(Editor’s note: this is the second of two parts of excerpts of the record of the Rychener Family Reunion. The first part featured the story of the record, and excerpts from years prior to 1940. This week features excerpts from 1940 until 1972.)
Despite a second world war, a cold war, wars in Korea and Vietnam, a civil rights movement, the assassination of a president, and a space race, the descendants of Christian and John Rychener never failed to hold a family reunion.
But by 1972, interest in the yearly family gathering, an annual event started in 1911, wore out.
In 1941, the 30th reunion was held at Wildwood Park in Delta.
“After a bountiful basket dinner, the business meeting was called to order by the president, V.M. Reighard.
"After considerable discussion it was found that no record had been made of the reunion held at the home of C. J. Rychener, Brailey, Ohio, in the year of 1916. It was moved and supported that a record be made of this reunion.”
In 1943 the record notes “after waiting for some time for the people that did not come, the 22 present ate a most bountiful dinner.
“On account of the frequent showers of rain, the meeting was held in the shelter house.”
In 1947, there were 80 people present, all of whom enjoyed a hearty meal.
“Group singing was enjoyed by everyone.”
After the 1947 business meeting, “ice cream was the big attraction.”
In 1947, the collection was $18.46; coffee and ice cream cost $10.46.
In 1950, the record indicates approximately 156 members of the family, the largest then on record, attended the 39th reunion, which was moved to Reighard Park in Wauseon.
“The group was called together and one verse of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” was sung, led by Earl Rychener, who acted as chorister for the day.
"Thanks was then offered for the noon meal, led by Ora Frey, after which a bounteous dinner was enjoyed by all present, as everybody came with well-filled baskets.”
At the 45th reunion in 1956, the record states, “After the election of officers, the meeting was turned over to Rev. and Mrs. Paul Miller and family. They came dressed in their native costume.
“The Millers told us the experiences they had while working as missionaries in India. Paul also showed a lot of skins of animals he shot in India.
“After their talk, they announced they were planning on returning to India in the middle of October. A motion was then made to take up an offering for them, which was $53.”
At the 1957 reunion, Irene King, secretary treasurer, noted "coffee, milk, etc.," was $2.87; cards were $7.08, and $5 went to the shelter house. The year ended with $11.67 in the treasury.
In the early 1960s, at least one reunion was held at the Sportsman’s Club, Wauseon.
In 1963, the group met at the “Boy Scout Cabin.”
No official count was taken of the members present, the report states.
The Millers were back, and discussed their missionary work in India.
The 1967 reunion report states, “Charlie Nafziger gave a short report of his trip to Europe and the Holy Land the past summer.
“It was suggested by William Rychener that we examine the tombstone on his grandfather’s grave, located in the Eckley Cemetery, to decide at our next year’s reunion what should be done to repair or replace the present stone.”
The following year, “Earl Rychener gave the group some information on prices, colors, sizes, etc. for a new tombstone for grandfather Rychener at Eckley Cemetery.
“William Rychener made a motion that we accept Earl’s offer for the $200 stone… it was suggested that just the year of birth and year of death be put on the stone. The 1969 report states the new stone had been placed.
The 62nd and last reunion was 1972, at the Boy Scout Cabin in Ruihley Park, Archbold, when there were 30 in attendance.
“Earl Rychener acted as president. We discussed having another reunion. Mark Rychener made a motion to discontinue the reunion and Glenn Rychener seconded it. We voted to discontinue it.”