At 100 Years Young, Angie Finally Achieves Dream of Becoming a Railroader.

Angie in yellow, surrounded by family

If you come from Collinwood, we all embrace the concept of being a Railroader. It stems from the common bond of not only graduating from CHS but living in the general Collinwood area as well. Rarely does a heartwarming story such as Angie Laurich come to our attention.

Angela was born on August 19, 1916 to Adolf and Mary Gole, the youngest of 7 children and lived on Sylvia Avenue in Collinwood. Those times were difficult growing up for everyone. She and her three sisters had to share not only household duties, but a sofa to sleep on in the living room. She began school at Memorial Elementary on E 152 and then went to the newly constructed Longfellow Elementary on E. 140th.  As was customary in those days after completing 6th grade you went to Collinwood for middle and high school.  During the depression Angie, while in the 10th grade, at the age of sixteen, had to drop out of school to help her family financially. Not graduating as a Railroader has always haunted her.

It was 1932 when Angie took a job at Waterloo Department Store, working 60 hours per week for $6.00. There were no malls in those days but many ‘Mom and pop’ dry good stores were in just about every neighborhood.  They sold the essential clothing like socks, underwear, work clothes, shoes, and linens.  That same year she met her future husband, John Laurich, who lived on Saranac with his six sisters and brothers. They were married in 1936 at St. Mary’s. Angie and John lived with her sister until they could afford to rent their own home on Saranac. In 1941 she began work at the GE Cleveland bulb plant where she retired after thirty seven years in 1978. In 1952 they moved into a new bungalow they purchased on Mohican where Angie still lives.  She enjoys playing cards with her friends, bowls weekly on a league and enjoys gardening.

On July 23rd, 2016, surrounded by 170 of her family and close friends which included two daughters, seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren, Angie celebrated her 100th birthday. An evening of "This is your Life, Angie" was kicked off by Councilman Michael Polensek who presented a proclamation from the City of Cleveland. That presentation was followed by President of the CHS Alumni Association, Mikel Cavotta, who informed Angie that while CHS graduated 71 students on May 23rd, 72 names were called. . . . .Angie's among them in the form of a proclamation issued from the Cleveland School Board. Mike further commented that, "a diploma does not define a is what is in your heart that counts." Angie certainly qualifies and was presented a lifetime membership to the CHS Alumni Association, making her Railroader status finally official! Along with the Membership comes a white Railroader hat to be worn during her gardening. In those days you could always tell the good guys, they always wore white hats!!!!

Michael Cavotta

Currently the residing President of the Collinwood High School Alumni Association. Notable acedemic/athletic CHS 1962 grad, Engineering degree from OSU. Founder and owner of Performance Concepts a multi media engineering firm located in Mentor, OH. An innovator in intereactive healthcare products and services. Retired and living in Thompson, Ohio with his wife Wendy.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 5:03 PM, 09.09.2016