Saint Mary's Home of Erie, PA

2014 Ageless Remarkable Erieite Veteran Honorees

Harry Fornalczyk, Dr. Robert Guelcher, M. D., and Arthur R. Martinucci were honored with an Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award on Thursday, September 11th, 2014, during Saint Mary's Follies. The Ageless Remarkable Erieite Award recognizes seniors age 75 and older for their continued commitment to the Erie community, giving of their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of others. All three honorees are also Veterans, something that was added special to the award for 2014, in honor of Saint Mary’s Follies being held on September 11th.

Harry Fornalczyk

Air Force: World War II Second Lieutenant/Navigator B-24 POW-Germany
During World War II, Harry Fornalczyk’s B-24 flying crew was shot down, crash-landed in Yugoslavia, and was then apprehended by Germans and taken to a prison camp. Over a month later, the camp was liberated, and Harry was sent home to the United Sates with honorable discharge. He returned to Erie and began working for his father-in-law at Joseph B. Nicholas Contractors, which would later become his business. Today Harry is “Mr. Fix It” for family and friends and takes a casual “Cracker Barrel” consulting approach for anyone in need of construction and building advice. Harry practices his craftsmanship four days a week at Santa’s Helpers, making handmade toys to distribute to needy children at Christmas. An active member of Saint James Roman Catholic Church for 56 years, Harry can be seen ushering at Sunday Mass and volunteering with his wife, Laura, during the Summer Church Festival.

Dr. Robert Guelcher, M.D.

Air Force: 1961-1963 General Medical Officer/Captain-Turkey
Army MASH Unit: 1990-1998 Lt. Colonel-Erie, PA
As an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist), Dr. Robert Guelcher has thoroughly enjoyed traveling a number of times to both India and Syria to help service the needs of poverty stricken children and adults with medical conditions. In Syria, he evaluated several hundred children and a few families, to determine if hearing aids would be of assistance. In India, he performed surgery on adults and children to help improve their conditions. Locally, Dr. Guelcher has been a volunteer guide at the Erie Maritime Museum for over a decade, and was a key participant in building an exact replica of the Brig Niagara, which is housed on the museum’s main floor. Dr. Guelcher and his wife, Elizabeth, have generously sponsored local projects, including the Guelcher Barber Center Art Show, in addition to being generous contributors to many Erie nonprofits.

Arthur R. Martinucci

Navy: Korean War 1953-1956-USS Cushing, DD-797
Arthur R. Martinucci is deemed by his son as “the epitome of the self-made man.” At 17, Art joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard a “tin can” destroyer during the Korean Conflict where he received his GED in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. An “unapologetic supporter of the Erie community,” Art’s background includes 18 years in broadcast media at WSEE and WQLN, as well as nearly 30 years in governmental affairs, including Regional Director for the Department of Community Affairs and Department of Auditor General, and local representative for U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. Art has served as Board Member for many community organizations including Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, The Reason for Our Hope Foundation, HANDS, and Northwest Savings Bank. He and his wife, Helen, are founding members of Our Lady of Peace Parish.

2013 Ageless Remarkable Erieite Honorees