Agnes Zavada moved into a stone house in the city of Uniontown just as she was about to begin her senior year at Uniontown Area High School after the summer of 1955. Her father’s job had led them to move three times within her four years of high school, but this move was different than the rest. Little did Agnes know, she was about to meet the man that she would be married to for 58 years.
Agnes met Wilbert Dowling at the playground across the street from her house, the hang out spot for high school students at the time. He had a girlfriend at the time and Agnes became good friends with both of them. Every time Agnes would go on a date with a boy, Wilbert would always tell his girlfriend “Oh, that guy isn’t good for Agnes” or “She is too good for him.” After hearing him say this multiple times, Wilbert’s girlfriend said “If you’re so worried about who Agnes dates, why don’t you go date her instead?”, so he did and it was the best choice he has ever made. They stayed together, despite their one year age difference when Agnes graduated in 1956. In the spring of Wilbert’s senior year, on April 27th, 1957, Agnes and Wilbert were married at St. Joseph’s Church.
They didn’t wait long before they started their family. Agnes gave birth to five children; Colleen, David, Monica, Sharon, and Steven. She raised them in the same house that she had moved into her senior year of high school and with the same ideals that her parents had raised her. Their family went to St. Joseph’s church every Sunday and the kids didn’t dare touch their dinner until grace was said. They were raised to love unconditionally and to never stray from where they came from.
As the years go on, Agnes and Wilbert’s family continues to grow. Their five children gave them 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. We all believe that family is the most important thing in our life, just as Ag and Wil have taught us. Wilbert Dowling passed away on September 22nd, 2015 and Ag was heartbroken. But his legacy lives on through the family that Agnes and himself had made. Agnes currently resides in Heritage Hills of Uniontown, PA and “continues to be proud of what her and the love of her life created.”
And to think that their story began at Uniontown High School.