Reunion of Dunkirk’s Washington family held

Submitted photo Members of the Washington family of Dunkirk are pictured at their recent family reunion.

CASSADAGA — Descendants of the Washington family of Dunkirk gathered together for their 104th annual family reunion at the Red House in Cassadaga.

Shane Washington of Washington, D.C. served as the president for the event. Steve and Nancy Wickmark hosted the event this year. Descendants from several of the original family attended.

The group is known as the “Washington’s of Dunkirk.” The family’s original immigrants were John Thomas and Elizabeth Ward Washington, who traveled to the United States from Littleport, England, in the time period from 1902 to 1905 with 12 of their 13 children. One child died before they immigrated to the U.S. They built a house on West Sixth Street in Dunkirk where the family was raised.

With all holding hands in a large circle, Norie Washington Sanchez gave the blessing prior to the meal and gave thanks for all those attending. Individual families had prepared their own dishes of food and some had ordered a box lunch from the local store. Those attending ate their meal on tables set up on the lawn. Tables, benches and chairs were set up by the Wickmarks. A table of memorabilia was set up for family photographs recent and old, and many of the recent reunions. A flower arrangement was given by Gail Pugh Dash.

Guests present included Bob and Anne Deming of Bear Lake, N.Y., who are the recent authors of the Bear Lake History and Camp in the Woods books, and school mate of Peggy Thorp Reslink of Erie, Pa..

Following the luncheon, the annual business meeting was held. The oldest female present was Ruth Elizabeth Lautenslaker Howard of Fairport, N.Y., and the oldest male present was past president Bruce Washington of Twinsburg, Ohio. The youngest present was 6-and-a-half-year-old Christopher Gallivan Pienta. The female traveling the farthest was Norie Washington Sanchez from Hendersonville, N.C. and the male traveling the farthest was Kevin Washington from Annapolis Maryland. Prizes were awarded by Mrs. Dash. There was reported six deaths and seven births since the last reunion.

Nancy Washington Wickmark, treasurer from Cassadaga, gave the financial report of the group, and secretary John Sipos of Cassadaga read the minutes of the previous reunion.

Susan Washington Sipos, who typed the family genealogy booklet, announced that she is keeping up to date on births, marriages and deaths of the group, and said updates should be sent to her.

A group photograph was taken by past president John Sipos of Cassadaga. Officers for the next reunion were elected. Shane Washington will continue as president, Nancy Wickmark will serve as the treasurer, and John Sipos will serve as the secretary.

The 2022 reunion is scheduled for Saturday July 9, 2022, at 1 p.m. All family members are encouraged to attend.


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