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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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