TYPE OF FUND: Donor Advised DATE ESTABLISHED: Established August 2015 APPROVED: August 2015
PURPOSE: To promote education, recreation, historic preservation, beautification and economic development for Davis, West Virginia per recommendation of the donors.
DISTRIBUTION: On the recommendation of the donors and final approval by the Grants Committee and Board of Directors of TCF.
VARIANCE POWER: If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.
FUNDING: Initial funding by Lynda Given Lessek and Peter V. Lessek.
BACKGROUND: Albert “Beanie” Kerzic and Frances Mamish Kerzic were raised in Davis, and although they ultimately settled in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, they always considered Davis to be their home.
Albert was born on April 12, 1922, in Forest City, Pennsylvania, one of three sons of John Kerzic and Jenny Mazi Kerzic. He was raised by the Sluger family and excelled at baseball. Scouted as a pitcher by Whitey Ford, Al earned a tryout for Major League Baseball in Pittsburgh. But instead of following his passion for sports, and after graduating from Davis High School, he joined the U.S. Army where he rose to the level of corporal and survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He attended two years of college on the GI Bill in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Frances was born on December 30, 1915, to Frank (a coal miner) and Frances Mamish, one of six girls raised in a four-bedroom home in Davis on Henry Avenue. After graduating from Davis High School and Fairmont Teachers College, Frances taught at one-room school houses in Tucker County during the Depression.
Albert and Frances were married in Davis on August 28, 1948. In need of work, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Al worked in sales and as an office clerk in the scrap iron and steel business and Frances was a homemaker and teacher. They had one child, Lynda Given Lessek, and one grandchild, Byron Kendall Given. Albert passed away on May 26, 1994, and Frances died on September 14, 2006.
Lynda and her husband, Peter V. Lessek are residents of Wheaton, Illinois. Peter was formerly an executive in the telecommunications industry. Lynda has practiced law for over 35 years with the firm of Chapman and Cutler in Chicago, Illinois. She has fond childhood memories of annual trips to Davis to visit Mom and Pop Mamish and Pawpaw Kerzic. Lynda and her husband are honoring the memory of Lynda’s parents and the hardworking Kerzic, Mamish and Sluger families by the establishing this Memorial Fund.