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Jo’s Jottings: Offutt family reunion draws members from 15 states, Mexico

By Jo Ellen Dale

As I mentioned in my last column, I do have more information about the Offutt reunion.  On June 8, the descendants of Jane Elizabeth (Betty) Hewlett Offutt and Frederick Samuel Offutt got together at the United Christian Presbyterian Church in Richmond.  Seven of the 10 children of Betty and Fred were represented by the 123 attendees from 15 different states and Mexico. Extended family members from the (King) Allen, (Hewlett) Creason and (Hewlett) Hamacher families were also present.  Burt Harrison of Richmond and Alice Joanne Chase of Nebraska are grandchildren of Fred and Betty.
Frederick Samuel Offutt was the son of Littleton Offutt, who came to Ray County 171 years ago.  He was one of the leading potato growers of the Orrick district.  He was president of the Bank of Orrick from 1916-1942, and also built the first Christian Union church in the Orrick bottoms.  The church was located on what is now highway Z Highway near the Offutt farms. He and Betty brought up their 10 children in that area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
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Carol Williamson writes that Charles (Sandy) Hicks of Arlington, Va. visited Richmond June 11-14.  He is the cousin of Lucille Gill and the late Robert Middleton.  While here he toured Ray County Museum with Hal Middleton.  Tom and Carol Williamson hosted a gathering at their house on Wedneday night and those attending were Sandy Hicks, Shirley Middleton, Hal Middleton, Ray and Lucille Gill, Christie and Jerry White, Kenneth and Hannah White and daughters, Faith and Grace, Marcie and A.J. Shinebarger and John Gill.  Everyone looked at old pictures, laughed and reminisced.  Sounds like a wonderful reunion.
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Richmond Kiwanis Club met June 25 at the 19th Hole with 14 members and four guests the Carrollton club.  During the meeting, a report was given on the interclub with Carrollton that noted five of our members, Don Kerin, Jerry McCarter, Judge Miller, Nathan Preston and Bob Swafford, went.  Program for the day was given by Paul Teegarden, president of the Richmond Baseball Association.  He began by telling something about the organization, which is non-profit and makes use of the field south of Hwy. 10 in a park created by the city and school.  He added that the association has spent much time and money on improvements such as fence repair and bathroom renovations, which will make it necessary to charge players a fee next year for uniforms and tournament fees.  They have three major sponsors and serve children in age groups 12 and under, 10 and under and 8 and under.  Most of the games are played at the Fountain Bluff complex in Liberty.  Mr. Teegarden is a graduate of RHS and was very complimentary about his teachers.
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Friday, Bonnie McCalley and I had lunch at Hometown Pizza and with Rotary meeting there I went in to hear the program.  Jamie McGinnis spoke about the Ray County Fair Association, which offers the youth of Ray County its own fair each July.  She mentioned all the events that will take place between July 12-20 and young people and adults alike many opportunities  for learning and displaying their talents and skills.  Very interesting program and well done.  During the business meeting, it was announced there will be no meeting this Friday due to the holiday.  Two guests from the Rotary Interact Club at Richmond High School were also introduced.
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Betty Daniel visited her son Darrin and daughter-in-law Cherie in Colorado Springs, Colo. last week.  Her grandson Bradley drove her out there. She enjoyed visiting Glen Eyrie, home of the Navigators and Garden of the Gods, always a beautiful place and many other interesting sites.  On Friday she attended a ceremony honoring Darrin and Cherie on the renewal of their wedding vows after 25 years. She returned to Richmond with Lauren Daniel, her granddaughter, on Sunday.
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Larry Best, general manager of Shirkey Golf Club, tells me that many things have been going on at the club. Ninety young people from the Kansas City Golf Association held a tournament a Shirkey and there was the 23nd Annual Sandra Bodenhamer-Zeysing Memorial Tournament held there as well. In July, Kyle Crowley will give junior golf lessons.  Private lessons will also be available.  We should all realize what a blessing this golf course has been to our town, bringing in visitors from all over the country.
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Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing the performance of “Annie, Jr.” at the Farris Theatre presented by the Farris Youth Theatre Company to an enthusiastic crowd. I have long said that for a small town Richmond has had an amazing wealth of talent through the years.  After seeing “Annie, Jr.,” I am even more convinced.  Everything about it from the young protagonists, the music, the costumes, the choreography, the sets were wonderful.  Director Sandy Cazzell and all the others who had a hand in the production are to be complimented.  Bravo and brava!!
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Be careful with your fireworks.  Personally, I don’t care for the noisy kind, but I love to sit at a distance and watch the beautiful displays.  Hope all of you have a safe holiday and will send me more news next week.
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Finally, remember that the Masons’ fish fry scheduled for July 5 has been cancelled.  Dale...@aol.com

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