Almost 200 members of the Joe and Antoinette (Weis) Kuther family and their guests gathered in Ferdinand on July 11 for a Kuther family reunion. Joe and Nettie raised eight children in Ferdinand. They were Len, Cletus, and Eugene “Pooch” Kuther, Elaine Kinzer, Marie Duman, Kathryn Bain, Toni Haugen and Marlene VanMetre.
The fun began on Friday evening when cousins started rolling in from near and far. Many who came from a distance brought motor homes, some camped out in tents, others stayed with Idaho family and friends, and the rest took over the local motels and bed and breakfasts. Snacks and refreshments were served at the Ferdinand parish hall.
On Saturday morning, cousins enjoyed breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, ham, biscuits and gravy, rolls, and fruit. At noon everyone gathered for a parade up and down Main Street. Leading the parade was a trailer for the senior Kuthers, followed by 4-wheelers, some horses, and on foot for everyone else. With close to 200 people participating, it was felt that this was the largest parade in Ferdinand since the last Kuther parade six years ago. It was quite a colorful sight as each of the eight families wore a different colored shirt.
This was followed by the annual Idaho versus Oregon softball game. Once again, Oregon won, with accusations of cheating being hurled at both sides. A few people even ended up accusing themselves of underhanded tactics. Everyone tried to bribe the umpire, who ended up owing money before it was over. Mark McGwire, the most famous Kuther cousin (yes, really) who never shows up in person, was there in the form of a larger-than-life cardboard figure. Instead of a ball in his upheld mitt, he sported a can of beer.
Before church, a dinner consisting of tri-tip beef prepared by Ken and Bertie Forsmann of the Idaho and Lewis County Cattlemen was served. Later in the evening a talent contest was held. Some of the Kuthers are definitely more talented others! In-between all these activities, there was a lot of visiting that got done.
Those attending from the Len Kuther family and wearing red were Diane and Wayne Wimer; Debbie McCulley; Donna, Dave, and Dana Christiansen; Dar, Wayne, Casey, and Stephanie Forsmann; and Denise, Roy, Krystin, and Kyle Uhlenkott.
From the Cletus Kuther family there was Cletus, Joe, Kathy, Kevin, Laurie, and Eden Kuther, Erin, David, Madison, Keenan, Carter, and Nicki and Dean Shears; Lyle and Shelley Kuther; Phyllis, Justin, Susan, Rylee, Kane, and Reed Kuther, Melissa, Shane, McKinly, and Aspen Gerloch; Roselyn, Tom, Wade and Nakonia Nuttman; Karol, Tim, Clinton, Anissa, and Gina Holthaus, Edwin and Dion Hunter, Drew and Blayne Mosman. They all wore blue.
Pooch Kuther’s family wore green, and they were Pooch, Bettie, Bernie, Dena, Jerry, Patsi, Eric, Isabella, Ed, and Carol Kuther; Heather, Paul, Meka, and McKayle Beaver; and Jason, Kristin, and Nathan Guyer.
Representing the Elaine Kuther Kinzer family in yellow was Judy Forsman, Candice, Ryan, Madeline and Mason McHugh; Georgia, Todd, Lee, Jeff, Ethan, and Ryan Slichter, Christi, Evan, and Katie Hansen, Andrea, Riley, and Mia VanKomen, and Tessa Howard; Susie, George, Toby, Rachel, Connor, Lacey, and Breann Schwartz; Tara, Mike, Kody, Kayla, Kendra, Kyleigh and Kaden Duclos, Brenda, Randy, Addison, and Skyler Chase; Sally, Jim, Jon, Renee, Aliah and Aubree Rehder, Rachel and Tyler Gibney, and Lisa and Joe Ellis; Dixie Kinzer, Dave Murray, Lorien, Dustin, and Nevaeh James, and Niaja Dickey.
In purple from the Marie Kuther Duman family there was Dave and Sally Duman and Vikki and Clint Riener; Barb, Jim, Greg, and Tina Remacle; Brenda, Jason, Ty, Tristen, and Trace Stimpson; Lynn, Vern, Norm, Julie, Jessie, Dani, Rachel Mary, Russell and Adam Sonnen, Christi Gortsema, Rhonda, Greg, Dylan and Karson Mader; and Julie and Steve Lancaster.
There weren’t very many of Kathryn Kuther Bain’s family there, but they proudly wore orange and were Kathryn Bain, Norma, Jerry, and Judy Kraft.
Those attending from Toni Kuther Jordan Haugen’s family and wearing brown were Toni Haugen, Sue, Michael, Joel, Karen, and Sara Jordan; Cara, John, and Jachin Scott; Posh, Mike, Bryan, Jesse and Alan Wolf; and Rachel and Grayson Humpert; Julie, Barry, Brandon, Jeremy, and Spencer Mueller; and Diane, Michelle, and Becky VanWert.
The last of the senior generation, who wore white, were from Marlene Kuther VanMetre’s family and were, Marlene, Ron, Mark, Jodi, Allan, Lori, and Addi VanMetre; Alisha, Brandon, and Reagan Mooney; Kathy, Keith, Kevin, Tauni, Braden, and Amber Zorza.
Guests during the day included Ralph Mathison and Sylvia Kinzer Forsmann.
The reunions are held every three years, rotating between the Camas Prairie in Idaho, where the family originally settled, and The Dalles, Hood River, and Madres, Oregon, areas, where part of the family moved to in the 1940s.
Some of the nearly 200 attendees at the Kuther family reunion. Descendents of each child of Joe and Antoinette Kuther each wore their own color-coded shirts.