Testing Your Holy Name Memory

OK my fellow Holy Namers and Duquesners, time to dust off some grade school memories!

I received the following question from one of our blog’s readers and need your help. I vaguely remember her grandfather’s name, but the part about the apartment threw me. Can anyone help Joanne? If so, please leave your comments and memories.


I have been reading your blog for a long time.  I wondered if you remembered Edward and Gladys Byrne.  I believe that Edward was the janitor of Holy Name and I also think that they lived upstairs of the school (or church) in an apartment.  They were my grandparents, but my grandfather died when I was a little girl and I do not remember him that much.  My grandmother and uncles lived in Duquesne all their lives and I am very familiar with the streets and some of the merchants you talk about.  I think some of them went to Holy Name school and you may remember them.  Please let me know.  Thank you very much.

Joanne Belin

This entry was posted in Church and School - Holy Name, Feedback From Our Friends, Parents. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Testing Your Holy Name Memory

  1. Elaine Smith Cline says:

    The picture of the school sure brought back memories…..those truly were the good old days
    Just saw a picture of my brother Tom on the back of the school steps,with many others that I have known growing up and going to Holy Name School

  2. Sally Cusick Brown says:

    I remember a man named “Mr. Franks” that I thought lived on the top floor of the school. He was a very thin and gaunt looking man. I believe he was the janitor. I always felt so sorry for him because he seemed so sad. Today we would look at him and think he was a homeless man. RIP dear Mr. Franks.

    • Colleen Byrne Travis says:

      He did live on the top floor of the school in the 50’s.

    • Larry McConnell says:

      Hi Sally
      I attended HN from 51/52? to 59. I remember Mr. Franks very well. When he passed away George Burgman took over but he didn’t live there, Mr. Franks did. I remember Mr. Franks did quite a good job. He must have had more stamina than he appeared to. Those two were the only two I saw in the 50s.

  3. Joanne Belin says:

    Colleen, thank you. Wow what history you know. You
    Got my family named right. I remember you but not too well
    I remember Aunt Monica. My grandmother was a nurses’ aide
    At McKeesport Hospital. Yes, I agree we do have bad genes! Hope you are
    well and thanks for replying. It was fun reading it all.


  4. Ellie Ivory Kovacs says:

    I attended Holy Name school from 1946-1950. A man and his son lived on the third floor of the school. I believe the man was the janitor.

  5. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Jim, You wouldn’t remember any of this. I am your age and the only reason I know is because I heard of it through the years. They were relatives. My father would be 100 years old this coming January and Joanne’s grandfather was much older!

  6. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Joanne, You are right! After Holy Name High School closed, the third floor became an apartment for the janitor and his family. I think your grandparents lived there in the 40’s. Several janitors lived there before and after the Byrne family. When I was a little girl, there was a janitor named Pete who lived in that apartment. Then, we had a janitor named George. He didn’t live there. Your grandfather was my father’s brother. We called your grandfather “Uncle Speed”.
    My dad was your mother, Dorothy’s “Uncle Jim”. My mother was Erna. My older brothers were Tom and Pat. Pat passed away in March ’12. I remember your grandparents, well. I was a little girl when they died. Your grandmother was always dressed so well. I think she was a nurse at McKeesport Hospital. I remember them living on Ferndale and then that big house in the same area of Duquesne. Your grandfather was much older than my father. Aunt Monica was between my dad and Uncle Pat. Your sister, Beverly spent a lot of time at our house. She was Pat’s age. I could go on and on!!! Mary Agnes, Dorothy, Johnny, Eddie, and Jimmy. My first cousins who had children older than me. Of course, I remember you, your sisters and your little brother, Paul. And, in the family were THREE Sisters of Saint Joseph. Your grandfather and my dad’s first cousins. Sister Geraldine-Landers, Sister Daria Culshaw and Sister Benedicta (Theresa) Culshaw. WHAT FUN!!!!! P.S. Take care of yourself, we have BAD genes!

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