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Cecelia was born on August 15, 1902. There is some dispute over the actual birth day but there is significant assurance about the month and year. Her full legal name is Cecelia Rita Strike. Cecelia had indicated to some that her name really was Thephiria, (spelling undoubtedly incorrect), which is Phyllis in Lithuanian. Both her mother and father were born in Lithuania, (Anthem). Her father, Enoch, and her mother, Martha, were born in 1870. Her mother's maiden name was Balonis. Her father's surname in Lithuania was Straigis, which was later Americanized to Strike when he immigrated to the United States. Cecelia's parents were married in 1892.

Martha gave birth to thirteen children. Four children died at birth or while they were still infants. Nine were raised to adulthood. The direct descendants are:

        Elsie              Unknown
        Frank (Skinny)     Unknown
        John (Jack)        Unknown
        Andrew (Hogan)     11/30/1894 - 03/??/1968
        Peter (Punk)       07/12/1898 - 04/02/1951
        Anthony (Saunk)    06/19/1900 - 08/30/1975
        Cecelia (Celie)    08/15/1902 - 06/14/1987
        Anna (Annie)       07/24/1904 - 03/10/1993
        Albert (Lucky)     07/17/1914 - 01/22/1987

Cecelia's grandfather was Thomas Straigis and her grandmother's name was Anna. Both Lithuanians. There is no information available on Anna's maiden name or their dates of birth and death. The parent's and grandparent's place of birth in Lithuania is unknown.

The family lived in a four room house situated in Donahue's Row, which consisted of two rows of similarly sized homes with a narrow pedistrian walkway running between the rows. Donahue's Row ran between 6th and 7th streets and Pear and Turnpike alleys in Mount Carmel. None of the homes had running water. Water was obtained from a pump, several hundred feet away,that was shared by all the families in the Row. The family owned a cow and a goat which were prized and was their source of milk. The goat was brought into the kitchen on cold winter nights to protect it. In those conditions it seems difficult to believe that the children looked forward to Christmas with as much excited anticipation as those of more recent generations. Their gifis consisted, typically, of an orange a nickel and a few nuts in a stocking.

The family lived in Donahue's Row until the children reached their teens, went to work, and began to supplant the family income. With the extra income they moved to a nearby home on 7th Street, which the children, in their nostalgic later years, spoke of in comparative palatial terms.

Their father, Ignatius, was a coal miner. Mining was physically exhausting in a short and long term life threatening environment. The workweek was 6 days long and an 8 hour work day was just a dream. Escape from these rigors was frequently found in the many barrooms that dotted the town. It was not uncommon for Ignatious to return home from work on payday less than sober and with less pay. The Hook family owned and operated one of those many bars, which was on 6th and Walnut Streets, just a few blocks from the Strike home. It was there where Cecelia met her future husband, Edward, on her forays to that bar to fetch beer for her father.

The churches at that time were ethno-centric in order to accommodate the integration of immigrants into their communities. Poles, Czechs, Italians, Slovaks, etc., attended their "own" churches which conducted services in the native languages. In addition to spiritual needs, the churches all provided education for the children in grade schools erected by the churches. Sustaining the native language was a requirement in these schools. Cecelia did not finish grade school. By age 13 she began work in a cigar factory in town. She rolled the cigars and applied the outer leafs. She worked there until her marriage.

Cecelia's Mother with Unknown Child
Cecelia's Mother with John and Anna
Cecelia's Mother
Cecelia's Father

Youthful Years
First Communion Within a large Group of kids
Smaller group of kids Sister and friends
With Co-Workers in a formal photograph Composed
Sassy or angry? Fun on a Snowy Day
Shockingly Provocative With Siblings
On the Stump On the Log
Amidst Flowers At the Gate
A Pyramid of Friends A Great Day for a Swim
My Buddy Brother Albert
Tin Lizzie Formal Photograph
With an Unknown Young Boy With Brother Frank
With Local Residents Pals
In the shade of a small pine Tracking
Cranking Lithesome Foursome
Save That Tree Lynch Mob
Hat's Life Verrrry Close Friend!
Who's the Blond Kid? Tisket a Tasket
Nine With her Mom
Stranglehold In a slinky Dress
On Ice Peek-A-Boo
Former Beau? Hosiery Adjustment
Anna in Fur Anna, expecting
Oldest sibling, Elsie Julia Galitskie

With her Husband Swiming with her kids
Vacuuming Decorating the Christmas Tree
Party of Ten In the kitchen
In the kitchen with sister Anna With her brother, Albert
Picnicing With Granddaughter Ceil
Infants John and Ramona John, Ramona and Dog
Ramona, Jeanette and John Edward, John and Ramona
John, Ramona, First Communion Daughter Ramona in a Checked Dress
Sons Edward, Robert, John and Dogs Jeanette
Sons Robert and Edward Party Girls
Kids and Car Edward, Robert and Friends
Ramona's Friends Son John and "Tinky" Smith
Son John and wife Mary Rettinger
On the Back Porch Lithuanian Day at Lakewood Park
Daughter Ramona in the parlor Daughter Ramona in the Kitchen
With daughters Ramona and Jeanette With daughter Ramona at Knoebels Park
Relaxing on the back porch In the yard with peonies

Brother Anthony and wife Helen Brother Albert and family
Brother Andrew and wife Mary Brother Frank
Sisters Helen (Petusky) Strike
Swingers Brother, Frank
Sister Anna and Brother Albert Sister Anna
Brother Andrew Sister Anna
Natalie Hook Baby Charley
Lucky Strike Cousins from Scranton
Brother Andrew The Beach Boys
You're in the Army Now Party in the Kitchen
Party in the Dining Room Unidentified Couple
1997 Reunion
Siblings and others With sister Anna on the front porch

Unidentified Sites and People
Whose kid is this? Unknown Relatives?
Horse and Buggy House Fire
Swaddled in Fur Graduate
Someone from the neighborhood? What town is this?
Group of Miners Three Women and a Couple of Kids
Bathing Beauty Kids
Popsicles ?
Sophisticated Steps To?
Cigarette, anyone? Musicians