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Family reunions

Beginning in 2002, nearly four years after the death of our father, John Frantzen, in 1998, Carmen (1935), Wayne (1937), Mary Ann (1939), Karen (1944), Allen (1947), and Tom (1952), began holding an annual sibling reunions. During our parents' lives (Dorothy Birmingham Frantzen died in 1985) we saw each other at events in Iowa, sometimes Thanksgiving or Christmas, Mother's Day or Father's Day. We decided to create our own events so that we would stan in touch. The first and only rule was "spouses and partners, yes; but no children or grandchildren." Five of the six of us were already grandparents with, in some cases, large families. The point of sibling reunions was and is to spend time with brothers and sisters that we did not have when we were growing up or indeed for most of or lives.

The highpoint of our visit is always the chance to sit in a living or dining room and go around the circle, summing up the big events of the year gone by. Long may this tradition continue! I have pictures, and the button below are links to them. Thanks to Irene Frantzen for pictures from 2004 and 2005.

For pictures of the Birmingham cousins as of 2009, go to the 2009 Waterloo link below.
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Decorah

(July 2002)
George and I also went to Grinnell to see his friend Clara Denny.
Decorah

(July 2003)
Our second visit to Decorah included the seed farm outside of town and to the Norwegian Heritage Museum.
Decorah

(July 2004)

Maquoketa

(July 2005)

Carmen and Bernie were not there because Chad and Beth were expecting their first child about this time.

Decorah

(July 2006)
We had dinner in Decorah and went to St. Ansgar on Saturday to visit the Lutheran Church and on to Osage to visit the Hamlin Garland museum.
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Waterloo

(July 2007)

Some of us went to the Russell House in Waterloo and we all went to Cedar Rock to see the Frank Lloyd Wright house (at Quasqueton).
Alta Vista

(August 2008)

We met in Alta Vista for Joleneís wedding.
Waterloo

(July 2009)

We met at the Birmingham reunion in Waterloo, all six of us there. In September we all met again in Elma at the Frantzen reunion (I have some video).
Clinton

(August 2010)
We met to celebrate Eleanoreís 80th birthday. We were all at her party. Sunday morning we were all present except Wayne and Ellen.
Dubuque

(June 2011)

We met in Dubuque, and all six of us were at the Frantzen reunion in Elma the Sunday before Labor Day.
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Maquoketa

(July 2012)

All of us except Carmen were at Wayne and Ellenís 50th wedding anniversary party July 21, 2012. A couple of weeks earlier all 6 of us were at Cy Haugenís 80th birthday in Waterloo.
Minnesota

(June 2013)
Our first reunion in Wayzata, where Carmen was able to join us for dinner. Earlier that day some of us went to the Walker Art Center.
Minneapolis

(June 2014)

We all had dinner with Carmen in Chanhassen and visited her at Presbyterian Homes early that day. We went to the Mill Museum and had lunch at the Guthrie Theater.
Iowa Reunions

(September 2015)

Back-to-back Birmingham and Frantzen reunions (Waterloo and New Hampton). All of us except Carmen got to both of them.
Maquoketa

(August 2016)
All of us except Carmen were in Maquoketa and visited in the front parlor of Squires Manor. Karen, Mary, and I visited Carmen in June, and Tom, Wayne, and I saw her in November.

3/2-17