Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clarence Overson's Funeral

Today we attended services for our cousin, Clarence Overson at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Williston. Let us say, it was one of the most impressive and appropriate funeral services we have ever attended.

Along with his wife"Ginny", his five children and sixteen grandchildren spouses and family, all of the Lassey cousins and familes who live in the area, there were more than 350 people who attended, many of his co-workers at WISCO and friends whose lives he had touched thoughout the yeears. His family really appreciated having "Uncle Bill" there.

It was apparent that he had been an excellant father by the testimony of his children and grandchildren who loved him dearly. His daughter, Karen, gave a testimonial about how he had always loved all of them, and his grandchildren, and how he would always know the good people from the not so great ones when they were growing up. Mavis said she had always dearly loved Clarence because he was so good to her and played with her when she was small. He had made many friends in the oil patch, and many other friends in the years he had lived in Williston.

What a blessing it was that the cousins had all gathered for Dad's 95th Birthday Party a couple of weeks ago, Clarence was there and we all got to see him then.

Marilyn and Mavis

Saturday, April 25, 2009


We enjoyed yesterday (April 24) on the campus at the University of Arizona, where these photos were taken. It was great fun to rub shoulders with lots of students, and a few faculty, over lunch at one of the many restaurants in the Student Union. The brick building is Old Main, the oldest building on a campus with nearly 40,000students. The U of A libraries have always been among our favorite places in Tucson, and we enjoyed some time in one of them, as well. Helps us appreciate the richness of this city!


The neighbors around us in the condo are a very interesting collection. Immediately below us is a young couple, the female of whom works for Pearson Publishing Company--with which we published two books! We had a delightful time exploring the connections and experiences. She wanted to know all about our books, as did her mate, who is an engineer.

Just to the east, the male of the couple (who have a 14-month old son) is a doctor who did some of his medical school at the University of Idaho, where Marie taught for 23 years. He knows, and spoke kindly of, some of the faculty who were Marie's close colleagues. He is from Pocatello, and his wife is from Houston, TX. Unfortunately, from our viewpoint, they will only be here for another couple of months before moving to a medical practice in Arkansas.

Just to the west, another young couple are equally pleasant, but we have not yet discovered any direct "historical" connection. We find it very pleasing to have these very interesting young couples to relate to all around us!

Tomorrow we'll be enjoying the gorgeous spring flowers now in bloom at Saguaro National Park East, at the eastern edge of the city, while having a picnic lunch in a beautiful setting--after a vigorous hike on one of many delightful trails.


Bill and Marie

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The photos are views from our condo balcony and study. This is a gorgeous setting, with lots of birds, colorful bushes, and expansive trees!


Mavis called this morning to say that Clarence Overson was playing golf on Sunday and suffered a stroke. He was transported to the hospital but later died from side-effects of the stroke, at age 75. He had been at the family reunion for Dad's birthday on April 4th, and appeared then to be in good health. He and Ginnie have five children.

I have many memories of Clarence from his younger days around Cartwright, when we were regular companions from childhood through high school in Fairview. He was a prankster from the very beginning, regularly finding ways to get several of us in trouble! I'll never forget the time he and I were throwing rocks on the roof of the vacant store on Cartwright's mainstreet, when one rock strayed into a large plate glass window. He insisted it was my fault, when I knew better. Dad wound up paying to replace the window!

He loved coming to the farm for games in the hills and woods. He was a regular visitor for several days at a time, and despite the periodic misbehaviors, we had a great time, often with Stanley Winter involved. He will certainly be missed by his friends and the larger family.


Spring planting is in full swing, accompanied by regular delivery of new calves (230 so far). Ron manages the calves (he says after this season he is about to give up on cattle, because of all the mishaps!), while Luke and Will plant barley, wheat, and sugar beets. Abbie has been keeping Mavis and Ron company, to their delight, much of the time, while Luke is in the fields. It is sufficiently dry that irrigation with the sprinklers is already under way. The pastures are very short, which means the cattle to continue to need expensive hay, which is short supply after a long winter. Fortunately, the Yellowstone is providing plenty of water at the irrigation pumps because of a change in the sand bar formations.

The hired man is finally almost moved into Dad and Mom's old house. He has lived with his parents all the while, but their house was sold and they moved to Dickinson, so he has to move. It is nice to have that house occupied instead of sitting empty, as it has much of the time for the last several years.

Bill and Marie

Sunday, April 19, 2009



Mollie is taking track at her school, and doing some track meets that keep her parents busy! She is not yet sure which events she wants to compete in. She is also doing piano lessons. Her school is suffering a bit from the recession, and loss of students and tuition, but is in no danger of closing or losing many programs.

Dione says the school where she teaches is doing okay and has not had to lay off any teachers, despite the bad economy. Saul's Antioch McGregor University is also doing fine, although has lost some students and tuition.

They have planted a big garden and are looking forward to lots of fresh food. Dione says it is hard work but worth it!


Maureen is coming to Phoenix for a meeting the first week of May. We will meet her there and look forward to a good visit! She just returned from a meeting in Washington, D.C., where she enjoyed getting together with some of her long-time friends. Mat has been consulting with the Billings Housing Authority, helping then with some research and proposal writing. He is enjoying the part-time work, now that he is "retired" from working for the State.

They are going on vacation the latter part of May, to New England and a Boston Red Sox baseball game! In the meantime, Maureen is beginning planting in her green house in the back yard, and plans to grow some good food as well.


We had a grand time this afternoon touring the new Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Residences about 23 miles from our condo. It is the home of the Accenture Match Play Golf Tournament--a really big deal in Tucson, especially when Tiger Woods is here! Just for fun we visited a couple of the "model" residences. Absolutely gorgeous and only $2-3 million each!


Bill and Marie

Sunday, April 12, 2009


These pictures come from Marilyn, and are delightful to see. I hardly recognize some of my cousins! I do remember (I think) Bonnie Meldahl with Dad, Ron Shaide and Don Overson, Linda, Charlene, and some others, Mavis, Dad and Marilyn, and a large group that must have included all the cousins who were there.


We talked to Lila today, just after she had returned from an Easter Brunch with Cindy and her family. Yesterday she had gone to K-Mart with Cindy, as well. And, she said she had finished reading "Fabulous Journey," all with her magnifying glass. Quite an accomplishment! She told us about the big flood around Bismarck, which fortunately did not get high enough to affect Karen and her family who live in the valley not far from the river.


We also talked to Derek and Dara today. Derek hurt his shoulder while changing a blade on his snowplow, and is partially diabled but still working for the state of Iowa. Dara just returned from a cruise that she really enjoyed, going down along the coast of Baja California to several coastal cities in Mexico. Some fun!


Our Easter was celebrated with a morning brunch at the Westin Hotel near where we live, and a duck dinner this evening. Very tasty and fun in both cases!


Bill and Marie

Monday, April 06, 2009


Dad's Party was really great. We had such a good time visiting with all the Lassey cousins.

The following is a list of the people who were there.

Ardell Skogen and daughter Carol (Valley City, ND)
Bonnie and Gene Meldahl (Sidney)
Don and Phyliss Overson (from Colorado)
Clarence and Ginny Overson (Williston), Terri and daughter
Jerry and Judy Lassey
Rhonda and family
Sharon and Andy Cayko
Ronnie and Sharon Shaide
Marilyn and Issy Sackman
Mavis and Ron Berry,
Shawn and Tracy Berry, and family
Luke and Abby Berry
Lonna Sundheim
Will Berry
Linda Wildman
Jody and Family
Jenny Malloy
Tim Stewart
Charlie and Terry Gunther
Michell and Family
Cindy Klym, Sara and Amanda

Stan Winters called and said he would really like to have been there, but couldn't make it. Charles and Sharon Lassey were planning on coming, but the weather and roads kept them home. Glen Winter is in a nursing home in Spokane and recently had a stroke, and is now in a coma. I will update news of him when we find out more later.

Wish you could have been there, but glad you are all settled in your new condo.


Marilyn and Issy

Sunday, April 05, 2009


We were delighted to hear from Mavis this afternoon that the birthday celebration for Dad at the Church came off really well, with 61 "clan" members present. Most of the Lassey cousins were there, and Dad remembered most people who were there. The food was terrific, catered by a local chef from Fairview. Dad might have been a little overwhelmed by the crowd and the noise, but really seemed to enjoy himself nonetheless.

Stan and Marilyn Winter were not there, but they called Dad yesterday morning. Mavis was at Dad's and said Stan and Marilyn would love to have some family visits in California! We have intended to visit them several times but always were side-tracked by family illness, and have not made it there in recent years.

Dad had an exam on his bladder last week, and has three cancer cells on the wall of the bladder. They will not try to treat it, in part because the Dr. says that it is slow growing and is unlikely to cause major problems other than some discomfort. His congestive heart failure would be a problem for any treatment, in any case.

The farming has not yet started on the ranch, largely because of cool and damp weather. It is getting a bit late in the season to get started. The calves are arriving in droves!

One little story that tickles us: Abbie told Dad he had to stand in the corner because he was a bad boy. So, Dad stood in the corner until Abbie said it was okay for hime to leave. Cute, indeed!


As soon as I receive some photos of the celebration, I will post them on the blog! SO, HERE IS A PLEA TO EVERYBODY TO SEND SOME!!


We are all moved into our "new" condo, and enjoy it! It is compact compared to the house, but just right for a couple of 74-year-olds who don't want all the work of maintaining house and yard! The house sale is proceeding smoothly, and hopefully will be closed by the end of the month.


Bill and Marie