It may seem a little odd to feature scenes from a funeral, but Aunt Marie Miller's homecoming on Saturday at the Columbia Cemetery was such a joyful time ...
We found someone willing to take a group shot of the 13 of us who represented Marie's immediate family at the service --- on several cameras. So here we are (from left) Erika McEvoy, granddaughter; Karen (Miller) McEvoy, daughter; Dick McEvoy, son-in-law; Rachel Sims, grandniece; Megan Tomlinson, great-grandniece; Rebecca Tomlinson, grandniece; Alice (Krutsinger) Sims, niece and mother and grandmother to Rachel, Rebecca and Megan; Jack Krutsinger and Susi Krutsinger, nephew and niece-in-law; Linda (Miller) Coss, daughter; Suzanne (Miller) Franklin, daughter; Bill Franklin, son-in-law; and Frank Myers, nephew.
Those of us still in town (Suzanne and Bill flew home to Atlanta yesterday afternoon) will get together for breakfast this morning before scattering.
Alan (left) and Lorie Pearson, special friends of Marie, went way above and beyond the call of duty by serving us all breakfast before the drive to Columbia Saturday morning. Alan was always on call, especially during the years Marie was alone on the farm, to deal with emergencies --- including a late-night telephone call to him (rather than the fire department) after a lightning strike fried quite a bit of wiring in the big old house. "I think the house is on fire," Alan remembered Aunt Marie saying. "Shouldn't you call the fire department?" he asked. As it turned out, the house wasn't on fire. Two of Marie's sons-in-law, Dick McEvoy (left) and Bill Franklin, are visiting with Alan here.
Dachenbach cousins and quite a few of Marie's friends from the Knoxville Church of Christ were waiting for us at the cemetery (after, ahem, everyone other than Susie, Jack and I missed the turnoff to Columbia and just kept heading north on Highway 14). So there was a good crowd gathered under Clark's Fielding Funeral Home tent.
Suzanne is greeting several of Marie' friends from church here.
Marie, I think, would have been gratified that so many of her family and friends gathered for the occasion (her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren had gathered previously, last Sunday, for a memorial service in New York).
After the service, we took the long route back to Chariton to visit the grave of our ancestor, William Clair/Clear, who was buried in 1853 on a hilltop about a mile southeast of the cemetery because it hadn't been established yet. (His wife, Mary, who died 20 years later, was interred in the cemetery.)
That's Megan Tomlinson standing near the old boy's grave. He would have been her great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
We continued past the family farms just west of Williamson Pond, trespassing (just a little) to take a snapshot of the house my great-grandmother, Mary (Clair) Miller, built during the 1890s, still owned by cousins.
Then back to the Charitone Market Grille for lunch. We managed to spend lots of time together on Friday and Saturday --- in part thanks to the wonderful food, staff and service at the Charitone, three consecutive meals on two days. Susie suggested a small plaque. Megan wants to come back to Chariton (from Texas) just to sample more of the menu.