The annual reunion of the Franz Ferdinand Retzlaff family was held July 21, 1996, in the Lexington Lutheran Parish Hall with 53 relatives and 1 visitor registering for the day.

Donald and Norma, and their son, Donald Alan, were present with the boxes of history books on the families. These books are of great interest, especially to the several families who now are digging deeper into their beginnings. However, most books are lagging behind in recent family events.

The noon meal was provided by the Lexington relatives with desserts brought by the ones who had to travel.

Following the praise and thanksgiving blessing given by Arnold Kleinschmidt, the food was much enjoyed by everyone. Picture taking was in order any time the two Donalds could get the groups together.

Wayne Retzlaff conducted the business meeting. The longest distance traveled was from Del Mar, California, by Gena and Charles Clark; with the most members present was the Otto Retzlaff family, followed closely by the Mary Retzlff Vance families. The oldest family member was Gussie Vance at 88, and the youngest was Clay Brockenbush at 6 weeks.

The wedding of Shelly Lynn Retzlaff, granddaughter of Ruben and Elois, to Keith Brian Spradlin on April 27, 1996, was noted. Births reported were: Melanie Lee Judice, April 18, 1996, Addison Cerise Walker, December 1, 199,5 Caroline Murray, December, 1995 (8 months), and Kathryn Ann Shouse, April, 1996 (3 months).

Donald Alan spoke about and presented to the group the work he is doing on the Adolph Retzlaff family. He stated it will be possible to take the old books and do the same for each family group if they desire it. He has not completed the work on his branch, but wanted everyone to see what can be done now with the use of the computer. Donald senior also spoke and made clear just how wide spread his son has the Retzlaff history on the Internet. He is getting inquiries from Retzlaff's in other nations, as well as the U.S.

Again, several people spoke of their memories of old times in the various family branches, and this time they were being recorded. Rich and varied are the tales to be told -- the afternoon is just not long enough to hear them all.

Lexington will again be host to the reunion in 1997 with a catered meal. Bobby Vance was named to be in charge.

Mrs. Robert Vance