Beth Spence, Beaver Area Heritage Museum Trustee and Exhibits Chair
724.622.6323 –

Beaver Heritage Museum Opens 2024 Exhibit Honoring Local WWII Casualty

BEAVER, PA, April 2, 2024 – The Beaver Area Heritage Museum is unveiling its highly anticipated spring opening exhibit, “Out of the Unknown: A Tribute to Frank Grdenich.” This free display, open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, now through midyear, offers visitors a journey through the life and legacy of one of the many unsung heroes of World War II.

This story showcases the life of Frank Grdenich, a local hero and graduate of Beaver High School. Through a meticulously curated display of compelling images and narratives that surround the actual propeller from Grdenich’s downed P-38, visitors will gain insight into Frank’s life journey, from his upbringing in Bridgewater to his ultimate sacrifice on the WWII battlefield.

“Laying my hand on this propeller instantly gave me chills. I overwhelmingly agreed that this story MUST be shared,” recalled Museum Trustee Ed McLaughlin upon his first encounter with the war-torn artifact, donated by the Grdenich family to the Museum.

On opening day, the Heritage Museum welcomed some of Grdenich’s family who came to see the display, including Ryan (his great-nephew), Elaina, and Jonathan Fleming (his great-great niece and nephew), and Barbara Snyder (his niece). Their presence added a deeply personal touch to the exhibit, underscoring the significance of the pilot’s legacy to his family and community.

“Out of the Unknown” is not just an exhibit; it is an exciting adventure that takes you from Beaver High’s football field to the deadly skies over the Normandy landing beaches,” McLaughlin said. “Will the family find closure trying to solve a mystery lasting nearly six decades?” The Museum will be constantly adding to this exhibit throughout the year. Visitors are encouraged to stop in every Saturday and return often during the year to see what has been added.

The museum is open on Saturdays through December from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

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