The 100th reunion of the descendants of the eight children of Peter and Gustafva (Persson) Peterson was held Oct. 15 at the Salemsborg Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
The planning committee welcomed each family with a name tag featuring a colored emblem denoting from which branch each descended. Attendees were then invited to take part in guessing games as each arrived and were visiting. Doug Anderson of Lindsborg gave the table blessing before the dinner catered by Scott’s Hometown Foods.
A business meeting led by Marilyn Patterson, Salina, and Mary Beth Anderson, Lindsborg, followed.
Prizes were awarded to guessing game winners: Lynda Anderson, Debbie Peterson and David Waage of Lindsborg; Judd Patterson of Miami, Florida; Stan Patterson of Salina, Declan Peters of Wichita and Brett Anderson of Wichita.
The youngest family member present was 15-month-old Cadence MacDonald of Lindsborg. Mary Peterson of McPherson was the oldest member present and she was recognized for her hard work keeping the family tree information current. Julie and Scott Franklin of Happy Valley, Oregon traveled the greatest distance to the event.
Larry Rolander of Wichita gave an inspiring memorial tribute, naming each family member who has passed away since the last reunion in 2011. Mary Peterson reported that there had been 50 births, 31 marriages and 30 deaths since the last reunion.
Bob Lundgren of Orangeburg, South Carolina reported his progress on inputting family information into a computer program and asked for other members to help with this project.
Members were then invited to ask questions as this reunion may be the last because members are now living all over the U.S., not like when it began in August 1917 when all were located in McPherson and Saline Counties.
One member asked for the recipe for Swedish egg coffee, which Mary Peterson happily provided. Other questions included, “Who likes lutefisk?,” “Who has eaten lutefisk?” and “Who will never eat lutefisk?” These questions were met with several rounds of laughter.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent reviewing the history table, taking group photos and visiting with Bob Lundgren about his family tree project. Several members expressed interest in helping put the information onto CDs.
Out-of-state members attending included Julie and Scott Franklin of Happy Valley, Oregon, Bob Lundgren of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Ray Dillberg, Marjorie Jazek and Carol Botts of Edmond, Oklahoma; Dean and Susan Christ and Sarah Matthews of Charlton, Iowa; Judd Patterson of Miami, Florida; Cindy and Tim McCully of Rancho Palas Verdes, California. Other cities in Kansas represented were Gardner, Halstead, Inman, Lawrence, Lindsborg, Manhattan, McPherson, Newton, Perry, Salina, Smolan and Wichita.