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a Legacy of Grace



    Mary Jane Bittinger was born before 1840. She married Levi Sweitzer. Mary was probably born in Holland and, as a young adult, traveled to Garret County, Maryland. Mary's father probably worked in the West Virginia coal mines.


    Caroline Sweitzer was born on April 2, 1855. She married Joseph Glass. They lived in Swanton, Garrett County, Maryland, close to the West Virginia coal mines where Joseph worked. Joseph died in 1922, a week before Caroline's 67th birthday. Caroline lived as a widow for almost 19 years until her death on January 4, 1941 at the age of 85 years and 9 months. Caroline gave birth to 10 daughters and 3 sons. She and Joseph also adopted an additional daughter.


    Amanda PhotoAmanda Leverne Glass, the 7th child of Caroline and Joseph, was born in 1886 in Swanton, Garrett County, Maryland. She married Charles Lee Mosser, whose parents came to the United States from Germany. Amanda gave birth to two daughters and 5 sons (one of each died in youth). Charles worked in the saw mills so they had to move to where there was work for him. They lived in Swanton, then moved to Fairfax, West Virginia and then to Wilsonia, West Virginia. In 1916, they moved to Henry, WV, then to Steyer, WV, and then to Dobbins where Amanda ran a boarding house for the "saw" men working at the mill. Both Amanda and her daughter Grace cooked for the men. While in Dobbins, Amanda gave birth to her youngest child. They then moved to Elk Garden, West Virginia where they lived in a log cabin. Charles retired and they moved into a boarding house, which they managed, renting rooms and cooking for saw mill workers. In 1923, after Grace was married, Amanda and Charles moved to Blaine, West Virginia and opened a restaurant. Amanda was the chef and managed the restaurant. They lived above the restaurant. A flood in 1924 destroyed the restaurant. Charles and Amanda moved into a double house. Shortly thereafter they moved to Kitzmiller, Maryland to live near one of their sons. Grace has described her mother as kind and loving. Amanda died in 1943 at the age of 57.


    Grace Photo Grace Ellen Mosser, the first born child of Amanda and Charles, was born May 19, 1904 in Swanton, Garrett County, Maryland. Grace had been a sickly child. She could not return to school after the 8th grade. On May 23, 1923, at the age of 19, Grace married 27 year old Henry Gilbert Evans in Cumberland, Allegheny County, Maryland. Grace married on a Friday, and was admitted to the hospital on Monday. A doctor found that she had a kidney that had not opened. He opened it with a wire with no anesthetic.

    Grace gave birth to a daughter and a son. Both were born in Nethken, West Virginia, where Henry worked in the coal mines. In 1929 Grace and Henry moved to Shelmar, Maryland for about 6 months. They subsequently moved to Kitzmiller, Maryland to be near the family of Grace's brother, so that she could help take care of her parents who were living her brother. In the tiny town of Kitzmiller, Grace worked for a short time for the local grocer. Grace belonged to Fire Ladies Auxiliary, Pythian Sisters, and the Rebbecha Lodge.

    Grace has always been very active in the Presbyterian church. While living in Kitzmiller, she played piano for church services and taught Sunday School.

    Henry died in 1961, leaving Grace a widow at the age of 56. Still the spiritual leader of her family, Grace's grandchildren call her Amazing Gracie, the perfect description of a woman as close to perfect as a woman can be. Grace has an infectious laugh and is described by her granddaughter Linda as "the most huggable person I have ever known." She is also one of the wisest. She said of her daughter Wilma only a few years ago, "They may move out of the house, but they never leave home."

    Grace passed away surrounded by loved ones in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on April 29, 2001.


    Wilma Photo Wilma Louise Evans was born on October 5, 1924, in Nethken, Mineral County, West Virginia. A midwife, Mary Elizabeth Grayson Evans, her paternal grandmother, delivered her. Her family moved to Shelmar , Maryland when she was 5 years old. After 6 months they moved to Kitzmiller. She graduated from high school in Kitzmiller. She was President of her Freshman and Sophomore Classes, as well as Senior Editor-in-Chief of the School Paper "Ink Spot." She was in the Camera Club and the Drama Club. She sang with a four piece band that played throughout the area. Wilma ran track, played left halfback on the field ball team, and pitched on the softball team. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. with two friends where she worked as a telephone operator and then an office clerk for the Treasury Department. She returned home after the death of Amanda. She worked for a short time as a clerk for the coal mine office.

    On December 13, 1943, in Garden City, New York, Wilma married Joseph Edward Markley, a young man with whom she attended high school. Joseph was in the Air Force, so they moved every 3 or 4 years and lived in several different states and on Okinawa. During this time she had six children. She held a couple different jobs, working for a long time as a nurse's aide. On Okinawa she visited with soldiers wounded in the Vietnam War who passed through on their way back to the U.S. Joseph retired September 1, 1973, in Goldsboro, NC.

    Wilma earned a job at a mail order fishing tackle shop to earn money to pay for school. She went to school and got an LPN nursing degree in 1974. At the age of 50, she started her nursing career. She will tell you her greatest accomplishment was raising her 6 children, all of whom love each other and turned out to be wonderful people. This is especially impressive since Joseph was an alcoholic. The root of his alcoholism probably stems from the 14 months he spent as a prisoner of war in World War II in his 21st and 22nd years. Wilma continues to be a compassionate, devoted mother while also filling the gap of an alcoholic father.


    Lynn Photo Linda Lou Markley, the third of six children, was born September 5, 1947, in San Francisco, California, where her father was stationed in the Air Force. She graduated from high school on Okinawa, where her father was stationed in 1965. When 18, she met Paul Peter Gorski on Okinawa. Linda was a "Go Go" dancer for a band and Paul joined the band to replace the bass player.

    In 1967 Linda and Paul were married in Virginia. Linda worked as Assistant Director for a modeling agency in Georgetown and taught modeling. In 1969, when she was expecting her first child, she went to work for the Government. She became the first female supervisor ever in her division. The 14 supervisors had always been men. From that position, she was able to hire more women into management positions. Linda and Paul had two children, Sonya and Paul. Though neither Linda nor Paul had a college education, their daughter became an MD and their son became a PhD.

    Linda attended night classes and received her 2-year degree the same year her son received his Masters. Linda practiced Tae Kwon Do with her son, both of whom earned a Black Belt. Linda played in volleyball leagues, soccer leagues, and has run four marathons (her first the year she turned 50). Linda enjoys trying new things like parachuting and hang gliding. She looks forward to returning to college when she retires. She now works at the Pentagon.


    Sonya Photo Sonya Dawn Gorski was born March 8, 1970. She tested out of kindergarten and entered first grade at the age of 5. She played on a travel soccer team starting in third grade, then lettered in high school soccer all 4 years, starting as a freshman. From the age of 4 years, she knew she wanted to be a doctor and focused on that goal. In high school she was the vice president of her freshman class and treasurer of her sophomore class. In her junior and senior years she was vice president of the National Spanish Club. She finished first in a weight lifting competition. She won 1st place in a county-wide art competition for high school students (the only year she took art). She finished 9th in her graduating class. Not only was she an athlete, an artist, and a scholar, she was homecoming princess all four years and homecoming queen in her senior year.

    Sonya graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1991 where she majored in pre-med and Spanish. She attended a semester at the University of Madrid in Spain where she took Spanish classes. Sonya was the youngest graduate from the Richmond Medical College of Virginia in1994. She was voted "most athletic" graduate of her medical school class. She completed her residency at the Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. She is now working as a Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). She married Scott Rissmiller in June 1999 on St. Lucia. They plan to produce their first child in December 2002.

Created with Love and Inspiration by
Paul Cameron Gorski