Keeping the Spirit AliveSopris, ColoradoBill Burnelli
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Memorable Citizens

Teresa McGinn

I would like to thank Mrs. McGinn posthumously for passing on the love of the English language. Her way of teaching and instilling a sense of pride in speaking, I know helped me in my professional and private life. I still catch myself correcting family and friends when they use incorrect English. Unfortunately I failed to thank her personally, but I know she was aware of her reputation among college professors, that if a student from Sopris had her as a teacher they were recognized as having been well versed in the English language. Mrs. McGinn, "Thank you."

Contributed by Bob Langowski

Mr. & Mrs. Eugene McGinn

Being without children of their own they adopted the children of Sopris. They both knew every kid in the school and knew of their potential. As many of the parents were on such a limited budget, and would otherwise not be able to send the child off to college. The McGinn's took it upon themselves to help many students, either with scholarships or helped them financially.

Contributed by Phil "Cam" Shablo

Anthony Faoro

Took his own time to tutor students that were interested in pursuing engineering as a career. Anthony, also took time in his busy schedule to be an assistant scout master for Zeke Lucero. He will always be remembered as a true friend to all students from Lincoln High School.

Contributed by Phil "Cam" Shablo

Binda Cunico

I know personally what he meant to our family, as he gave both Al and I an opportunity to work for him, while we were in High School. He probably couldn't afford having us, but was willing to help out as much as he could. He gave credit to many of the Sopris families, when the coal mines were shut down or on strike. I had the opportunity to talk to Binda, at the reunion, before the dam was constructed and he did tell me how difficult it was on him and his family, having to carry so many families for months until the mines resumed working.

Contributed by Phil "Cam" Shablo

Angelo Burnelli

I enjoyed going to see him and being in his bar for many years...playing cards with the old guys; cribbage, pool, and such. I also remember him telling us young ones about "Diabalo Mike," the man who came into his place many years ago. Someone saw he didn't have shoes on, but he had hooves and wanted to take everyone snipe hunting! Or wanting to show us his mongoose and the firecrackers and beanies he sold in the back, boy, those were great days.

Contributed by John Cunico

Albert "Grandma" Vecellio

Albert Vecellio

I knew "Grandma" from a very early age. I always felt honored to know him as a result of his service in WWII. Al was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airbourne. He parachuted into France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and finished out the War in Europe. After the surrender of Germany Al actually volunteered for the Pacific Front! Fortunately, the war ended before he could go. My real hero!

Contributed by Bill Brunelli

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