The 48th annual reunion of the Franz Ferdinand Retzlaff Family was held July 16, 1995, in the Lutheran Parish Hall in Lexington, Texas. Sixty-four relatives and two visitors were registered.
The morning was spent in the usual manner of greeting, and visiting with arrivals. Many had brought old pictures or snapshots from other reunions, and these were shared with anyone interested. Donald, Norma and Donnie arrived with the boxes of family books, and they are always a source of great interest. We were happy that they were able to attend this year, after Norma's accident last year, in which she broke both arms, and they were unable to travel. She says she now has two more weather forecasters.
The Lexington relatives prepared the barbecue and trimmings for the noon meal, and the out of town relatives brought the luscious desserts. Arnold Kleinschmidt asked the blessing on the food, and the loved ones present, as well as of those unable to attend. The families of Ruben and Weldon Retzlaff, who were usually in attendance, were not present because of the serious illness of Ruben, and of Mary, Weldon's wife.
After lunch, Donald and his son, Donnie, took family pictures for the history books. When they finished, a business meeting was called with Tim Kleinschmidt presiding. It was found that Annette Brockenbush Kissman, and her daughter, Dawn, and son, Preston, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, traveled the longest distance to attend. Gussie Vance, at 87, was the oldest relative present, and Zane Kleinschmidt, at almost 15 months, was the youngest.
Births reported were Callie Shae Gerdes to Lee and Gail Gibson Gerdes, January 3, 1995, and Callie Sue to Kurt and Rhonda Benson, June 7, 1995. One death was sadly noted, that of Frank L. Vance, Sr., on October 17, 1994.
Ruby Vance stated that the $155 freewill offering at the 1994 reunion had paid the expenses for 1994 and 1995, and there was $78 left over. She wondered if the group present had any ideas on using it. After a brief discussion, it was decided to leave it with the secretary for the time being. No offering was taken, but $25 was added by several relatives, which leaves us with a carry-over of $101 for 1996.
Donald Retzlaff and his son, Donnie, spoke about the family books, and what they hope to get done on reworking them before the 1996 reunion. Norma had put together some picture albums of the various family branches, from extra photos not used in the history books. These were from past reunions, and she stated that she needs help in identifying many of them. These albums were enjoyed very much by those present, and will be available each year for us to name the people she has not been able to identify.
Donald then spoke of his childhood memories of visits to Grandpa Retzlaff's home in Lexington, and how he marveled that in spite of a large family of their own -- 10 to 12 children -- they took in several nieces and nephews who needed a home. Tim asked if anyone else would like to share some memories of those who have gone on, or to share experiences of their early life, and many did. It was a good time well spent, to treasure the things that make our heritage come alive for us.
Those present thanked the Lexington relatives for a good meal, and the comfortable meeting place. It was voted to hold the reunion in Lexington in 1996. Pat Retzlaff volunteered to send the notices.
Mrs. Robert Vance