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A Facebook Timeline History of 2013 From Sheila & Richard Rausch

Middletown DE

December 2013

Many of our family and friends have been very active in the “Social Media” in 2013. I decided to use the Facebook timelines of various people to highlight our experiences this year. All of these pictures can be found at www.facebook.com/. February 2 - Bernie & Camille Rausch hosted a party at their house this evening. It was a rare occasion since the 5 cousins (Becca, Debi, Stephanie, Jonathon and Philip) on the Rausch side of the family were together for the first time in several years. There were 4 second cousins as well. We celebrated Jonathan Rausch & Debi Rausch birthdays. We met Laura, Philip's friend. We also setup our Super Bowl pool (Laura was the big winner). All in all it was a fun night. Laura & Ashley Brookes were also in attendance. March 21 - Debi and Richard flew to San Diego to spend some time with Blake and Brooke. We had a fun filled 5 days with a stop at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, a great Sunday brunch at Bellefleur in Carlsbad, a visit to see the seals in La Jolla, some great entertainment at the Busker Festival in Seaport Village in downtown San Diego. We played miniature golf (Grandpa won) before dinner on our last night and flew home on March 27. The flight home was on time after a 6 hour delay flying out on March 21. March 31 – Easter Sunday at the Bergwalls in Thornton PA. From the left Troy, Trevor, Grandpa, Dana, Travis, Tori and Erin. At the time this picture was taken we were involved in an optical illusion quiz regarding left versus right brain activity. The grandkids had already completed the traditional Easter Gift hunt by solving clues which eventually led to finding the “Easter Bunny’s gift. April 6 - Troy becomes an Eagle Scout. After years of hard work earning the required number of Merit Badges and completing a major Eagle Scout Service project, which was featured in last years Holiday Letter, Troy officially reached the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Becca, Eric, Travis, Trevor and Tori joined other family members in the celebration. After the ceremony a buffet lunch was held for the three Scouts who achieved the Eagle Scout rank on that day. May 21 - July 11 Summer Semester in Rome. Grandson Trevor and Dana spent 6 weeks at the Rome Campus of Temple University. Their dormitory was in the shadow of the Vatican. Brother Travis visited them for about a week in midJune. They took advantage of their time in Europe with side trips to Munich, Amsterdam, Paris, the Amalfi coast, Pompeii, etc. Pictures: Overlooking Capri’s famous trio of rocks, On a beach near Rome, Trevor in Vatican City awaiting the Pope, Travis in Amsterdam.

Volume 34

Published annually since 1979

July 24 - August 4 Blake and Brooke’s visit. Grandchildren Blake, 13 and Brooke, 11 Harris spent 10 days with their Mother Debi and east coast relatives. We planned a full slate of activities so they would get to see parts of the mid-Atlantic area that they had never seen before. The picture at the right is Silver Sand Beach in Millford CT. The camel ride was at Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport CT. While in CT we visited historic Mystic Seaport and took the Bridgeport - Port Jefferson Ferry (picture right) across the Long Island Sound for a day on Long Island. One of the highlights of the trip was a day at Hershey Park in PA with Aunt Becca and cousins Tori, and Trevor and Dana. Blake and Brooke flew from San Diego to Philadelphia, by themselves, as unaccompanied minors which provided them with an additional adventure. It was a fun time for all involved. August 15 Jim Matthews Memorial – Brother-in-law Jim Matthews passed away at his home on Monday, August 12, 2013. From his obit: A service was held at Peninsula Funeral Home on Thursday, August 15, 2013 by pastor Chris Fowler. Jim was born to George Martin and Elizabeth Matthews on August 21, 1935 in Alabama. He was preceded in death by mother Elizabeth Matthews, father George Martin, and brother Charles. He is survived by wife, Mary Kay Matthews, daughter Katherine, son James Michael, six grandchildren, brothers Edwin, George Martin Jr. and Thomas, sister Betty, one great grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. May he rest in peace. August 26 - Sept 3 Back to School. Blake, 8th grade and Brooke, 6th grade and Troy, Senior and Tori, Sophmore started the fall semester across the country from each other at Woodland Park Middle School in San Marcos CA and Rustin High School in West Chester PA. Troy is busy applying to colleges with Annapolis as his first choice. Engineering schools like MIT and Carnegie Mellon are high on his list as well. September 12 - College Roommate Charles Tillotson and his wife Karen visited us in Middletown DE. I had not seen Charlie in about 50 years. We spent the afternoon catching up on everyone's lives, while having lunch at a local Sushi Restaurant. Charlie was stationed in Japan during the Korean War and likes Japanese food, beer, etc. It was amazing how easily it was to talk about all those years without missing a beat. We hope to meet again sooner. September 14 - 21 Sheila and her sisters spent about a week in Charlotte, NC and the Gatlinburg, TN area. They toured the Smoky Mountains and drove to Cherokee, NC which is the neighboring town to Bryson City where Sheila was born and many family members still reside. Picture of “the sisters” shows one of the beautiful views in Smoky Mountains National Park. (turn page)


Happy Holidays From Sheila and Richard October 7 - Visiting Trevor at Temple University. Becca Sheila & Richard visited Trevor’s new apartment just off the Temple Campus. We had lunch at a campus “hangout”, the Draught Horse, and helped Trevor with his weekly grocery shopping at nearby Fresh Market. Grandma and Mom help Trevor unload groceries, October 12 - Sheila & Richard Celebrate 50th Anniversary. We were married in Orleans France in a dual ceremony. On October 11 the mayor of Orleans performed the civil ceremony which is required by law in France and the next day the “official” marriage was performed at the base chapel which was a beautiful church. The anniversary was celebrated in New York with Becca and Eric Bergwall, Debi Rausch and Mark Steckler. We spent the day doing some of our favorite things, touring Manhattan, shopping, and having dinner. We started by walking through Highline Park (see picture), had lunch below at Chelsea Market, spent an hour or so at Mario Batali’s fabulous Italian Market, Eataly, had cheese and bread in the car on the way to dinner at a favorite Euopean Restaurant, Mont Blanc in the theater district. October 19 - Another 50th Anniversry. Cousins June and Jerry Gilbert were married exactly one week after we were. We did not attend their wedding (since we were in France) but did attend the 50th Anniversary Celebration which was held in the same church in which they were married in Hampton, VA. It was also a “sisters” reunion since Lauren came up from Charlotte to attend. We spent a couple of hours at a favorite annual event, The Parade of Homes (see picture) which was near Smithfield VA this year. We arrived at the Anniversary Party fashionably late and met relatives that we do not see very often. A games night and Sunday brunch ended a very enjoyable weekend. October 22 - Marc Steckler dies suddenly. Daughter Debi moved back east early this year after being downsized from her previous position. She was fortunate to find the “perfect job” as Director Of Autism for St. Vincent's Special Needs in Trumball CT. Coincidentally a longtime acquaintance, Marc Steckler, lived in the area. Debi and Marc had gotten very close over the past year which resulted in their engagement. Marc had just recovered from a battle with colon cancer and was given a clean bill of health. In mid-October he got “sick” and was diagnosed with a fast moving untreatable Acute Myeloid Leukemia which resulted in his death within one week of the diagnosis. Debi and Marc had planned a life together which included moving back to the San Diego area so Debi could be with Blake and Brooke. Debi continues her efforts to establish the Autism Program (left) which is planned to begin with 5 - 6 children early in 2014.

December 2013

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November 21-Thanksgiving. Annual Thanksgiving Celebration at the home of Becca & Eric Bergwall. It was a family and friends affair with a feast shared by 16 people. Here is a series of photos taken by Eric Bergwall (except the one of him).

December 2013 - Holiday Season. The holiday season at our house starts right after Thanksgiving, We installed the outside lights and decorated the Christmas Tree on November 30. Our wine group held its annual festive Wine Dinner on December 4. A visit to Christmas In Odessa to hear the First State Bell Ringers on December 7 and an unexpected snowstorm on December 8 helped everyone get into the holiday spirit. We are buying gifts and making plans for the things we will do when Blake and Brooke arrive on December 21. Those plans include a day to see the lights and store windows in both Philadelphia and New York and attending the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Sheila & I hope you and yours have a great holiday and a happy, healthy 2014.


Sheila & Richard Rausch 2013 Holiday Letter