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Sad News for Election Integrity: Demodonkey's Mother [View All]

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MaggieTheVoter Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-29-11 08:35 PM
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Sad News for Election Integrity: Demodonkey's Mother
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Edited on Mon Aug-29-11 09:04 PM by MaggieTheVoter
I am a long time lurker, new member, from Pennsylvania. Please forgive me for any cross postings, but many of you may know demodonkey (Marybeth) of VotePA, and in case you did not hear, I am very sad to say that she lost her beloved mother earlier this month. I am posting this with her permission.

Merle Kuznik succumbed to the results of a tragic accident and was laid to rest a little over a week ago. She was a wonderful and wise woman whose many years as a poll worker and voting rights advocate were a true inspiration not only to her daughter, Marybeth, but to all of us who were lucky enough to know her. Her support was crucial to VotePA.

Merle Smith Kuznik

Merle Smith Kuznik, 93, died August 12, 2011 at Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg PA following a tragic accident at home a week earlier. Nicknamed "Duz" (who does everything) by family and friends, Merle led an active life that centered around her church and faith, her involvement in her community, and her love of children whom she believed represent our future.

Born March 25, 1918 in Port Vue PA, Merle was the daughter of the late Charles S. and Sarah Ann (Crouch) Smith. She was a graduate of McKeesport High School, in the top ten of her 1936 class. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Slippery Rock State Teachers College (Slippery Rock University) and a Master of Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Merle retired in 1982 from a career in Elementary Education that spanned 42 years in the Liberty Boro and Penn-Trafford schools, during which she taught every grade from kindergarten through seventh. For several years she was a faculty member at Slippery Rock where taught in the Education Department's Lab School.


After retirement from teaching, Merle helped her daughter Marybeth organize SchoolTime Theatre, the first Actors' Equity Theater for Young Audiences in Pennsylvania. This troupe presented educational plays written by Merle and Marybeth for children in schools throughout Western and Central Pennsylvania, and performed off-Broadway in New York City. In May 1992, Merle was honored by WQED with the CNG VITA Award for her volunteer in the arts work as Producer of SchoolTime Theatre.

Merle believed deeply in Civics Education, and cared about the right of every citizen to participate in our democracy by voting. With nearly 30 years as a precinct Judge of Elections, at the time of her death Merle was still working at her poll in Penn Township every election day. She was an instrumental member and strong supporter of VotePA, the statewide organization dedicated to voting rights and the use of verifiable and accessible voting systems. On July 4 of this year Merle participated with VotePA in a voting rights rally in Franklin, Venango County. (SEE PICTURE AT BEGINNING OF POST)


Here is her full obituary:

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