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My Passion

Marlene Stahley

In 1992 Mr. Lenard Pera’s wife contacted French Creek School. She was looking for school pictures of her husband who moved to Coombs in 1941 and attended FCS for two years. There was one binder of old pictures (from Norma Antrim’s collection) and Lenard’s class photo was not in the binder. Along with long-time resident Sharon Cox Gustavson I began collecting Coombs historical photos. We spent the better part of one year visiting homes, writing letters and making phone calls to past students and their families. We created two binders of student class photos and community pictures. At French Creek School’s 90th birthday celebration, the pictures and Sharon’s memorabilia were displayed on the gym walls. In 2011 Sharon opened the Coombs Museum. My passion for the Coombs history started as a simple request from a former student. Lenard passed away shortly after the 90th picnic and because of failing health was unable to attend the school celebration. His days spent at French Creek School stayed with him throughout his lifetime and he was able to enjoy pictures and mementos mailed to him during his final days. This one small request grew into a large amount of historical pictures, artifacts and family stories that will be enjoyed by many for years to come. My square is dedicated to Lenard Pera and all of the children and families who have shared their pictures and stories of their time at French Creek School.

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