Saint Mary's Home of Erie, PA

2018 Ageless Remarkable Erieite Honorees

Loretta Baran, Ronald DiVecchio and Janet Krack were honored with an Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award on Thursday, September 13th, during the 2018 Saint Mary's Follies. The Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award recognizes seniors age 75 and older who have remained active in our Erie community, sharing their gifts and talents in selfless service to others. Honorees have a zest for life that is contagious and serve as an inspiration for all who call Erie home.

Loretta Baran

Loretta Baran, affectionately known as “Miss Loretta” by many in the Erie community, has impacted many lives throughout her years of volunteerism. Loretta retired in 1993 after 32 years of teaching the deaf and hard of hearing. Now at the age of 82, she is more active than ever. Loretta volunteers at Grover Cleveland Elementary School where she reads on a weekly basis to over 15 classes ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to 2nd Grade. At the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, Loretta is the most senior volunteer, serving for more than 20 years in various capacities. She now shares her love of books and crafts with children every Thursday morning in an area of the museum that has been named “Loretta’s Corner.” She is an active member of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG), a women’s education society, where she is currently an editor for their “Keystonian” newsletter. Over the years, through DKG’s World Fellowship Program, Loretta has welcomed, encouraged and served as a tour guide for young women furthering their education in the United States as foreign exchange students. She remains pen pals to this day with many of the women she has connected with. A lifelong member of St. Casimir Church, Loretta is active with the Rosary Society, serves as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, adult Altar Server and helps serve at funerals. Additionally, Loretta has proudly served as Co-Chair Exhibit Coordinator of a Polish Immigrant Experience Exhibit at the Watson-Curtze Mansion and has also helped at Perry 200 and at Tall Ships. She is a member of the Jefferson Educational Society, the Flagship Niagara League, the Presque Isle Lighthouse and is a founding member of the Flight 93 Memorial. She has maintained professional affiliations with the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf and is a founding member of the Erie County Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Loretta’s generosity and kindness has made our community a better place to live for all.

Ronald DiVecchio

Ronald DiVecchio has tirelessly and devotedly served the Erie community for many decades. He was employed by the City of Erie for over 35 years and retired in 1994. He and his wife Ann, have three daughters and five grandchildren. Although at 84 years old he enjoys the occasional game of golf and bocce, he remains an active community leader in all that he does. Ron is a life-long member of St. Paul’s Church where he is currently President of the Holy Name Society. At his church he is also active with the St. Anthony Society and has chaired the spaghetti dinner for many years. For the last 38 years, Ron has served as Chairman of the Annual St. Paul’s Italian Festival. Through his work at this festival, he has helped year after year to generate enough funds to cover a good portion of the church’s annual budget. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, Ron was involved in organizing the weekly soup kitchen and even still helps prepare and serve a meal on a monthly basis. As the current President and founding member of the Giuseppe Mazzini Civic Association, Ron helps organize and promote events throughout the year to aid local charities. Most recently through this foundation, he helped organize a dance which raised money for the Food Bank. Ron currently serves on the Board of Directors for the “Blue Zone Project”, the Maria House Projects, and the Erie Police Athletic League. He is a member of SERRA Club and PROBUS, and is also on the committee for the 22:32 Annual Men’s Conference. Over the years, Ron has additionally been active with the Wolves Club of Erie and the Sons of Italy. Ron’s compassion and dedication to serving others has made a difference in the lives of many people and organizations in our community.

Janet Krack

Janet Krack has made sure the focus of her life has been on the importance of helping others. Following her time in the Peace Corps serving in the Philippines, Janet and her husband Howard returned to Erie where she worked as a teacher up until her retirement almost 20 years ago. A desire to continue learning and sharing her gifts led her to become a Master Gardener. Janet, now 78, volunteers her time by maintaining a Pollinator Garden at her home and helps others learn the basics. She also tends to the entrance garden in her neighborhood, gives lectures to various garden clubs in the community and is currently helping two Girl Scouts set up a small garden at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. As a member of the Presque Isle Flute Choir and the Tuesday Morning Music Club, Janet joins other retirees monthly to share their love of music with one another and often play for people at weddings and in retirement homes. Janet is also an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation where she serves as caretaker of the Memorial Garden and helps coordinate the music for Sunday services. She has been President of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Planning Committee, the Hospitality Committee, and has helped to coordinate ushers and organize annual events. Through her congregation she also helps host the Memory Café group for individuals and their family members dealing with Alzheimer’s. Over the years, Janet has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to help children suffering from abuse and neglect, visits shut-ins and lends her ear to those who need someone to talk to, attends local social causes for peace and justice, has hosted out-of-town students and visiting musicians, and has taught piano lessons at the Neighborhood Art House. She participates in Highway Clean-Ups and even goes on “trash patrol” with her dog whenever they go for a walk. Janet’s consideration for others and passion for making the world a better place has helped to beautify our community and the lives of those in it.

2017 Ageless Remarkable Erieite Honorees