Four "Fletcher kids" still going strong 09.10.09

Written by David Green.

When Delora Ehlinger turned 100 in 2005, her younger sister, Sarah Johnson, said, “Who knows? She might last another 20.”

That would be quite an achievement, but Delora is still headed in that direction. On Sept. 20 she’ll turn 104.

She takes top billing, but don’t forget her siblings. Sarah turned 96 years old Sept. 9 and two brothers are also in their 90s. Elwood is now 93 and Rex is 90.

Those are the four remaining members of what their nieces and nephews used to call “The Magnificient Seven.”

George died several years ago, Russel, at age 98, died in 2006, and the youngster, Iola Jean, was only 79 when she died in 2007.

“The rest of us are doing pretty good,” Sarah said.

Sarah worked for the Morenci Home Telephone company for 20 years, including about 10 years after the switch to the direct dial telephone system was made.

Sarah is looking forward to a special birthday present this weekend when her son, Alan, takes her for a ride on the three-wheel motorcycle he built. There’s no sidecar, she said.

“I’ll be sitting right behind him,” Sarah explained.

She’s using a walker now to help her get around, but she says she’s in good shape and still enjoys traveling with friends to Archbold for card games.

She takes large-print books to Delora, who enjoys reading every afternoon.  Delora was employed by the city for many years as treasurer and she remains Morenci High School’s oldest living graduate.

Elwood lives at the Lenawee Medical Care Facility and is now confined to a wheelchair, Sarah said, but he remains chipper. He worked in a variety of jobs over his lifetime, ranging from agriculture to bus driver.

Rex, a Florida resident, was engaged in carpentry and construction work for many years and he was part of the crew that built Morenci’s high school. He retired long ago, but he really hasn’t stopped making things, Sarah said.

“He thinks up plans and then goes out  every day and makes something,” she said.

It’s a remarkable set of siblings and the way it’s going, Delora might not be the only one to reach the century mark.


Reunion

The Fletcher family met at Wakefield Park Aug. 8 for the 60th annual reunion. The event is scheduled in Morenci every year.

Seventy-nine people attended, coming from  Morenci, Adrian, Clinton, Muskegon and Harrison, Mich., and Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Illinois.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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