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Alumni return from all over for celebration

Staff writer

Seeing classmates and catching up on their lives lures people from local homes or faraway cities to Old Settlers’ Day in Marion.

Jeff Schinner, class of 1977, came from Glen Rose, Texas. He comes to Marion for Old Settlers’ Day every five years, when his class is honored at the celebration.

It gives him an opportunity to visit his sister, Carol Robertson, as well as see his classmates and the people he grew up with, he said.

His classmate, Jim Bliss, of Derby, said about 30 to 35 class members rode a parade float and then gathered at Florence for dinner at the American Legion.

Four members of the class of 1947 came to gather, but three rode the float in the parade.

Janice Case, whose nephew Casey Case served as parade master of ceremonies, said she now lives in Overland Park.

Born and raised in Marion, she and her husband moved away three years ago, she said.

“Otherwise, we never miss,” Case said.

The couple arrived in Marion Friday evening and stayed with friends, then had Saturday brunch with classmates.

Mary Sue Reh came from Cave Creek, Arizona.

“I was here three years ago, but before that, not for a long time,” Reh said.

Her sister, Marilyn Murray, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, said it was her doing that Reh came three years ago.

“I drug her here,” Murray said.

Another class of 1947 member didn’t have far to come and never misses an Old Settlers’ Day.

Connie Fisher moved from Chicago to Marion with her parents at age 5, started and finished school in Marion, and never moved away.

“The reason we moved here is because an aunt and uncle moved to Wichita,” Fisher said.

She was always content living here and never wanted to move away, Fisher said.

Gene Schimpf, a member of the class of 1964, traveled 1,024 miles from Black Mountain, North Carolina, to attend the celebration, and never misses a year.

“Every year we come here because this place is so important,” Schimpf said.

Don Westerhaus gets double duty out of coming from Bloomington, Indiana, for Old Settlers’ Day. He and his siblings, Mary Wheeler of Fall River, Mississippi, Cathy Doak of Dallas, Texas, Denise Hutchison of Arlington, Texas, and Doug Westerhaus of Overland Park, have a family reunion during the weekend.

Last modified Oct. 5, 2017

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