Gordner family gathers at grove
UNITYVILLE – The 100th gathering of the Gordner/Stackhouse reunion occurred Sunday, July 29, 2018. The picnic, attended by 93 persons, was held at St. John’s Lutheran Church at Gordner’s Grove near Unityville.
The duo surname identifying the conclave is credited to John Gordner 1809-1893 and his wife Mary “Catharine” Stackhouse 1812-1884. Many of the attendees come from the family line of this couple’s nine children.
According to Gerald Gordner of Muncy, the progenitors of the local Gordner families were two brothers who immigrated from Berks County. At that time, the name was spelled Gortner. They first settled in Muncy Creek Township and in 1791, were influential in establishing the Lutheran Church locally known as Old Immanuel.
Gerald said, “Two brothers from the family came to Jordan Township and opened a sawmill.” The informant pointed to the area which is now known as Elizabeth Road.
As the generations multiplied, many left the rural area settling in nearby towns and beyond. This is evidenced by the varied residences given at the 2018 gathering. A sampling of places include Liberty, Harrisburg, Holidaysburg, Bloomsburg and Danville. More adjacent places are Millville, Hughesville and Muncy.
A bit of levity was had when asked if everyone who wanted to had given funds in the basket. In answer to one comment, it was said, “No, you can’t donate children.” A silent auction was held and stitched on a towel were the words, “Go braless, it pulls the wrinkles out of your face.”
Those in charge of the silent auction were Lauren and Natalie Gordner of Unityville, and Drew Gordner of Millville.
Persons and categories awarded were as follows: Evelyn (Gordner) Gordner of Unityville, most generations present. Also at age 85, she was the eldest. The couple whose combined ages totaled the most were Dale and Faye (Raker) Gordner of Millville. Also from Millville, Olivia Blackman at age 41, was the youngest grandparent.
The youngest attendee was Zoee Mae Witcoskie, mother Evelyn and grandfather Keith Gordner, all of Millville.
Guesses for number of candies in jars were won by Nichole Sweeney of Danville, and Brad Tanner of Bloomsburg.
Greg Gordner chaired the business meeting, and all accepted the suggestion of donating to the church kitchen fund, the extra $75 remaining after expenses were paid.
As the sun moved westward in the sky, just across the road, some strolled the graveyard paying homage to relatives. Tying to the graves of Paul and Evelyn Gordner, a former upholsterer in Millville, were the following descendants: daughter Paula VonBlohn of Riverside; granddaughters Tracy Tanner Lyle of Danville and Lisa Gordner Yohey of Bloomsburg; and great grandson, Tyler Marshall of Millville.
Many will return to the grove for an open to the public chicken barbecue on Saturday, August 4.