Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Once again Mary Russell Simms has hosted a visit from a far-flung relative, her nephew Randy Raasch of North Dakota and his daughter Jess, who just graduated from boot camp in South Carolina. Jess's boyfriend Dan was also out in South Carolina to see Jess graduate. Mary's son David and his wife, Faye, opened their home to the Raasch family and all enjoyed the opportunity to become acquainted.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Smith Family Cousins - Simms & Gleason

Mary Russell Simms recently hosted a first-time get-together between her immediate family, the Simms, with a distant and newly discovered cousin Benjamin Gleason and his family. This August 2009 gathering took place at the home of David and Faye Simms in South Carolina. Mary told me that her new cousins are super nice, very friendly, really fine cousins.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bob Russell's Birthday

Bob Russell just celebrated his 67th birthday. Our daughter-in-law, Alejandra Russell, created a lovely video to commemorate the event. See it here Grandpa's Birthday

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rosie Ellen Farrell and Bud Stratton

We had a delightful visit in June, 2009, from Rosa Ellen Farrell and Bud Stratton. They were on their way back to Idaho after attending a wedding in Las Vegas and then a visit with Bud's family in Denver. Rosa Ellen is the daughter of Rosa Smith Fairchild Crain who was a sister to Bob Russell's grandfather Tom Smith. Rosa Ellen is the only living Smith family member who lived over in Moffat County during the years between 1915-1924 when the family homesteaded there. Rosa was just a tiny baby when the family made the big move from the Youghal community west of Craig to Purcell, Colorado in Weld County. Rosa and her parents traveled by automobile while her cousins, the Tom Smith family, made the trek on horseback and pulling wagons, herding cattle over Rabbit Ears Pass late in the fall. See photos and stories of that trip http://www.viewoftherockies.com/CraigtoPurcell1.html

The photograph I'm including here shows Rosa Ellen and Bud standing next to an oak secretary that Rosa's father, Art Fairchild, brought from Nebraska to Moffat County in the early 1920s for his bride, Rosa Jeanetta Smith Fairchild. Many years later Art gave this lovely piece of furniture to Frances Russell and she in turn gave it to her son Bob Russell. Rosa lovingly touched the secretary while she told us their gold-rimmed oatmeal bowls use to be stored on the second shelf and inside her father kept his stamps and letters.
Rosa is a beautiful and gracious lady and her companion, Bud Stratton, is a fine man who has known Rosa since she was fourteen years old. Bud is a brother to Shirley Stratton who married Ollie Smith, Frances Smith Russell's brother. That makes Bud a shirttail relative.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2009 Smith Clan Calendar online

Click on the cover (above) to go to the full calendar online.

The 2009 Smith Clan Calendar is now available online. It features photographs taken at the 2008 reunion in Oklahoma City and birthdays for most of our Smith relatives. If you want your name and birthday added please drop me a note and I'll gladly add you to the calendar.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Have a New Son!

***Jen, Zak, Vivian, Lucas, Randy, Bob, Isabella, and Jess***

In mid-January of this year, just about five weeks ago, Bob got a heartfelt email from a seventeen-year-old girl telling him that she is his granddaughter, one of the children born to his son whom he's never known. She explained that her dad is Randy Raasch who was given up for adoption by his birth mother back in 1965 and who is now married with a family of his own, a family who wants to know Dad and Grandpa. Bob was thrilled to learn he has this family - a son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, two girls and a boy, and I was equally happy and excited to welcome these wonderful people into our hearts and home. Over Valentine's Day weekend they drove over five hundred miles to come visit us and what a fun time that was. Our other son, Patrick, and his wife and two children came up to meet and get to know their new family. We are now exchanging emails and phone calls as we learn the details of their lives and they learn about us. Our next gathering is planned for Easter weekend - how exciting!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Annalee Auwen, my Smith family cousin

William Franklin Smith had just one brother, John Alvin Smith (1868-1953). John Alvin married Minnie May Culwell and they had seven children who lived beyond childhood, Nolen Brinkley, Julie Addeline, Adah Dovie, Annie Veria, Jimmie Nannie May, John Edgar, and Frank. The photo shown on the left is a rare photo of the entire family taken at a family reunion in California in 1939. (Click on the photo to view a larger image.) This photo was recently sent to me by Annalee Auwen, the wife of Alton Auwen, who is a son of Julia Addeline Smith Auwen and John Johnson Auwen. Annalee has generously shared several of her very special family photographs with me and I'll be featuring them on a separate website very soon. I'll post the link when the site is up. Thank you very much, Annalee.