Family holds reunion in Conger

Published 9:35 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

The 12th biennual family reunion of the descendents of Valentine and Christiana Yost Katzung was held on Aug. 13 at the Conger Community Center. There were 33 family members in attendance. Les Anderson, of Albert Lea, led the group in singing the table prayer, after which all enjoyed a catered luncheon. Clair and Marian Katzung Dahl, Randy and Sherry Dahl Schott and Earl Cleven, all of Ellendale, helped serve the luncheon. Attendees brought bars and cookies to share for dessert.

Standing from left, Garlin Scherb, LeAnn Lindeman, Sharleen Bengtson (holding Sidney Bengtson), Dale Lindeman, Marilyn Sasser, Elaine Rooney, Diane Simonson, Vernell Katzung, Earl Cleven, Sherry Schott, Marian Dahl and Larry Katzung. Seated from left Skylar Bengtson, Moriah Lokken, Julie Lokken, Beverly Manguson and Lois Anderson. Not pictured is LaMoyne Baer and Kathy Cook.

Following the luncheon, a recap of the Katzung family history was then presented by Larry Katzung of Frisco, Texas, the current family historian, with emphasis on the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Valentine and Christiana, family deaths in the past two years, etc. The Valentine Katzung Family consists of 13 children, 60 grandchildren and 141 great-grandchildren and numerous great-great-grandchildren and beyond. Three grandchildren still survive following the death of Elwood Lund during the last two years. Marie Brackey, 91, of Albert Lea is the oldest living grandchild but was unable to attend. Beverly Manguson, 86, of Balaton, was the lone grandchild in attendance. Of the 101 surviving great-grandchildren, LaMoyne Baer of Ankeny, Iowa, was recognized for being the oldest of this group of 13 in attendance. The Herman Katzung branch of the family took honors for having the largest contingent in attendance with 12. This was followed by six each from the Ed Katzung and Bill Katzung branches.

The balance of the program consisted of recognizing family members and announcing future activities. Larry passed on information he had received from those who had sent regrets to the invitations for the reunion. Brandon Peeters, of Owatonna, a great-great-great grandson of Valentine and Christiana, was recognized for his research of the Civil War. It was while working on a third grade family history project that he became aware that his soldier-relative, Valentine Katzung, served with the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment from 1861 to 1864, fought at Gettysburg and was shot in the left heel. That personal connection ignited Brandon’s interest in the Civil War. Larry also informed the group that he had been contacted by Wes Sime and Steve Sprenger, both previously from the area, regarding a possible trip in 2012 to Germany to visit areas from which the family’s German roots had originated. It would be similar to the trips of the Katzung family in 1995 and 1999.

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The day concluded with the Katzung cousins continuing to socialize with the relatives that they often only see every two years at the reunions. The Katzungs are planning for their next reunion to be held Aug. 10, 2013.