612th Tank Destroyer Battalion Association

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2007 Reunion

August 2, 3 and 4, 2007

Fairfield Inn and Suites

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

 

   

Our 54th Reunion was held at the Fairfield Inn in Murfreesboro, Tennessee from August 2nd through the 5th. This was our second visit to the Fairfield Inn and the fine folks that work there were just as wonderful and welcoming as they were on our first visit. We look forward to returning!

 

Our hosts the Fayne Haynes and Avery Sanders Families outdid themselves once again in showering us with true Southern Hospitality. This was by far one of our best reunions yet owing greatly to the hard work,

Fayne Haynes

Janice Bellamy

Anita Stanley

Avery Sanders

 

Diane Kelton

 

endless dedication and love for the folks of the 612th shown by Janice Bellamy, Anita Stanley and Dianne Kelton.What an outstanding job these ladies did! We just cannot praise them or thank them enough!Tena Phillips, Glenda Millar, Hazel Scott and Judy Ramhoff were the first to arrive on Wednesday. I believe first time attendees Jesse and Hazel Weaver along with their daughter Mary Hartman arrived Wednesday as well. Most of the festivities kicked off Thursday morning. Guest who checked in at the Hospitality Room were greeted with name badges and a lovely gift basket filled with local products – Goo Goo Bars, Moon Pies, candies, soda and more. Every family group also received an orange folder with a schedule of events and loads of informative (facts on Arlington Cemetery and what the flag draped coffin means) as well as humorous information about Tennessee and quotes by Jeff Foxworthy.

Thursday afternoon brought the arrival of Glyn and Earl Sain along with sister-in-law Dorothy Tomlinson and tag-along Susie Pidsosny. (Thanks for the ride Dee!) Iris Morris and her friends Flo Lefton, Carolyn VerHoeven and sister-in-law Greta Childs arrived Thursday evening followed quickly by Pearl Noland and her daughter Nancy Ewing. A short time later Iona Nix, daughter Judy Odum and niece Wanda O’Kelly came in.

Friday morning kicked off bright and early with a complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel.

What part of
“It’s NOT ready yet!”
don’t you understand?

At 10 a.m. there was a tour of the Haynes Museum followed by a noon picnic on the grounds at Oakland Mansion where our host Jim Bellamy manned the grill and served up some “man size” burgers. Those things were huge but delicious! Thanks Jim!  While Jim prepared our burgers the ladies got busy putting out baked beans, sliced watermelon and all kinds of burger toppings. Oh I almost forgot about those amazing brownies!

While the temperature was busy breaking records – if I recall correctly it was 101 that day – we were quite comfortable under the covered pavilion. It also helped that Janice (who thinks of everything - Bless her heart!) brought electric fans.

After a lovely lunch some folks headed back to the hotel while others headed out to do some shopping and a few others went back to the Haynes Museum to make some purchases.

Weaver Family

Sadly, the Weaver Family had to leave for home after lunch. They had a family reunion on Sunday and had to head back to Birmingham. We were all sorry to see them go but so pleased that these fine folks were able to join us this year and that Jesse was able to reunite at long last with some of his 612th buddies. As our dear old friend Jack Flanagan liked to say “God willing, we look forward to seeing them again next year!”

Talmadge Riley

As some folks were heading home others were just arriving. Ed Winslow and his daughter Sandy were just coming in as we arrived back at the hotel. We ran into Talmadge and Ruth Riley along with middle son Dennis and his friend E.J. Abell who were heading out in search of a meal after checking in. Poor Talmadge looked as if he had been kicked by a mule – and in fact he had just that morning been butted in the head by his son Dennis’ baby mule. Thankfully, Talmadge wasn’t hurt worse than he was but as each day progressed his eye and nose seemed to get blacker and bluer!

A short time later our “Moon Pie Lady”, Geneva Smith joined us - looking lovely as always.

Before we barely had time to digest lunch we found ourselves digging into a scrumptious buffet dinner at 6 o’clock on Friday night. In addition to all the pies, cakes and cookies, Dean Uhles provided us with this beautiful sheet cake.

Mary Ann Wesoly outdid herself with  the table centerpieces for the Friday night buffet. The various centerpieces depicted photos of men from the 612th as well as tanks and posters for War Bonds, etc. You could tell she had put a lot of work into these. Thank you Mary Ann!

Dinner was followed by Bingo and more fellowship. Half way through the Bingo game we were all pleased by the arrival of Jewel and Ouida Raulins.

Our dear Tena who has experienced one serious health problem after another since the last reunion was the last one out of the Hospitality Room on Friday night! I think these reunions are just the medicine she needs. I know she loves coming to them and it was so good to see her feeling good and looking so well.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early with the promise of another record breaking day! I think it hit 102! (I’d like to offer my thanks to who ever it was that invented air conditioning)!

At 11 a.m. we held our formal Business meeting.

After some talk as to whether this would be our last reunion it was voted unanimously to continue meeting on a year to year basis. The dates for our next reunion are July 31st through August 3rd.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Haynes and Avery Families we will once again be gathering together in Murfreesboro, TN at the Fairfield Inn in 2008.

As we have located or been “found by” several more veterans of the 612th in just this year alone, Iris Morris is planning to add additional names to our 612th quilt which she so lovingly designed and made. We will be working on an updated list and I will post it in the next newsletter prior to our reunion.

As of now the names we need to add are:

George Gaut

Kyler B. Smith

Jesse Weaver

John W. Sowers, Jr.

It was also decided and voted on that we would continue to collect membership dues and hold the Flower Fund Raffle. Extra monies will be used to defer expenses for those in attendance at our reunions.

After the business meeting we had the afternoon free to do as we please. Most folks stayed around the Hospitality Room to visit and only left when it was time to set up for the dinner banquet. Then we just relocated down the hall in the main lobby and breakfast area and visited some more.

Donn Fischer catching a few ZZZZs

At 5:30 everyone (well almost everyone!*) gathered together in the main lobby and breakfast area for our annual group photo. *Donn Fischer dozed off during the business meeting and didn’t hear that the time was changed for the group photo – Donn was finally located and he made it down for the photo Someone had the wonderful idea to hang the 612th quilt in the background and it does look lovely in the photos.

Special thanks to our photographer for kindly forwarding the photos to Rick by e-mail so he could download them to our 612th website.

 Following the group photo session we filed into the hospitality room once again, this time for our Dinner Banquet. Mr. Ernest Burgess, Rutherford County Mayor was our guest speaker. Following yet another outstanding meal it was time for our annual Flower Fund Raffle. All too soon it was time to call it a night.

Sunday morning seemed to go by much too quickly with a final continental breakfast and hurried goodbyes! The past few days, like always, seemed to have flown by!

I hope that Jim and Janice, Dianne and Jimmy and Anita and Randy had a chance to put their feet up and rest some after we all left! Thank you all again for making us feel so welcome! You did an outstanding job as always!

Those in attendance this year: (names of our 8 veterans in attendance are highlighted)

Representing “A” Company

  • Susie Pidsosny
  • Hazel Scott
  • Jesse Weaver and wife Hazel
  • Daughter, Mary Hartman
  • Mary Ann Wesoly

Representing “A” & “B” Company

  • Jewel Raulins and wife Ouida

Representing “B” Company

  • Fayne Haynes and wife Beatrice
  • Daughter Janice Bellamy and husband Jim
  • Daughter Anita Stanley and husband Randy
  • Iris Morris
  • Flo Lefton
  • Carolyn VerHoeven
  • Greta Childs
  • Iona Nix
  • Daughter Judy Odum
  • Niece Wanda O’Kelley
  • Pearl Noland
  • Daughter Nancy Ewing
  • Tena Phillips
  • Glenda Millar
  • Judy Ramhoff
  • Talmadge Riley and wife Ruth
  • “Middle” Son Dennis Riley and lady friend E.J. Abell
  • Earl Sain and wife Glyn - Medic
  • Sister-in-law, Dorothy Tomlinson
  • Don Smart and wife Clara

Representing “C” Company

  • Avery Sanders and wife Sara
  • Daughter Dianne Kelton and husband Jimmy
  • Grand-daughter Candice and husband Matt Northcutt
  • Great grand-daughters Chloe and Celena Northcutt
  • Dean Uhles and Guest

Representing HQ

  • Geneva Smith
  • Ed Winslow
  • Daughter Sandy Winslow

Representing ReCon

·        Donn Fischer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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