more! I love you both more than anything! Thank you for all that you have done! Matt
34: When I think about my grandparents, I wonder how they kept us all straight. Eight children, way too many grandchildren to count and now even a few great grandchildren! Despite the chaos and commotion, they always managed to make us all feel special to them in some unique way. One of my favorite parts of elementary school was riding the bus to and from Grandma and Pappy’s house. I remember Grandma waiting by the door with me to see the bus turning the corner. She would rush me out the door and say “Lord watch over you!” every single day, and I always cherished that. I remember playing cards with her and Brittany after school some days, and one of our favorite games to play with Grandma was “Bullcrap.” And if you know Grandma and Pappy, you know you do not say “crap” in their house. But, that was the one time we were allowed to say it, and we would yell it with such emphasis, and she would cackle every time! I think my all time favorite memory of Pappy is riding with him in that little red wagon at Deep Creek. I especially loved when he garbed himself in a kettle and tablecloth cape while everyone watched him speed down! Before Pappy left to go to the hospital a few months ago, I came over to see him and tell him that I love him. He was obviously cleaning the car with a fine-tooth comb, but he took time to talk to me about God and how important it is to marry someone with a strong faith in Jesus.
35: He began by saying, “That boy you’re marrying, is he a Christian?” I said, “Of course he is, Pappy.” Not only did this conversation bring me closer to Pappy, but it also brought Shane and myself even closer to God. I am so grateful for that. These are only a few of the special memories I have with Grandma and Pappy. There are some I can’t even put into words, like the wonderful smell of their house and how the noise and chaos was one of the best parts of every Christmas Eve for me. Thank you so much for being such wonderful, loving grandparents to all of us. I love you so very much. Kinley Every time I would go to Gram and Pap's, I would always play the most intense game of Trouble. I always loved seeing Gram laugh so hard! We would play for hours! It was always something I looked forward to when I went to their house. Love, Sydney
36: On a warm summer evening my Mom , Aunt Veta, Cousin Darlene, Cousin Bobby, DeDe (to the rest of you, Del ) and I were walking home to Bunker Hill from Orient after visiting our Grandfather Sepkovic. I was about 7 and my brother DeDe was 9. It was a very dark night and of course, there were no streetlights. As we walked along the dark road, the path along the road where I was walking suddenly disappeared and I found myself in a deep wet dark hole. I was crying and screaming. It was so dark that I could not see. I was terrified. Without hesitation, or regard for his own safety, my brother jumped into that deep dark hole, not knowing what might happen to him, to rescue me. To this very day I remember it like it was yesterday, and that is why he has always been my Hero and I love him with all my heart. Love, Janet My earliest real memory of Delbert occurred when I was around 3 years old. I was crying because I wanted my mom to carry me out to the car but she was already carrying 1 year-old Karen and couldn’t pick me up too. Daddy told her to leave me because I was big enough to walk myself. But, my big brother came to my rescue, picking me up and carrying me out to Mommy. As he held me, I actually remember looking at him and knowing as he carried me that he is my big brother and I felt good inside. Of course, he rescued me only after he stood outside the door mocking me and making me cry harder. Nevertheless, he was there for me and has been ever since. There are countless more memories that flood my mind and heart. I remember how excited we were when he found that wagon we all played with for years, the wagon that made it so much easier when we used it to haul groceries from the Company Store.
37: I remember him, just a kid, all-the-time cleaning around the house. When some boys were agitating us girls and wouldn’t let us play baseball on the field by the peach tree, I remember Karen threatening Vince Kerosky that she was going to get her big brother after them. We all looked up to him and trusted him to protect us and be there for us. My mind runs through a barrage of coming-of-age moments as Del grew up. Like the time Dr. Carpenter had to come because my brother had alcohol poisoning. Perhaps, that one is amusing only to me. Or, maybe his incessant need to agitate rubbed off on me a bit. Nevertheless, I’ll move on. Eventually, he joined the Navy and left us. I hated when he was gone and I hated worrying about him hitchhiking home. But, boy, did we all think he was handsome in that sailor’s uniform. Not long after, he brought Carol into our lives. Carol was so pretty and I felt that she really connected with us, right off. We all liked how nice she was to all of us. She was like another sister, not a sister-in-law. Her kids always came first; she was such a good mom and she made a happy house. When I think of her, I always see her laughing. We had so many good times at Bible studies in that house. I was always excited to go to hear Del’s teachings. I loved his teachings. He followed in Uncle George’s footsteps in trying to lead us all to the Lord. I remember his great candle illustration he shared with me when he prayed for me to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We had so many good times at the Rapp. Jesus 76 was such a great memory, too. And, hearing my brother sing is particularly precious to my heart. That’s something I’ve missed over the years. I, we all, see Del as a strong personality; our handsome, big brother we are all so proud of. I know I can always depend on him and I have a great love for both Del and Carol. I’ll make myself stop here because my tears are gushing at all these wonderful memories. To the point that I’ve got Lisa’s eyes welling up now, as well, and I need her to type this for me so I can get it to Brittany in time. God bless you both. All my love, your sister, Donna
38: When I think of Del and Carol together, I always go back to Ohio when I would come out to spend a few weeks during the Summer. They were crazy! Water battles, running through the house tossing water at each other (Of course, myself and the kids would get involved until Carol would make the mistake of running outside where Del would drench her with the hose). She never learned! SMILE! I remember the red convertible and the ride back to Pennsylvania, where Pepper couldn't take the family anymore and jumped out of the car window, never to be seen again. I'm sure he lived a long happy life... I remember babysitting for them while Carol was in the hospital having Scott. I cooked like my Mom, a lot of one thing. I made probably 200 pancakes for Wendy, Robin and Jeff. They each ate one, so we rolled them into jelly rolls and they ate them all up!!! The drag racing was my best ever memory! I loved that 55 Studebaker! Del, I know I gave those pictures back to you because you wouldn't let go of them! You came with me to show that friend of mine the pictures and talked to him about your car. See, I'm younger and have a better memory. Anyways, being on the pit side of a drag racing event was the best! And yes, Carol drove in the powder puff! If it wasn't for Del, she probably would have been a Biker Chick!! Carol’s wonderful 10 lb meatballs and potato salad will go down in history! Del, your constant perfectionism was just the accumulation of the early gene pool of two perfectionists. By the time it got to the last two and me, that gene was all used up. Lucky you! I Love you two! Always have and always will! Your Dear Sister, Starla Aunt Carol, thanks for making me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when you watched me that afternoon when I was around nine years old.
39: Even though, at the time, I was shocked that you fed me something that came in a sand bucket, I appreciate it now that I’m grown up. And, thanks for helping my mom to hold towels around me so I could bathe without everybody seeing me in that open-style bathhouse at Jesus 76. Uncle Del, thanks for not flicking me in the back of the head when I declined the little bags of Frito Lay’s chips you used to offer me from the back of your truck because I liked Pringles better. And, though I didn’t come down to the water when you first told me to, thanks for baptizing me anyway. Visiting your house was always fun because you gave us so many cousins to play with. We loved coming there on Halloween. It was almost as good as Christmas morning. Piling in the Volkswagon Bus and traveling to Jesus festivals was great. And, though I don’t like camping, you are the only people I would recommend doing it with. Aunt Carol’s delicious breakfasts and Uncle Del’s freshly swept dirt floors! Who needs a hotel or a Winnebago? I owe everything I know about Jesus to Uncle Delbert’s teachings and the solid example of a Christian walk you both set.Though I wish it weren’t so, sometimes it is that example I have to make myself remember as I try to hold on to the faith that this world’s cares have a great way of trying to steal. God will surely say to you both that you’ve run the race well. Thank you! I’ll always remember Aunt Carol’s heartfelt laugh and Uncle Del’s twinkling eyes. Thank you both for all your prayers and love and concern for me and for all of our family. We pray God always keeps you safe in His abundant care. Love, Sean, Lisa and Sean Tyler
40: Del and Carol, the couple with all the children up the street. Through the years as we got to know them, our children became very close and they were always at each other's houses. Del and Carol had a house that was loud and full of family and friends. You were always welcome there. It may have been loud, but it was fun and you knew you were loved when you visited. Del was a big influence on my boys, which is something I was always thankful for! There are so | many memories, but one of my favorite memories was when Del came to Red Lion for the Harley Davidson Fall Ride. He and Whitey got to ride their Harley's in the event. I know how much it meant to Whitey, and I know Del enjoyed himself too. Del and Carol are a couple that are very blessed. They are blessed with children who adore and love them and respect them for the wonderful people they are. Yes, you both are blessed but you have also blessed so many over the years. With much love, Marty Stepanic I have so many fond memories of 212 Rilla Drive. It was truly my second home and a gathering place for fun times. The garage door was always open and there was always someone there. I will always remember returning from The Woods as a child and sitting at the kitchen table drinking iced tea; rummaging through the refrigerator when no one was looking to find some food; the cackling laughter of Carol because one of the twins was being goofy; using the neighbor’s water meter as a target for BB guns and having the state police show up; watching TV and playing the drums in the basement; making pipe bombs in the garage; making our first of many satirical videos in the back yard; and so many others. When my father passed away, Del came quickly to console me for hours.Thank you for treating me like family and introducing me to the true meaning of Christianity! Love, Jeff
41: When you first contacted me to write about a great memory spent with the Sepkovic family, I thought to myself, there were so many how could I possibly pick one over the other? When I hear people talk about how great their childhood was I just have to laugh because there is no way anybody could have had a better childhood than what my brother Jeff and I had. We were fortunate enough to grow up down the street from the Sepkovic household where I am still in contact with the two other brothers I grew up with. I was probably at the Sepkovic house more than I was at my own. Every morning when I woke up, Jeff and I would jump on our bikes and ride up to Mark and Matt’s house. I would walk through the side door, without knocking of course, and go right to the refrigerator and help myself to whatever delicious food Carol had made. As I was eating, we'd talk about what we were going to do that day. Would we go up in the woods and hang out, would we make a bicycle track or maybe just ride around the neighborhood? One of the things I will always remember was the fact that Del and Carol always treated me like one of the family and I WANT TO THANK YOU BOTH FOR THAT. I had heard someone once say the Sepkovic house is a crazy house. There is always somebody fighting or arguing at that place, it’s insane there. I don’t know if I was more part of the family than I realized but I never noticed it. They say the most important things in life are God, friends, family, good humor and a positive attitude towards life. I have to say, I found all of these things at the Sepkovic house. Out of all those things, I realized that if it wasn’t for Del, with the help of Mark and Matt of course, talking to me about the importance of having Jesus Christ in my life there’s no telling how I would have ended up. One of my favorite quotes from the bible is Jeremiah 29 vs 11. "For I know the Plan I have for you, Declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." Thank goodness one of his plans was to grow up near the Sepkovic’s! -Cajetan
42: I have many childhood memories that include the Sepkovic family. There was not a better place to grow up than in the "Manor." Some of my favorite memories are Carol's meals. I was not a family member by blood, by I sure was by love. She always made enough for me which was a pretty big deal considering the amount of people she was already feeding. Even if she did not have much in the cupboard, she managed to make the greatest meal. I would purposely make sure I just happened to be at her house when it was time for dinner. She always made me feel like a part of the family and I will treasure that. I spent | as much time at her house as I did at my own house. This even included my brothers. We all had so much fun playing in the back yard or the woods behind her house. Carol would call us all out of the woods for lunch and a cold drink. She was a mother to all of us!!!!!!!! Also, one of my favorite times was Amy and I trying to get ready and make it to the bus on time when we were in high school. I do not know why it was so hard for us, but we could not make it to the bus on time and sure enough, every morning Amy and I would call each other to see if the other one missed the bus. We would try to figure out who we were going to beg to drive us to school. It was either my mom or Del. Each one would graciously take us, first with a little talk about being responsible and getting up in time to make the bus. I am not kidding when I say that Amy and I were late to school almost every day. Needless to say, Del and my mom got pretty sick of driving us to school every day. They would even threaten to make us walk if we were late. Well, one morning I hear my mom beg me to please make the bus because she was sick and not able to drive us. I know I really tried but sure enough, I heard the bus go down the hill and panic set in. I called Amy and my dear friend did not leave without me. She too did not make the bus. Well, I explained to her that my mom was really sick and could she ask if her dad could please take us to school. I do not remember where he had to be that morning but he had to change around his plans to take us to school. I know he could have killed us but we never got out of the car at school without a "Have a good day and I love you!" The front office already had our late passes written out for us each day, assuming that we would be late.
43: I think the final count was 80 some tardies. I do not know how we got away with that. I could go on forever with wonderful memories of my times with Del and Carol. I enjoy telling them now to my children. I know that time has gone by so fast and I do not get to see them as much as I would like but do know that they are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Dawn Stepanic Pasquinelli We watched this dump truck come up Rilla Dr. It backed into the driveway at 212 Rilla. First this skinny guy got out. Then, about eighteen or twenty kids, and each kid had an animal, cat or dog. Little did we know they were our new neighbors, "The Sepkovics". That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted almost forty years.They are like family. We have shared many laughs and many tears. We wouldn't change a thing. We sure love Carol and the Bandit'o, and all the kids and grandkids. Love the Degos across the street, Linda & Tony | Curt and I are blessed to have known you both for the 6 years we lived in PA. We are grateful you are home and doing well Del! Take good care of yourself. We miss you and the family. Curt & Laurie | Del and Carol, As Maya Angelou put it “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Thank you both for making us feel like your family. We are blessed to have you in our lives! Love, The Przybylinski Family
44: I remember the time that I attended Wednesday night Bible Study with Del and Amy in Hopwood. Del married Jessica and me in Morgantown at the Hotel Morgan. He came to the hospital in Morgantown on two different occasions to pray for my mother when she was ill. God completely healed her, nothing short of a miracle each time. One doctor said seeing Del and I praying for my mother at the foot of her bed and the immediate results that occurred each time within several hours, convinced him that God is real and he was a strong believer from that moment on. He gave me a book called Maximizing Manhood. He can really give it to Scott when he wants to. -Timmy Coombs | Brother Del, it’s great to see that you still have both feet on the ground! God Bless you my friend. I remember the day Carol tackled me in the driveway. I called her Ernie Holmes! This was in 1977. -Dale Tressler | Carol and Del are awesome people. They always welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was part of the family growing up. I’m blessed to have known them! Tricia Galley Penwell
45: We have so many good memories of Pastor Del & Carol, especially those from camping with them at Deep Creek. Roy said he can remember having the park rangers coming by to keep Carol under control! Ha-ha. We always had such a good time with you all! But spiritually, they were like our Spiritual Mom & Dad! We looked up to them so much! I can remember the first Christmas party I went to that they were at, and I was sick & Pastor Del prayed for me. Then I felt better. That made such an impact on my spiritual life, because I never had experienced anything like that before! We love you Pastor Del & Carol!!! Love, Roy & Kathy Thayer Del and Carol, You have both been such an inspiration and wonderful influence on both George and I, along with our kids. We are so very honored to have been a small part of your lives over all of these years. And Del, a fond memory of you flying down the hill in your red checkered cape, helmet (soup pot) and little red wagon at Deep Creek. This was one of the memories that still makes me laugh! I can still see in my mind's eye! We love you both so much! Vonnie and George The memory that is most dear to me is the first time I met Del and Carol. Carol was way too hungry and Del, well I just didn’t know what to make of him. He was preaching and preaching and preaching, but the only thing I heard him say was that if you open the door to your heart just a little bit, that Jesus will come in and later that night He did. That was the start of a lifetime of memories with the two best people on Earth. So, God bless you two and keep you. Judy and I both love you. Now, wasn’t that sweet of me? I’ll bet you guys thought that I would only say embarrassing things or make fun of Del’s arms, but I didn’t! Ha-ha. Love, Tom & Judy
46: Del and Carol, Although we only served with you as an associate pastor for a brief year and a half, we have very fond memories. You both have shown genuine love that is unmistakable and unmatched within the body of Christ. We have been blessed to have you in our life. Over the years, you have taught us many things such as: Grace-God's divine enablement and you don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect. I am forever grateful and praise our Father for you and your love to the saints. Del, your embrace is so Father like. Just the way you pull one's head in close is amazing. We love you both and are very blessed to have known you and to have experienced your love. We have happy memories over the past 20 years. One of our favorites is the Deep Creek camping experience and seeing the "Ride of Fame" Del going down the hill in the wagon with his cape. That is priceless. Thank you for being such a valuable part of our life. May you both be abundantly blessed! Joe and Louanne Helms Pastor Del and Carol, I can't find the words to express what you have meant to me. The fun memories of camping with pastor Del and his soup pot on his head, while flying down the hill at Deep Creek Lake campground in the little red wagon, watching the two of you unpack ALL of your camping equipment to packing it ALL back up again and testing that old black van year after year to see if it would make the trip just one more time, to the times Carol and I shared at the clothing ministry, and so many others.
47: Thank you for the many times you both prayed with me and for me. Thank you for being patient with me all those years ago when my world seemed to be falling down around me. God gave me strength and an unshakable faith that the two of you have been part of. Ms. Carol, I STILL say that you are the best cook in the world!! I want to thank both of you for being my friend, and for added quality to my life. Lotsa love, Lauren Atkins I had just come to know Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord in the Fall of 1972. I was working at Fox's Hardware Store on South Pittsburgh. Street in Connellsville. I was so in love with Jesus and had been radically changed and set free. I was telling everyone that I would see about Jesus. One day, this man came into the hardware store and said "I hear someone working here loves Jesus!" I was so thrilled to see that there was someone like me that I quickly responded, "It's me!" And that's how I met Del Sepkovic. And our relationship has grown over these many years, even the opportunity to serve the Lord together. I will always be grateful for the way that Del and Carol really love and care for people. They have inspired me and my family, and I know many others, to continue to "grow in the grace and revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." May the Lord richly bless them. Mark and Ginger Van Bibber | Our Church Family
48: Pastor Del has been a blessing to our whole family and of course I've known him since I was a little girl. And yes, I will always call him "Pastor Del" because that's who he is to me. That's not a title or a position that he holds, it's who he is. Someone who cares for, leads, guides and shepherds others, and for that I am grateful! I have a few memories to share. Anytime I would be in a grocery store and hear someone whistling a happy little tune, it was usually Pastor Del. So keep on whistling and singing and let that joy and praise come out! After my husband Chris got saved, we were attending home group meetings at George & Vonnie's house, which Pastor Del was leading. So, he was very instrumental in giving Chris those foundations of faith, what a blessing! My fondest memory, though, is that Pastor Del was one of three ministers who performed our wedding ceremony. He was the first one to speak and say, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" and then he shared a few things from his heart about Chris and I. He had both of us crying (and I'm sure many others) and we were only a few minutes into the ceremony! I was trying so hard to keep my composure but after that I probably cried the whole way through it all, happy tears though! We were blessed and honored to have such a special man be part of our wedding day and that was almost 15 years ago! Thank you! Carol, you are one of the best cooks I know. I always loved your food and I don't think you ever made anything that didn't taste delicious! Mom and I were thinking about other memories of the two of you and we remembered one about Pastor Del. You always talked about watching Little House on the Prairie. That was one of our favorite shows and we just think it is great that you would watch it and love it as well! I have known you both since I was a little girl so you have definitely had an impact on my life. Even though we don't see each other as much anymore, you both had a part in shaping and molding me into the person I am today and I thank you for that! To me, you are an example of many things; faith, family, strength, dedication and love. To know some of the hardships you have walked through in life is humbling, and yet so inspirational, because you never gave up! May God continue to bless you both with His abundant love and grace. Praying for good days and long life for both of you! Love you! -Kirsten
49: Dear Gram, Dear Pap, I can not believe it has been 8 years since I saw you last. The last time was Christmas 2004 during my two weeks vacation. It has been too long! Though, I have some memories, which feel like they are just from yesterday! I remember being a shy girl who could not open up that fast, but especially YOU BOTH made me feel comfortable right away. I felt at home. The smell when I entered your home, the food, you Gram cooked for us, you guys picking us up to school, having breakfast at McDonalds and of course the love, warmth and patience you gave me, a teenager, a total stranger. The only time in my life I experienced having grandparents, was with you. Once, there was this little but scary car accident. Pap, you drove there right away and we were so happy to see you. The hug you gave us. I will never forget the comfort and safety it gave me. Thank you, for GIVING me this beautiful experience. I learned so much. Thank you, for doing that without any expectations. I honor that. Thank you, for being my grandparents. I hope it will stay like that forever. Hope to see you soon! I LOVE YOU! Your Gerkish granddaughter, Pinar P.S. Pap, I remember you telling me that when you were in Turkey the women had unshaved legs! I just wanted to make sure you know now, they shave their legs! Ha-ha! All of the time I spent at the Sepkovic’s, made it feel like my second family. I even got used to the loudness of everyone’s “discussions” and watching TV in the basement with continuous washing & drying of laundry. I know, from being there so much, that I was getting close to them when even Del would yell at me when I got out of line.I know with everything that went on, that everyone cared deeply for each other. I know Del & Carol did this for everyone around them and I feel lucky to have been part of this. Merry Christmas. Love, Jerre
51: Grandfather Neighbor | Father Aunt Sister | Grandmother Brother | Mother Friend Uncle | I hope that by reading this book, you realize how much you're loved and cherished by your family and friends. You've both had such a strong, positive impact on all of our lives and I just wanted you to know that. We Love You both more than words can describe! Merry Christmas Gram & Pap! Love, Britt & Cooper 2012