My mother was the heart of the family and obtained her Master’s Degree as an adult student to teach at St. Benedict Academy and Academy High School. My father attended Strong Vincent, and was a letter carrier, rising to the #2 position at the Postal Service during his career.
I also have two sisters. Mary Anne is three years older and has become the family historian. Helene is 4 years younger and is a Rocket Scientist (PhD in Fluid Mechanics from Cal Tech). Neither spent their adult life in Erie, but we have always kept in very close touch.
As a boy, I attended Irving Elementary and Sacred Heart Grade School. My high school years were spent in Saint Mark’s Seminary, where I studied to become a priest…and discovered basketball! I loved everything about the game, but especially the teamwork it required, and still treasure the Most Valuable Player and Sportsmanship trophies I received.
Leaving the seminary was the most difficult decision of my life, and it was not made lightly. But it was time. I went on to complete my degree at Gannon College and that’s where I met my future wife, Rhonda Mahoney, who was a student at Mercyhurst College.
After receiving a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Dayton, I took a job teaching at Elk County Christian in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania because Monsignor John Hagerty thought I would make a good teacher. To this day, it’s something I still love to do with students of all ages!
When I came back to Erie, I began my banking career as a teller. During the evenings, after my daytime shift, I studied to complete a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Gannon.