Weir library accepts $100K as memorial

During Thursday's event at the Mary H. Weir Public Library, a plaque dedicated in memory of Julia N. Schaltenbrand was unveiled in the library's lobby. Assisting with the unveiling are, from left, library board President Joe Evano and board member Karen Gould; John Semerakis, Schaltenbrand's brother, and Anna Semerakis. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — The Mary H. Weir Public Library announced Thursday a memorial gift aimed at helping their efforts to serve the Weirton community.

Library officials and guests gathered in the lobby to announce a bequeathment of $100,000 from the estate of Julia N. Schaltenbrand, who died May 12, 2013 at the age of 70.

Library Director Rik Rekowski said the announcement was appropriate for November, as it traditionally is the month denoted by giving thanks.

Members of the library board, including President Joe Evano, Karen Gould, Kathy Bowman and Molly Mossor, expressed their appreciation to Schaltenbrand’s family for the gift. On hand Thursday was Schaltenbrand’s brother, John Semerakis, and his wife Anna.

According to the board members, Schaltenbrand was born in Steubenville, attended Cove School and graduated from Weir High School in 1960. She spent time living in Ann Arbor, Mich., Chicago and Pittsburgh, where she met her husband, Francis Schaltenbrand, before returning to Weirton.

Rik Rekowski, director of the Mary H. Weir Public Library, welcomes those gathered at the library Thursday for the announcement of a $100,000 memorial bequeathment and the unveiling of a plaque honoring its donor, the late Julia N. Schaltenbrand. -- Craig Howell

She worked as a waitress for many years, and enjoyed couponing and watching old television programs, they noted.

“She was a very private person, and she loved reading and the library,” Bowman said.

Mossor noted the library already has drawn $17,000 from the bequeathment, which has been used to purchase new books, CDs, DVDs and to hold activities for the community.

Also presented as part of the bequeathment was a biography of Schaltenbrand, gathered by her family.

“It’s a written document that will go into the library’s community and family archives,” Rekowski said.

To further express their appreciation Thursday, library officials unveiled a plaque, located at the main desk, in Schaltenbrand’s memory. Rekowski said this way, every patron who walks by will be able to remember Schaltenbrand.

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)