Ford City Borough Woman Marks 103rd Birthday at LIFE Armstrong County

By Chris Jirak O’Donnell of the Leader Times

Hannah Cloak has enjoyed a long, productive life.

And, at 103 years old, she still lives in her own apartment in Ford City Borough.

She was born in Rayburn Township on Feb. 19, 1917, one of 12 children.

Hannah attended school in a one-room schoolhouse.

She was a bright student and won a gold dollar at a school spelling bee in sixth grade.

Hannah skipped two grades, graduating from Kittanning High School at age 16.

When she was younger, her father would take her to “town” in the family’s horse drawn wagon.

Many people were buying cars then and she walked back home so her friends wouldn’t see her in such an old-fashioned mode of transportation.

As a young woman, Hannah worked at a leather shop in Kittanning.

She met her future husband, Edgar Dale Cloak, Sr., at a square dance. They married April 10, 1938.

A few days before their nuptials, their dog had puppies.

Mr. Cloak always teased her about not remembering if April 10 was their wedding anniversary or the day the dog had puppies.

The Cloaks kept their marriage a secret as he was unemployed at the time.

He later retired as a guard supervisor from Schenley Distilling Co. after 34 years.

They were married 66 years when Edgar passed in 2004 at the age of 94.

The couple enjoyed golfing at Lenape Heights Golf Resort.

In fact, Mrs. Cloak was Lenape’s women’s course champion there for many years, and the couple was featured in Sports Illustrated for their golfing hobby.

Mrs. Cloak has always been very athletic and was an excellent swimmer. She also played horseshoes, bocce ball, shot pool, bowled and threw javelin.

She competed in the PA Senior Games at the local and state level, taking gold in most of them at one time or another, along with silver and bronze.

Mrs. Cloak has three children, Dale, Sally and Debby; eight grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Several family members attended Mrs. Cloak’s party at LIFE Armstrong County.

“Mom always had wonderful Sunday meals for the family. However, after she learned to golf, that was the end of those dinners!” said son Dale.

Daughter Sally Pennington remembers her mom greeting her every day when she returned from school.

“She would always take the time to listen to me tell her about my day,” she said.

Son-in-law Gary Lasher remembers that Mrs. Cloak “used to make the best pies for the holidays, and made it seem easy.”

Daughter-in-law Wanda Cloak remembers, “Mom was great at canning. Over the years she canned pickled beets and tomatoes from her garden. She made the best tomato juice. And, I remember cutting up peaches for her peach cobbler.”

Special entertainment included Mike and Christine Spisalk from Pleasant Hills who performed a variety show and juggling.

Mrs. Cloak enrolled in the LIFE Armstrong County program in June of 2019.

The facility is located behind ACMH and has an all-inclusive program that assists participants with medications, transportation, activities, medical care, therapy and social services.

To learn more, contact LIFE Armstrong County at: 724- 545-8000.