September 22, 2002
I was not able to attend the 2002 Reunion which was held in Dixon, Illinois at the Best Western Ronald Reagan Inn. (Formerly: The Best Western Brandywine Lodge) The family champions, Ray and Helen Adams, were there and provided the pictures that you see here.
The reunion weekend began with the usual Saturday tour led by Lyle Schryver, a family member and Librarian of the Ogle County Genealogical Society. These trips always include a trip to The Old Brick Church just west of Polo, Illinois. This church was home to our branch of the O'Kanes and is now a United Methodist Church, but was originally a United Brethren Church. The church cemetery on the adjacent grounds is the hallowed, final resting place to many of the original O'Kane family including my Great-great-great-great Grandfather, Michael.
One of the new attendees this year was Fran Olson who is Daniel and Lucinda's great-great-grand-daughter. Here she is in the cemetery adjoining the Old Brick Church with Lyle Schryver. They are standing by the headstone of her great-great-grandparents. Fran spend extra days with the Ogle County Genealogical Society to research her already proficient records of her branch of the family.
The Saturday activities ended with the traditional get-together of Michael's descendents at a Sterling restaurant. Newly back this year for the reunion were Judy and Russell Grogan from Holly, Colorado (on the far right).
Then, the Sunday Reunion Luncheon was held at the Ronald Regan Inn. Kenneth O'Kane is on the far left and then on the other side of the table are Dick O'Kane, Russell and Judy Grogan, Lyle and Jan Schryver and Fran Olson.
Robert and Thelma Hedrick were here again. These O'Kane descendents are still residents of the Polo area where they have their farm and beautiful home. One of my favorite Polo memories is a visit to enjoy their extensive hospitality.
Helen Adams and Helen O'Kane (Kenneth's wife) caught up on all the news. Helen Adams and her husband Ray are the most loyal attendees at the reunion and nobody could think of how the reunion could happen without them.
Maxine and Jim O'Kane are shown here with Dick O'Kane. Dick's wife, Nell, was not up to attending. We hope she's feeling better now.
Kenneth O'Kane, Maxine and Jim O'Kane are shown here with Dorothy O'Kane Hutton who we have lost since the reunion. She was 92 years old at the time of this reunion and a retired kindergarten teacher, She was loved and will remain in our hearts forever.
Jan and Lyle Schryver are always welcome as the leading authorities on the O'Kane family. Here, they are with Fran Olson, the newest O'Kane Reunion attendee.
Ray and Helen journeyed from Tennessee to Colorado and then back to Illinois for the reunion.
The visit in the lobby that traditionally follows the reunion luncheon is one of the things we miss the most. Here is the opportunity to continue on with the visits and the news of loved ones for as long as you can hold up.
We wish we could have been there. You family members that wish may feel free to capture these photos for your use as you see fit.
As all can see, the attendance at the reunions is falling from year to year. Maybe we can get some of the younger generation to slow down and recognize what a treasure a family like this really is. It would be nice to see some of them attending the reunion next year.
September 17, 2000
The 2000 Millennium Reunion
celebration was held at Polo, Illinois. This was a particularly important event for us. We missed the last one and were so glad to see these members of a wonderful family again. The setting of the reunion at the Brandywine Lodge did not lend itself to a group photo. But we did have new O'Kanes at the reunion. Bob and Kay (O'Kane) Stearns (1st of the left and 1st on the right in the photo) drove in from Nebraska. They are descendents of Joseph O'Kane. We look forward to seeing them again in the future.
September 19, 1999
The reunion attendance was down to 12 last year. The author was unable to attend.
September 20, 1998
We were 18 in number this year. Notably Carol Riker passed on. We miss her happy heart that showed through her face so transparently. Cynthia Kreder was in therapy with the goal being getting well enough to attend the 1999 reunion. She didn't. Judy Grogan couldn’t get away from work. Eddie and Kristen Nelson also missed. Joyce and Lyle Burt were overseeing the construction of their new home. We understand, but missed all of them nonetheless.
September 21, 1997
This was the first reunion that Donna and I attended. What a wonderful thing to meet your family and find out they are nice people. There are only 5 of 25 people in this photo that we knew before we arrived for the reunion. We are two of them.