Detwiler Family celebrates 116 years

Officers and family members celebrate together at the 116th Detwiler Family Reunion. Shown left to right: Cecile Fetters, secretary; Sandy Detwiler Lusch, president; Dick Lusch, historian; Aaron Fetters, Eric Fetters, treasurer and April Fetters. Front row: left to right Daniel Fetters and Eliana Fetters.

“Family Fun” was the focus at the 116th Detwiler Family Reunion, held Saturday, August 18, 2012, at Camp Innabah, Pughtown. 57 descendants of Henry and Catherine Detwiler joined together to remember their heritage and “celebrate together” with fun activities planned for young and old alike.

As family members arrived there was a large colorful kite displayed with the day’s information noted on it, including the names of the 12 children of Henry and Catherine, created by Megan Roussey. “Still soaring along after 116 years,” suggested by Kevin Roussey reflects the family’s commitment to the importance of family, so a part of Henry and Catherine and their 12 children’s lives, so many years ago.

After signing in, those attending put their family fun photos on display boards, one of which showed a photo taken at an early reunion with family members and the first President, Harry L. Detwiler, elected on Aug. 20, 1910, and who served for 37 years until Aug. 16, 1947. Though the reunion began in 1897 it was not until 1910 they “organized” to have officers and organized meetings the third Saturday of August each year. The current president is his granddaughter Sandy Detwiler Lusch who was elected Aug. 16, 2003. Photos included were family vacation destinations near and far, including Russia, Catalina Island, a four generation family get-together photo in Brant Lake, N.Y., taken after climbing a mountain together, as well as flying kites together in Valley Forge Park, to photos taken in their own backyards. Photos of the displays were taken and will become part of the family record.

Genealogy information was given to Dick Lusch, historian, who will update each of the 12 descendant lines. Poster displays included photos of teenagers to the very young shown creating posters, preparing for each Reunion Day. A reunion tradition from the first reunion held in 1897 was a contest of a baseball game with the single men vs. the married men. Scores were listed from Aug. 15, 1903, to Aug. 20, 1920. It was always a highly contested event with overall scores for this period having the “single men” winning the most games! That definitely varied from year to year. This bulletin board size poster was created by Zachary Zern, Nick Zern and Kevin Roussey.

A moment of silence was held prior to the giving of Grace, followed by the singing of the Doxology, with accompaniment by Christopher Fetters on the piano. Table centerpieces were created by Amy Roussey with hand painted mini kites on each. All enjoyed the buffet meal after which a group photo was taken with the background of the heirloom quilt. The quilt along with the Family Crest is housed in a different family member’s home until the following reunion.

The young children created Kites which Amy Roussey had painted for them at the Make and Take Table. The children were excused prior to the Business meeting, when swimming was available from 2 to 5 p.m. as well as canoeing, ping pong, and reunion games. Christine Roussey provided prizes for the activities. Wendy Zern handled the Door Prizes. During the business meeting the family voted on the many suggestions for a family motto. The winning entry will be formally adopted at the 2013 Reunion to be held on August 17, 2013. Dick Lusch, historian, gave a report including births, death and marriages that have occurred since the last reunion. He announced the Detwiler Family website at www.detwilerfamily.org has been updated. The “tradition” of serving ice cream after the business meeting is adjourned, continues to this day. This was begun at the very first reunion.

President Sandy Detwiler Lusch displayed a photo of the first reunion held Sept. 30, 1897, and reminded the family members present “Let us be ever mindful of our families heritage and the family values so important in the lives of Henry and Catherine Detwiler, and their 12 children.” This is why the family together on this day. Relatives will honor family traditions and the next generation as they plan for future generations to come. Officers elected for the upcoming year are President: Sandy Detwiler Lusch; Secretary: Cecile Fetters, Treasurer: Eric Fetters and Dick Lusch, Historian. The next reunion, the 117th, will be held on Aug. 17, 2013, at which time the family motto will be formally adopted and become part of the historical family records.