Press family holds reunion

Aug. 18 brought lots of sunshine with a high of 73 degrees for the 68th annual reunion of the William and Nina (Fancher) Press family, held at the Sager family picnic grounds on Plank Road in Perrysburg. Doug and Valerie Sager hosted the affair. Doug’s father Howard had been taken to the ER by his wife Judy, due to severe leg swelling, so they were unable to attend. Thankfully, the condition was not serious and he was home resting the same day.

It was interesting to note that Greg and Cindy Press came rolling up to the party in their MG Roadster with the top down. Cindy commented that they have a mechanic on speed dial because the MG is noted for frequently breaking down!

A total of 43 family members enjoyed a pot-luck luncheon, followed by a brief treasurer’s report. A hat was passed to collect enough money to cover next year’s postage expenses. There was no official meeting held, but many memories and new news items were shared. Pictures were passed around, and Melody (Press) Sloan and Myrna Moss brought genealogy books for family members to peruse. As the adults caught up on one another’s lives, the children played games and waded in the nearby shallow creek.

The historian reported that there was one marriage, three deaths and three births since last year’s gathering. Iola Press, widow of Herb, was the oldest person present this year at 87 years and five months old. Saar Sloan, great-grandson of Iola, who traveled from Sugar Land, Texas with his family, was the next-to-youngest person present. Daymian Press, great-great-grandson of Ted and Hazel Press, was the youngest there at 10 months old – he is seven months younger than Saar. There were 11 members of the “Herb Press Family” present; no other family came close to that number.

Will and Nina Press had 10 children: Mabel (married to William Moss), Theodore “Ted” (married to Hazel Town), George (never married, died of tuberculosis while in the service), Rufus (married Hazel Hegner), Dorothy (married William “Jim” Hilliker), Martha (married Howard “The Weatherman” Sager), Charles “Charlie” (married Frances Furlick), Herbert “Herb” (married Iola Sanders), William “Bill” (married Julia Balicki and then Myrna Ross), and Mary (married Don Philbrick). Mary, in 2009, was the last of the children to die. Herb had died just a year before her.

The first Press reunion was held in 1909, but not until 1946, after the three youngest boys returned from the service, did it become an annual event. Always held on the third Sunday in August, next year’s reunion will be held Aug. 17 at the Sagers’ picnic grounds.