"The Stadem Family Reunion,"

at the Hilts' Home,

Rapid City,

May 25-27, 1984,

by Bernice Schaefer

The family reunion of 1984 is now history but it is not forgotten. This past year we have looked forward to this event ever since Bonnie (Spilde- Hilt) spoke up at Leroy's (where we had gathered to honor Mama's coronation day)[Mama Bergit passed to Glory 1983) and offered her home as a place to meet for a family reunion.

During the intervening year letters have been exchanged as to what important things needed attention. One suggestion to which there was a good follow-up was the joint-writing of memorials in respect to Papa and Mama. These were enjoyed by all attending. Cora, Estelle, and Be wrote at length while Ruthie and Tom gave an appropriate poem based on Psa. 113:3, plus a carnation to each of the sisters and brother in a special vase.

As for me I arrived in S.D. a few days early, LeRoy and Liz meeting met at Pierre enroute home from Mary's graduation at Decorah, IA. The next few days were spent in baking bread and buns, as they say, "...a helping hand is better than a helping mouth." Ruth stopped entroute to Rapid City, we followed on Saturday morning after a wedding and other pastoral responsibilities by the Stadems, arriving about noon. The house was alive with sisters, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Myrt and Bill, Mim from Park City, UT., Alida, Hans, Eloise, Gary, Shirley, Dan, Kathy, and our wonderful host family, Bonnie, Joe, Chad, Tom, Laura, Matthew, --and how could I mis-place the name of the college girl that had just returned from Phoenix after a year with her brother Jim in Brookings? Grandpa and Grandma Spilde listened with pride as Laura sang choruses accompanied by tapes her mother had made available.

Because of our late arrival at the get-to-gether food and other essentials had been purchased and taken care of. Myrt inherited the role of "kitchen Sergeant" with help from the nieces and our hosts.

LeRoy and Liz had been in Pasadena visiting the Lundrings a few days before the get-to-gethers and they brought back a tape Ax [Axel Lundring, son of Tena Lundring, elder sister to Mama Bergit Stadem] on wich they reminisced of more youthful days. They also had another tape of Axel and Mama [Mama Bergit Stadem] chatting together several years ago. It was truly interesting to hear these dear voices. Then I asked if they could take another tape in, that of an interview Pearl and I had made with Mama a few years ago. Russ had made up extra copies of this tape and the sisters and brother readily forked over the cost of the tape.

For the evening meal wild turkey was served, this had been "bagged" by LeRoy. Or, was it chili made by Kathy that was served? My memory fails me there.

We were pleased to see two of the gals wearing maternity clothes, guess who? Mim and Shirley. We all were happy for them. Mim left early so missed out on the surprise party Kathy headed up Saturday evening--bringing a beautifully decorated cake and gift for the baby to be from us all.

Ruth and Tom are looking forward to having a get-to-gether on the home place some day as they have purchased acreage there, including the buildings. They are undertaking a "face-lifting" project there now. All of us are grateful for how things turned out in respect to the farm, Papa and Mama would have been greatly pleased with the arrangements.

We do not know what the future holds, but we know Him who holds all things. His love knows no ending, His grace never runs out, changes may come to us before we meeting again as a family but the Father's care will hold each one dear.


If we could see beyond today as God can see,

If all the clouds should roll away, the shadows flee...

O'er present griefs we would not fret,

Each sorrow we should soon forget,

For many joys are waiting yet

For you and me.

If we could see...if we could know! We often say;

But God, in love, a veil doth throw across our way.

We cannot see what lies before,

And so we cling to Him the more,

He leads us till this life is o'er!

Author Unknown.

My love, Be

Note: I do hope the tapes Aunt Be mentioned will be made available in the Archives for the Plain View Heritage Barn, when that center is established. I have them, perhaps, and others may have them, but we need to preserved them as audio on the website, so that they will not be lost to age and wear.--Ed.

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