Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Anna Mae Chicka Nov. 25, 1914 - Feb. 5, 2016 Teacher, 101, Was Pillar of Saltsburg

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Anna Mae Chicka Nov. 25, 1914 - Feb. 5, 2016 Teacher, 101, Was Pillar of Saltsburg

Article excerpt

From a childhood on a small farm in what is now Monroeville, Anna Mae Chicka grew her own legacy of 65 years as a devoted community member in Saltsburg, Armstrong County.

Mrs. Chicka, 101, was a math teacher at Saltsburg High School for 34 years before retiring in 1977. Former students then became companions in her favorite activities of church, history, drama and dancing, and family and friends helped her to remain active until 2014. She died Friday at VNA Inpatient Hospice in Butler.

Mrs. Chicka saw many changes over her lifetime, said her daughter, Lois Clement, of Renfrew.

"On Center Road, off Route 22 in Monroeville, there's a Methodist church on the left. That was their farm," she said. "When my grandmother sold the farm, she moved into a house on Garden City Drive, when that was first being developed."

Known as Patton Township in the early days, the town was home to Mrs. Chicka's parents, the late John D. and Sarah A. Stewart Graham, and many of her ancestors are buried in the historic Old Stone Church cemetery on Stroschein Road.

Ms. Clement said her mother's father died in a car accident in 1926 and the family struggled throughout the Depression.

After graduating from Union High School in Turtle Creek in 1932, Anna Mae Graham went on to graduate from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, in 1936. She met her future husband, Peter Chicka, at a square dance. They married June 11, 1943, at the Army Air Force base in Biloxi, Miss.

In 1945, Mrs. Chicka received her master's degree in mathematics from Penn State University. She had her first child, Lois, in 1947, before moving to a farm near New Alexandria. Her second child, John, was born in 1949 and the family moved to Saltsburg. She taught in Penn Hills and Apollo before teaching in Saltsburg.

"She worked very hard," Ms. …

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