The John and Margaret Ann Liperote family was established on February 14, 1950, with an intimate marriage ceremony in Armstrong County.
John Liperote was the seventh of fourteen children, although he was the first son born to Ericole and Mary Ann (Hughey) Liperote on August 29, 1929. John’s father, Ericole, at eighteen years of age immigrated to America from Calabria, Italy, on May 10, 1907. After moving around the Western Pennsylvania area, Ericole and his family settled in Cadogan, Pennsylvania, a small mining town along the Allegheny River; its residents were coal miners for the Allegheny River Mining Company, where Ericole found employment to care for his expanding family. As it was not the custom in those days for children, especially boys, to advance in their schooling to the point of graduation, John attended school to the eighth grade, later getting his GED in the army. Shortly before his battalion was to be deployed to Korea, an intelligence test was administered to find soldiers suitable for specific duty. John’s scores were very high, and he was the only member of his group chosen to stay behind. The rest of his friends and army regiment were shot down and killed on their way to war.
Margaret Ann Garvey was the last of five children born to Francis and Margaret King Garvey, on September 9, 1931. Margaret Ann’s family resided in the Numine area of Pennsylvania where her father, Francis, also worked as a coal miner. Margaret Ann graduated from Shannock Valley High School in 1949.
John and Margaret Ann met at Sunset Grove, a dance hall in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania, before Margaret Ann graduated from high school. A romance budded right away, and on Valentine’s Day in 1950, the young sweethearts were married, beginning a beautiful journey together that lasted 69 years, before John passed away in 2009. Their first daughter Margaret Ann (Peggy) was born later that year, with John rushing home from the service to see his precious little girl for the first time. Peggy was the first of seven children born to John and Margaret Ann.
After John’s stint in the army and reserves, he had various jobs including delivering pop to restaurants, working as a Fuller Brush man, and doing various other jobs, including jobs in a tool and die shop and in a steel mill, sometimes working two at a time to support his family. Then, he found his way into the insurance industry as a salesman, at which time he and his family traveled throughout the surrounding states until they finally settled back into John’s homestead in Cadogan in 1967.
John was awarded top salesman many times during his years in the business, always enjoying success in whatever he endeavored. In 1967, John took a job with Hawk Contracting of Tarrtown, Pennsylvania, where he learned the coal business. When the owners passed away, John took the opportunity to put what he had learned to the test. With a business partner, John ventured into his own coal company, Darmac, in 1976, again gaining a stellar reputation as his company won reclamation awards for setting industry standards. Darmac, with several deep mines and strip mines throughout the area, was then sold around 1988. In 2008, John once again entered the coal industry, establishing for his family a strip mining business, Lipari Energies, based in London, Kentucky. The company is still active today with his sons presiding over it.
Margaret Ann’s full-time job was being a wife and a mother to her growing family. She was often found making wonderful homemade meals for her family and ensuring that the household ran smoothly. John lovingly referred to her as “honey,” which was her nickname for the years to come. The two were blessed with seven children: Margaret Ann Bellotti, Lynn Karen Carney, John Ericole Liperote, Bonnie Sue Bandi, Thomas Francis Liperote, Lorrie Ann Borino, and Richard Wayne Liperote. The couple also had fourteen grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren in their later years.
In 1977, John and Margaret Ann purchased the Hidden Acres land, and built a modest 3000 square foot home there in 1978. They started to develop the property shortly after that with an in-ground pool and tennis court. The Liperotes loved sharing their home from the very beginning. They often had their large families over to the estate and held picnics for the Darmac employees and their family members there as well. After retiring, John and Margaret Ann began to express their love for architecture, building and decorating some very unique homes. In 1991, Hidden Acres was remodeled and expanded to a 10,000 square foot mansion, but was redecorated and upgraded in 2004 to what you see today.
The Grand Estate at Hidden Acres was featured in several newscasts throughout the Pittsburgh area as one of the most unique homes around, as well as in a nationally publicized homes digest. It was also the center of great interest in the mid 1990s when a local newspaper wrongly published that Mario Liemuex of the Pittsburgh Penguins had purchased the home, and again in the early 2000s when it was reported that Troy Palamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers had done the same. Both rumors were false and neither celebrity had been to the home.
John and Margaret Ann took great pride in their home, planting 30,000 flowers over the landscape, always working to make things better. They so enjoyed it when others enjoyed their home and grounds and were ready to give a tour when asked or to invite people over for one of their many traditional Sunday family dinners. This home was bustling with activity, love, and laughter as the grandchildren played, and the children gathered around the large kitchen table to chat or to eat Margaret Ann’s ever-famous spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
The Liperotes also owned a Mediterranean-style mansion in Awatukee, Arizona, near Phoenix, and a beautiful home in London, Kentucky, where they spent much of their last year together, joyously decorating and, again, sharing with their family and friends.
To find a couple like John and Margaret Ann Liperote is a rare find indeed. Loved by all whom they met, touching lives in ways they didn’t even know, their generosity, kindness and humility were evident in everything they did. As Jehovah Witnesses, the couple spent much time studying the Bible, earnestly helping others learn about it, and striving, themselves, to live up to the example that Jesus set. The love between John and Margaret Ann continued to grow during their sixty-nine years of marriage. Neighbors fondly remember the couple taking walks hand-in-hand, as they were often seen doing over the years, stopping by for conversation and showing a true interest in all those around them.
John unexpectedly passed away at the couple’s home in London, Kentucky, on April 23, 2009, a sad day for the entire family. An amazing man, husband, father, grandfather and friend, John had lived a truly beautiful and blessed life, leaving countless memories behind for loved ones to treasure. Since the passing of his wife, Margaret Ann, on August 29, 2012, the Liperote children sold the estate to Thomas and Melanie Waddell, so that this lovely home can still be enjoyed by all who come to stay at this amazing bed and breakfast.