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Celebrate Family

Great Aunt Hattie has a hug for everyone. Uncle Robert loves to tell jokes. Grandpa Ben just likes to smoke on his cigars and tell us how far he walked to school in his day. Aunt May’s potato salad is the bomb and she never makes enough of it. Do these people remind you of anyone? Well, many of us have experienced some semblance of these folks at our family reunions. Reunions can help preserve fond memories of those living and those who have passed on, offer a chance to taste favorite recipes, keep the family heritage and traditions alive and, most importantly, foster close relationships. How many of us have reconnected with long-lost cousins, aunts, uncles or anyone whom you have not kept in touch with over the years at a family reunion? What about the new members of the family joining the ranks by birth and marriage that you may have never met? Family reunions are an important part of family life, so keep the tradition alive – plan a family reunion and celebrate family.

Want to plan a reunion of your own?

See how other families have planned their happy celebrations and maybe get a few ideas for yours.

Boswell International Family Reunion

Boswell Family Reunion -1968

In July of 1950, Nancy Boswell, the wife of Henry Boswell, passed on to glory, and her sons Ruby Boswell, Joe Boswell, and daughters, Sarah Boswell Martin, Martha Boswell Wheeler, and other family members decided to start a family get together (reunion) as a happy festive meeting time as opposed to seeming to meet only at funerals. So in July of 1951, the very first Boswell Family Reunion was held at Hubert “Ruby” and Catherine Boswell’s home in Pontiac, Illinois.


Under the umbrella of the Boswell name, through the union of Herman and Martha Boswell Wheeler are, Wyatt and Delores “Dee” Wheeler Wells, Joseph and Betty Wheeler Chambers, Herman and Vera Wheeler Jr. (the oldest remaining elders of the Wheeler family), Kelcy and Dorothy Wheeler Siddall, Keith and Shirley Wheeler Kelley, Bessie Irene Wheeler, Joe and Marie Wheeler, Ronnie and Archie Mae Wheeler, Nancy Wheeler, and Roosevelt and Barbara Wheeler Pendleton.

Henry Boswell and the rest of his family migrated to Canada, hence the label “International”. He was the only one to return to the U.S. Over the years, those Boswells who remained in Canada continually attend the family reunions, wherever the dedicated host family’s city may be. During the reunion, business meetings are held to go over the minutes and discuss old and new business, decide the location of the next one and take a family photo.

This year the family reunion was held in Nashville, Tennessee and hosted by Victor and Rochelle Chambers Alexander Sr. “Our reunion always begins with prayer and my prayer is one of joy and love that the Lord will continue to bless this family as well as all other families under the umbrella of love, happiness, and unity,” says Kenneth W. Kelley, the great-grandson of Henry and Nancy Boswell.

Famous family members include Cathy Boswell who was on the 1984 Women’s Basketball Olympic team in Los Angeles, California winning the gold medal and the Assistant Coach at Illinois State University, Mercedes “Murk” Wheeler, Christian Rapper/Minister, Kim Wells, an accredited Screenwriter (Pawn’s Move released in 2010) and Keith Kelley, Pro Baseball Player who signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers 1949.

Carr – Banks Family Reunion

Carr – Banks

Opening Prayer/Eldest family members of Alberta Banks-Barnes

Joann Bell, an inspirational writer for The Traveler just celebrated a weekend of events at the Carr – Banks Family Reunion held in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24 – 26, 2016. This reunion celebrates the everlasting legacy of her great-grandmother, Melissa Haynes Carr-Banks.

Mrs. Bell says, “Reunions are the times we come together to listen, laugh, have fun and love. It is the time to share our dreams, achievements and future goals. As we see family or friends from yesterday or many years ago we are able to reconnect with one another and catch up on the days and years we may have lost. As we unite we learn how our lives have been affected by others. As we reflect on the good, bad, and sometimes not so pleasant experiences we all have had, we can see the unity of family and friends who have shaped and influenced our life. While we meet people from every walk of life there is one certainty, we all matter! And that is the joy of reunions.”

Some of the highlights of the weekend included a meet and greet session entitled “Who are you?” which focused on learning more about family achievements and goals, Family Picnic, Family banquet and Unity Prayer and Farewell.

Faulkner Reunion


Pictured l to r: Ozella Faulkner, Annie Faulkner-Scott, Dorothy Faulkner-Farmer and Jeff Scott at Faulkner Family Reunion 2016

Faulkner 2On June 25, 2016, after twenty years, the Faulkner Family once again held their annual reunion first started by E.B. Faulkner in the early 70’s. Close to 300 family and friends attended this one day festive picnic at Alpha Park in Bartonville, Illinois. Pamela Byrd-Moton, one of this year’s organizers said, “We were excited to have so many family members attend from all around the country. We decided to do a Faulkner’s reunion being it’s been about twenty years and we wanted to show each other some love and good laughs with new and old memories. Most importantly, we wanted to honor our last three Faulkner Aunts, Ozella Faulkner, Annie Faulkner-Scott, and Dorothy Faulkner-Farmer.”