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updated: 7/2/2013 4:51 PM

Fourth generation receives family reunion spoon

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Judith Witt

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, descendants of Naaman and Diantha Benham Spencer met at Mill Park in Savanna, Ill., for the annual Spencer-Benham Reunion. This annual tradition started in 1897 making this the 117th annual reunion.

To begin our day, all participated in the "Pledge of Allegiance", and the singing of "God Bless America". After the partaking of our delicious potluck dinner, Judy Witt called the annual meeting to order. The Secretary's report was read by Secretary Vada Waites and approved as read. The Treasurers report was read by Treasurer Lois Jean Jacobs and approved.

The gift for the Most Cherished (Oldest) Member present was awarded to Lois Jean Jacobs, Rock Falls, the daughter of Hal (Red) Spencer. Hal was the son of Adelbert & Bertha Johnson Spencer. Adelbert was the the son of Elmer Spencer. Elmer was the son of Lucinda and she was the daughter of Naaman & Diantha Benham Spencer.

Receiving the gift for traveling the farthest to attend this reunion was Dan, Renee, and Nathan Witt of Mt. Prospect, Ill.

The traditional Spencer-Benham reunion spoon was presented to the youngest member present, Nathan Walter Witt. Nathan is the son of Dan Witt, grandson of Judy Bruns Witt, great grandson of Glenn Bruns. Nathan is an 9th generation descendant of Naaman and Diantha Benham Spencer. Four generations in the same family branch have now received the traditional spoon: Glenn Bruns in 1923, Judy Bruns Witt in 1945, Daniel Witt in 1972, and Nathan Witt in 2013.

New business included a decision to send out a family newsletter to encourage attendance at the reunion and to keep the family informed on important events -- past and present. It was also voted to have two large "Spencer-Benham Reunion" signs made.

The election of officers was held and are as follows: President: Judy Witt, Dixon, IL; Vice President, Mark Spencer, Rock Falls; Secretary-Historian, Vada Waites, Galena, IL; Treasurer, Lois Jean Jacobs, Rock Falls, IL; Assistant Historian, Cheryl Scykes, Rock Falls, IL.; and Games Chairperson, Dan Witt, Mt. Prospect, IL.

Next year our reunion will be held on the Sunday after Father's Day and will again be at the Old Mill Park in Savanna, Ill.

Following the meeting, children enjoyed games including the traditional egg hunt and adults enjoyed a family reunion photo quiz with the winner receiving $10. Raffles and auctions concluded the afternoon.