My Sweet Mama and her siblings got together last week for an informal sort of reunion.  Uncle Lloyd Wert and his wife, Aunt Bev, provided the place and the food.  All that the rest of them had to do was show up.  And they did. 

My Grandparents had eight children.  The oldest was a Son, Harold, and then followed five girls (Orpha, Alene, Gladys, Freda, Alma Jean) before another boy (Lloyd) was born, and then, after him, the final child, another girl, Ruth Ann. 

There were 37 grandchildren.  Three were killed in automobile accidents, so that leaves 34 of us.  Of the 37 grandchildren, 7 inherited the “Wert” last name.  There were that many (7) Gingerichs, 4 Zehrs, 3 Shirks, 16 Yoders.

Harold married Mary Hepner.

Orpha married Lloyd Gingerich.

Alene married Mark Yoder.

Gladys married Jesse Yoder (Mark’s brother).

Freda married Vernon Zehr.

Alma Jean married Harvey Yoder (not closely related to the other two Yoders as far as we know).

J. Lloyd married Beverly Shreiner.

Ruth Ann married Allen Shirk.

When they got together last week, they were all there — except my Daddy.  (And because of Alzheimer’s, one of our beloved Aunties wasn’t quite herself.) The eight siblings are all surprisingly pretty much together and “with it” enough that they really enjoyed the day.  It was hard for my Sweet Mama.  The tears were close almost every time she talked to me in the days before the gathering .  She hated to go without Daddy, but believed that it would not be wise to stay home.  And so, she went, and she survived.  I was so proud of her.  I know it was terribly hard, since this is the first time they were together like this since Daddy died, and it was bittersweet for all of them.  Uncle Allen got a decent picture of the eight of them together and Unkie (Uncle Lloyd Wert) took the rest.  I wish I could have been a mouse in the house that day, but I’ve heard the account, and I’ve seen the pictures.  That is almost as good!


In the back, from the left, Aunt Ruth Ann, Aunt Alma Jean, Aunt Freda, Aunt Gladys, Uncle Lloyd
In the front, from the left, Aunt Orpha, Uncle Harold and My Sweet Mama, Alene.


Uncle Harvey with Aunt Alma Jean, Aunt Freda, Aunt Gladys


Uncle Lloyd’s wife, Aunt Bev, and Aunt Mary Wert (She belongs to Uncle Harold)



Aunt Gladys and Uncle Lloyd.


Aunt Gladys, Aunt Ruth Ann and Aunt Alma Jean


Uncle Harold Wert and Aunt Orpha Gingerich



My Sweet Mama with her lifelong friend, Aunt Mary (Hepner) Wert


Uncle Allen Shirk and Uncle Harold Wert



Uncle Vernon Zehr talks to Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Bev’s son, Phil Wert.  (Phil is one of the five male grandchildren that carries the Wert name) and that is Aunt Gladys Yoder sitting there with what looks like a halo. 


This is half of Aunt Alma Jean Yoder, talking to Uncle Lloyd Gingerich, and Uncle Jesse Yoder


Aunt Ruth Ann Shirk and Aunt Orpha Gingerich



Aunt Mary Wert talks to Aunt Freda Zehr, and Uncle Vernon Zehr holds down the other end of the couch.



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5 responses to “

  1. What a treasure this post is. What a rich heritage we have and the older I get the more I value our extented family. Thanks so very much for sharing with us.

  2. By the way, I love Aunt Gladys halo.

  3. Nice pictures of a grand time. I agree with Polly about cherishing times like this even more as we get older

  4. Houston, we have a connection!!!  Your Aunt Alma Jean was my brother’s fourth grade teacher at the little country Mennonite grade school we attended near Waynesboro, VA.  And Harvey was my Bible teacher — I think it was my junior year — at Eastern Mennonite. 

  5. About the time I think I know who all you’re related to, I discover there are even more that I know! I knew your aunt Bev’s family as a child. I clearly remember the day her dad died. Also, sometime in the past year or so I read a really precious article about her mom and youngest sister and the close relationship they still maintain. Also, didn’t Allen Shirk teach at Lancaster Mennonite? And of course I knew your Wert and Gingrich cousins. I love the way you wrote this out so clearly. How wonderful that they could all be together!

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