Saturday, October 08, 2016

Cousins ...

Thirteen of us gathered for supper Friday evening at the Charitone, three generations of cousins who had arrived in town beginning Thursday from New York, Georgia, Texas and Colorado for memorial graveside services this morning at Columbia Cemetery for Marie Miller, our mother and aunt. That service begins at 10:30 a.m. on what promises to be a beautiful day for a homecoming.

Marie (Lindquist) Miller, widow of Richard, died Sept. 12 at Victor, New York, at the age of 96.

I'll do my best to round up the entire group for a photo today, but was too busy eating and talking to do this stellar group justice last night and had forgotten to take a camera along earlier, when we all gathered at the museum.

But those are my cousins Linda (Miller) Coss, of Allen Park, Michigan (left) and Suzanne (Miller) Franklin, of Atlanta --- two of Marie's daughters --- at the top; and Karen (Miller) McEvoy, Marie's eldest (left), of Victor, New York, along with Susi Krutsinger of Boulder, Colorado, immediately above. Susi's husband is our cousin Jack Krutsinger, left.

The fifth of the first cousins present is Jack's sister, Alice (Krutsinger) Sims, below, along with her daughter, Rebecca, both of Lewisville, Texas. And I was the sixth, the sole Iowan among them. There were fifteen of us originally, but two have died. So almost half of the remainder are here.

Among the things we talked about yesterday was how our parents' generation had scattered, their children and grandchildren even moreso --- like buckshot from coast to coast.

Our grandfather, William Ambrose Miller, born on a farm in English Township that remained in the family until Aunt Marie sold it just a few years ago, was one of nine children, one of whom died as an infant. The remaining eight all married in Lucas County and lived in Lucas County until they died. There are hundreds of descendants by now, far too many to keep track of.

But our parents --- there were seven children, one of whom died as an infant --- all moved away except my mother, Reefa, who married Daniel Myers and carried on the family farming tradition in Lucas County. There were various reasons to scatter, but the Great Depression certainly was a major factor.

Uncle Joe Miller married Helen Krutsinger and moved to Colorado with their two children, Dean Miller, now of Reno, Nevada, and Darlis (Miller) Miller, of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Uncle Owen was something of an adventurer, but settled down finally on a ranch north of Buffalo, Wyoming, where he and Aunt Norma (Wilson) Miller raised a family of five --- Wayne, Willa, Jessie, Doug and Gerry, all of whom are living.

Aunt Mae Miller married a Wyoming boy, Elmer Gibbany, and settled at Buffalo, too. Their only son, Mervin, died during 1992 in Denver. Aunt Mary Miller married Kenneth Krutsinger and they settled in Boulder, Colorado, where they raised three children --- Alice, Margaret and Jack. Margaret died in Longmont, Colorado, just last year.

And Richard married Marie Lindquist and raised their family of three daughters in Allen Park, Michigan, before retiring to the family farm in Lucas County.

Aunt Marie was the last of her generation in our immediate family, a somewhat disconcerting remainder that we --- those 13 cousins --- are now the oldest generation officially.

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