Julia E. Werner will be turning 100 on Wednesday.
Julia is the former proprietor of Werner’s General Store in Clarksburg. She was born in Minneapolis on May 29, 1913, to immigrant Italian parents, Frank and Josephine Trepasso. Julia grew up in Grove City, where her father was a steelworker and where she graduated from high school. She was the oldest of nine siblings — including seven brothers, six of whom simultaneously served in World War II. She and a sister, Mary K. Schenkel, of New Castle, are the remaining survivors of the Trepasso family unit.
Julia met her husband, Charles Levi Werner, while working at a small Grove City grocery store. Not allowed to openly date, the couple eloped to West Virginia to marry, returning to Grove City to set up housekeeping. When Charles decided to embark on self-employment in 1946, he and Julia ventured to western Pennsylvania’s coal-mining country. There they established Werner’s General Store in Clarksburg with the goal of competing with the “company stores.”
Charles died at age 50 in 1957, leaving care of three children and the business to Julia. As a single parent and entrepreneur, she operated the store until retiring at age 70 and then continued to assist for many years after her eldest daughter assumed ownership. To this day, customers speak of the considerable admiration and affection they hold for Julia, who is now a resident at St. Andrew’s Village in White Township.
There, sound of mind, she enjoys participating in bingo, Uno and general activities.
Julia is looking forward to celebrating her 100 birthday with her daughters, Julie Werner, of Clarksburg, and Dora Burkett, of Indiana; her son, Charles “Skip” Werner and wife Connie, of New Alexandria; grandchildren, Matthew Werner, of New Alexandria; David Burkett and wife Kristi, of Cary, N.C.; and Ryan Burkett and wife Michelle, of Indiana; and great-grandchildren Kailey and Ty Burkett, of Cary.
The family extends an invitation to Julia’s 100th birthday open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday at St. Andrew’s Village, 1155 Indian Springs Road. Bring stories and memories to share and stay to enjoy Johnstown accordionist Jerry Intihar at 3:30 p.m.