Seven are enshrined into area hall of fame

WEIRTON – Seven Weirton residents will forever be enshrined in local history following Sunday’s induction dinner for the 2014 class of the Weirton Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the hall this year were Robert Trice, James Hanna, Barbara Matey, Catherine “Kitty” Kochman, Goldie Almason Baly, Harry Ameredes and Dino Belli. Their names will be inscribed on a plaque to be displayed at the Millsop Community Center, along with the names of previous hall inductees.

Mayor George Kondik helped to welcome inductees, their families and friends, noting none of them worked toward their accomplishments with the idea of being recognized by their hometown.

“All these inductees today did what they did for their love of life and the love of their city,” Kondik said.

John Sorrenti served as master of ceremonies.

Kochman, who has spent more than 20 years volunteering with many local organizations, said she was “honored, excited and humbled” to be inducted, adding Weirton is made up of people of so many backgrounds and has a variety of events and activities throughout the year.

“I truly believe this is what makes Weirton so special,” she said before listing many of the events that have taken place in the community in recent weeks.

She finished by issuing a challenge to those in attendance.

“Find something you love, share it with others, make it a part of your life,” Kochman said.

Baly also served the community through volunteer work, including service with Weirton General Hospital and Weirton Medical Center, and chronicled her life in her book, “Goldie’s Memoirs.”

At 92 years old, Baly noted she has had many adventures and experiences.

“They are nothing compared to what Weirton did for my family and for me,” Baly said.

Baly said she was honored and humbled to be inducted, and introduced many of her family members in attendance.

Trice’s medal and plaque were accepted by his daughter, Henrietta, who thanked everyone for being there to celebrate the inductees. Trice was among the earliest African-Americans to play in Major League Baseball, and the first on the roster of the Philadelphia Athletics.

Hanna’s award was accepted by Bob Rosnick, who once played for the coach and major league scout. Rosnick recalled often listening to Hanna’s stories.

“He always had a captive audience,” Rosnick said.

Hanna’s grandson, Corey, also was on hand, reading a newspaper tribute that reflected on his talent, work ethic and sportsmanship.

Matey spent many years as an educator, teaching at West Virginia Northern Community College and other schools, before finding a new career through Hancock County Savings Bank. The bank allowed her the opportunity to serve others through the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.

Her husband, Art, accepted her award, saying she had always been a “behind-the-scenes” type of person.

“She never liked to be out front, but she liked to help others,” he explained.

Family friend Mark Zatezalo also reflected on Matey’s service to Holy Resurrection church.

Ameredes’ award was accepted by his grandson, also named Harry Ameredes, who noted while his grandfather was known for his artwork, the three pillars of his life were God, family and country, reflecting on his dedication to his family, his work with his church and his military service.

“Our family thinks this is a great thing for the city, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” he said. “My grandfather would be very proud of this honor.”

The award for Belli, a renowned accordion player and music instructor, was accepted by his son, Paul, who said his father would have been proud to be recognized by the Hall of Fame, pointing out several of his father’s former students in the audience.

“It made me feel good that my father’s gift lives on today in his students across the country,” he said.

To be eligible for the Weirton Hall of Fame, an individual must have lived in the city for at least five years since 1947. Nominations can be made in one of six categories: Business, industry and professionals; education; music and fine arts; philanthropy; public service; and sports and athletics.