RETZLAFF FAMILY REUNION - July 17, 1999

The 52nd Annual Retzlaff Reunion was held July 17, 1999, in Lexington, Texas in the St. James Lutheran Parish Hall with 53 relatives and 3 visitors present. This was the first time to have the meeting on Saturday instead of on Sunday, and could have partially accounted for the smaller turnout.

Donald and Norma Retzlaff and son, Donald, arrived early with the boxes of family histories, which became a popular center of interest throughout the day. The morning, as usual, was spent in greetings as relatives arrived and in picture taking. Those who are consistent attendees find much to wonder or laugh about as they see how they dressed, aged, and changed during the half century that has passed since the reunion began.

The noon meal was catered, and consisted of a very tender beef roast and a choice of vegetables. Many expressed their appreciation for the change from barbecue, though that, too, is a favorite of many.

Tim Kleinschmidt held a business meeting soon after the meal, and it was found that 10 were present from the Arnold Hugo Retzlaff (Kleinschmidt) family, 3 from the Adolph, 30 from the Bernard, and 4 from the Augusta Retzlaff Grauke family.

The youngest was 10 month old Margaret Kathryn Murray, daughter of Kim Rogers and David Murray, granddaughter of Kathy Tonahill Rogers, and great- granddaughter of Geneva Retzlaff Tonahill. The oldest in attendance was Frieda Placke at age 89. Earl and Faye Urbantke of Lubbock, Texas traveled the longest distance to attend.

Births reported since last reunion was Margaret Kathryn Murray on September 11, 1998.

Deaths reported were: Nancy Lee Cunningham, daughter of Marvin and Flora Peterson Cunningham, on April 18, 1999, in Three Rivers, Texas; (She was a dedicated schoolteacher and lover of animals); and Birdie Ozella Southerland Carr, daughter of Ozella Stone Southerland, on May 27, 1999.

A discussion was held about late responses as to how many would attend the reunion. More than 100 reminders are sent out each year, and since we seem to prefer a catered meal rather than bringing a basket lunch, it is necessary to let the caterer know the number to prepare for. A number of suggestions were made but none settled on - except each family should be careful to get the information in at least a week or 10 days before the reunion date.

Both Donalds spoke concerning the family books - what has been done and what can be cone by computer. Also, Donald Alan, called attention to some books he had done and brought along to give us an idea of what we might want to have done with the updated histories he has worked up.

Donald, Sr., told an interesting story about his grandparents: they were married on board ship when they came to America from Germany, they landed at Galveston during a hurricane, they were safely taken from the ship, but it was several days before they could get their possessions. He is the proud owner of some of those things - a Bible and a spinning wheel among them.

During a discussion, it was agreed to have the reunion in 2000 on the third Saturday of July, and it to be in the same place in Lexington, the Lexington relatives to work the details out among themselves.

(Signed) Ruby Vance, Secretary