SIDNEY — On April 22, 2017, the descendants of William and Louisa (Bertsch) Billing gathered for a reunion. The event was held at the Elks Lodge in Sidney. William and Louisa had three sons; Clarence (1891), Emory (1893), and Arthur (1898). It was the newer generations of these three sons that attended Saturday evening. Approximately 135 adults and 35 children were present.
Upon arrival, family members visited and caught up on recent events and additions to the family. Near dinner, Diane Timmons (Emory) gave a brief talk about the family history she has constructed over the years. She stated that she hopes to add to that history with information provided by the reunion attendees. Diane also reminded those present that the last Billing reunion of this magnitude was held at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in 1990. After that, her husband, Ron, led the group in prayer. A meal followed with the main course being chicken prepared by family member Greg Billing (Arthur). Salads, casseroles, and desserts abounded, having been furnished by those in attendance. During and after the meal, visiting and “catching up” continued.
Reunion organizers Fred Billing (Emory), Lisa Hoewischer (Arthur), and Greg Wilt (Clarence) felt the gathering was quite successful. Comments were heard asking for another reunion within two to five years.
An additional element of success came from the idea of Dawn Billing (Clarence) that the family should garner a collection to be given to a local charity. Through the generosity of the family, many of which could not attend but still chose to donate, gifts of $500 each will be presented to the Anna Education Foundation and the Anna Historical Society.
Many thanks to the Elks Lodge and all those who attended the reunion. To borrow a phrase from family gatherings of yesteryear, ” a good time was had by all!”