Gushee family reunites for 55th year
Appleton — Sunday, Aug. 10, marked another gorgeous day for the gathering of 66 descendants of Almond Gushee Sr., who moved to Appleton in 1792 and married Nancy Robbins Gushee of Union. Almond and Nancy had 14 children, and were the first of the Gushees to settle in Maine.
Family members traveled from as far as Sacramento, Calif., to gather at the Sennebec Pond cottages of Tina Gushee Bryant and Jenness and Goldie Gushee, in Appleton, to share food, memories, and laughter for the 55th year of the reunion.
After a heartfelt blessing of thanks and remembrance, by Dawn Gushee MacLeod, for the relatives who have passed since the last gathering, the group enjoyed a potluck luncheon and some time catching up and sharing family stories before the annual scholarship fundraising auction.
President Chris Abbotoni got the meeting under way, and Brenda Gushee read the treasurer’s report for treasurer Judy Gushee who could not be present.
Due to a logistical oversight on the part of the new secretary (who would like to apologize for her negligence), no motions were made to change (or keep) officers currently presiding. Thusly, by default, the current officers will enjoy a special automatic two-year term, until next year, at which point the family will have the opportunity to vote for family officers once again. If the family is inclined, perhaps they will choose to make a motion to nominate a new position of vice president, as Aiden Abbotoni did such a fantastic job this year assisting the president with the auction, helping to raise a recent record of $740!
This phenomenal accomplishment was made possible with the help of many donations to the auction table. There were also three donations made to the Scholarship Fund in memory of Grace Gushee Nagle, previously the oldest living Gushee relative, who recently passed, and additional donations made by other family members. Rip MacLeod, son-in-law of Freeman Gushee, won the 50/50 drawing this year, which made almost $100 for the scholarship fund. In total, this year’s reunion raised roughly $950. That might be a record!
There were no applicants this year for the scholarship, which in the past has helped Gushee descendants buy books and afford travel expenses for their new college and continuing education endeavors. Secretary Kate Somerville read thank you notes from two of last year’s recipients, Erika Johnson and James Gushee. Tina Gushee Bryant urged future applicants to apply next year by July 31.
A motion was made to allocate some funds to spruce up the Gushee Monument in the Quaker Cemetery on Sennebec Road, which has accumulated a fair amount of moss growth over the years. The Gushee Monument marks the resting places of multiple Gushee descendants including Almond Gushee Sr, and Nancy Robbins Gushee.
Jenness Gushee announced the existence of a Gushee Bible, in safe keeping with Laurie Gushee, who welcomes any Gushees who wish to view it to do so openly. Please contact Laurie Gushee with interest or questions.
Among the 70 Gushee family members present at this year’s reunion, the oldest in attendance was Tina Gushee Bryant, currently in her 80th year, at age 79. The youngest in attendance were 4-month-old Ellaina Wren Juarez and 3-month-old Nolan Cameron Mellen.
All descendants of Almond Gushee Sr. and Nancy Robbins Gushee are encouraged to attend next year’s reunion, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, to be held once again at Sennebec Pond on Gushee Road in Appleton.