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Community Sunday Stories

A Family Reunion: Across the Generations

October 29th, 2013 10:58 am by Shirley Garrett Fields, Community Contributor

A Family Reunion: Across the Generations

REUNION:  A coming together of members of a group after a time of separation.

Family reunions are a time for extended families to come together to renew and strengthen bonds and to form a framework of support and love stretching across the generations. These reunions give family members a sense of belonging and of being a part of something larger than themselves. 

Everything starts and ends with FAMILY!

On May 1, 1910, Wilson Elliot Francisco and Mary Bell Fortner were married in Russell County, Va., by Robert Cross, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, at his residence. To this union were born three sons (Gaines, who married Gladys King; Wayne, who married Lucille Fortner; and Jack, who married Neva Ray) and three daughters (Jean, who married Ewal “Red” Garrett; Brown, who married Dame Gibson; and Bula, who married Paul Warner). Only Bula is left to watch over our large family.

If Wilson and Mary Bell were living today, their “brag books” would be overflowing

with 28 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren, 81 great-great-grandchildren, and 20 great-great-great-grandchildren.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, 72 of those descendants, along with spouses and friends, to total 100-plus, came together for their annual Francisco Family Reunion at Eastman Cabins near Bays Mountain in Kingsport.

The file photo, taken around 1930, is the Wilson and Mary Bell Fortner Francisco family. It includes (front row, from left) Brown Francisco Gibson, Bula Francisco Warner, (back row, from left) Wilson Francisco, Wayne Francisco, Mary Bell Fortner Francisco, Jack Francisco (behind), Gaines Francisco and Jean Francisco Garrett.

The recent photo, taken Sept. 22, includes Bula Francisco Warner of Kingsport, age 90, and four members of the Francisco family. They include (front row, from left) Alex Warner, Roger Warner, Bradlie Warner, Bula Francisco Warner, Don Warner, Donna Warner, (back row, from left) Brad Warner, Ammie Warner, Shirley Warner, Jeff Warner, Julie Warner Couch and Zach Couch.

Additional Photos

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