Monday, November 30, 2009


The family appreciates your Prayers very much.
Helen is in the Plaza West in Topeka.
This is a gentle rehab/long term care center.
Thank You and Please Continue Praying.

This was sent to me from Loa Copp - Helen's daughter . . . . .
Helen Burger's surgery was on Monday, Nov. 16th.
All went well and she remained in Stormont Vail until she was transferred to Kansas Rehab Hospital on the 19th.
She stayed there until Sunday, the 22nd. That morning she suffered multiple grand mal seizures and was rushed back to Stormont Vail where she is at the current time.
An MRI discovered several serious brain issues and she also has aspiration pneumonia in her left lung.
The family is in the process of choosing a long-term care facility that will meet all of her mental and physical needs and would greatly cherish your continued prayers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I received a note from Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart (Class of 1952) today . . . .

"Hi Onnalee,
Was so sorry to see on the blog about Norma Thompson passing away.
It is so neat to be connected and know a little of what is going on with some of the former classmates.
I knew both her and Gerald even though they weren't in my class.
I enjoy the blog so much. Thanks!

Thank You Rosemary!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Funeral Services for Norma Jean Thompson

Service Time: 10:30 A.M.

Day and Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
Location: Paradise United Methodist Church - Paradise, KSVisitation and Guest Book Registration: Noon to 8 PM on Sunday, November 29, 2009 at the mortuary in Russell.
Family Greeting Visitors: 4 PM to 7 PM Sunday evening, November 29, 2009 at the mortuary.
Memorial: Paradise United Methodist Church, Lighthouse Church of God or Regional Hospice of Liberty, MO

Norma Jean Thompson, 74, of Liberty, Missouri and former Paradise, Fairport and Natoma resident, passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at Liberty Missouri.
Norma was born March 14, 1935 in Hays, Kansas.
She was the daughter of Lawrence and Nellie (Sanders) Finch.
Norma attended school at Paradise, Kansas graduating from Paradise High School with the class of 1953.
She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald Dee Thompson, at Great Bend, Kansas, on March 20, 1952. After Geralds return from military service they moved to Woodston, Kansas for several years and then to Waldo, Kansas before returning to Paradise in 1969.

Norma spent the majority of her life caring for her family and working along side Gerald while living on the farm. She was a cook for the elementary school at Waldo, Kansas and worked for a time at Rehs Meat Locker in Natoma, Kansas. She later worked at Travenol in Hays, Kansas.

After retirement, Norma enjoyed spending summers at Wilson Lake and other area lakes camping and fishing with her children and grandchildren. Later in retirement she liked spending winters with Gerald in Rockport, Texas. She loved to travel, having little adventures, and looking at all the sights. She thoroughly enjoyed shopping, and especially enjoyed finding a bargain.

Norma attended the Paradise United Methodist Church where she participated in all church functions, sang in the choir and soloed, played the organ and/or piano, prepared food and crocheted all kinds of creations which were sold at the yearly Thanksgiving bazaar.

Norma had a kind heart, never a bad word to say about anyone, and was a friend to everyone she met. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Norma was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald, her mother, Nellie, and sisters, Barbara (who died as an infant) and Bernita Finch.
Survivors are her father, Lawrence Finch of Natoma, KS, sister, Dixie Eggleston of Liberty, MO, daughter Sonja and husband Jim Weisgerber of Topeka (John and Paul), son Curtis and wife Lila of Oakley, KS (Jennifer, Dana, C.J., Ryan and Courtney), son Bradley and wife Kimberly of Hutchinson, KS (Amber, Randi, Amanda, Jessica, and Kelsay), son Gerald Lee and wife Marlene of Lees Summit, MO (Mark, Matthew and Travis), and son Alan and wife Donna of Enid, OK (Rebecca).

Visitation will be from Noon to 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, November 29th at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell, KS.
After visitation, the casket will remained closed. A celebration of Norma's life will be held Monday, November 30th at 10:30 a.m. at the Paradise United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Mt. Herman Cemetery west of Paradise.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Paradise United Methodist Church, Lighthouse Church of God, or Regional Hospice, Liberty, Missouri in care of the mortuary. Condolences may be sent via email by going to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

Norma's Family
Gerald Lee, Curtis, Bradley, Norma, Gerald, Alan, Sonja

All of her children graduated from Paradise -
Sonja (1970); Curtis (1972); Bradley (1974); Gerald Lee (1976); Alan (1978).
Her Father, Lawrence, still goes to church every Sunday at the Paradise Methodist Church.
He is 95 and drives himself from Natoma.

(I would like to Thank Randall Weller, Dan Hoisington, Jim Harrell and Duane Cronn for sending this information.)

I had an email from Irvin "Duane" Miller tonight. He also gave me the above information and added . . . .

"Norma Jean's father is Lawrence Finch. Lawrence is 98 years old and doing well.
Lawrence is my uncle, Norma and Dixie cousins.
Many thanks
Duane Miller"

I certainly appreciate everyone for making sure I get the information. I would rather receive the same information 2 or 3 times than to not to know about it at all. I'm not sure whether Lawrence Finch is 95 or 98 but either way, he must be very amazing! (I'm guessing that Duane is probably correct.)

Thank You, each of you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is a Tribute and Thank You
to the
United States of America's Men and Women in Uniform
by the
Ten Tenors from Australia

Just wanted to wish everyone a Wonderful Thanksgiving
and let you know how much we appreciate each of you.
Thanks for being a part of our lives!

Millard & Onnalee

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I received an email from Arthur Lee tonight . . . .

"Hello Onnalee, If there are any former students of Agnes Sims interested her address, it is . . . .

Agnes Sims
1293 N. Powers Rd.
Salina, Ks. 67401

Tele. 785 823 8239

I know she would like to hear from them. She celebrated her 90th birthday several months ago. Please enter this in the Paradise Blog. Arthur Lee"
Thank You Arthur for the email.
I certainly hope there are some readers that will remember her and send her a card. It is the little things that count.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Listen to the Paradise Fight Song
and Sing Along

Come on you Pirates, go out and win.
We're ready any time you begin.
Listen to our pep club roar.
Fight for a while and fight some more.
Our motto is we always play fair.
We've got the best team found anywhere.
We will Fight with all our might!
So Fight Team
Fight! Fight! Fight!

A note from . . . .
Judy (Hutchison) Tomei Class of 1971"


Sorry, I am not much of a blogger so feel free to translate/quote me.

I should remember the words and music to the fight song as I was a twirler in the band and a member of the pep club in high school but I had to look up the Notre Dame march and listen to it to be sure. Don't you think we should sing it at the alumni reunions so we don't forget it?

I've been reading the Paradise Educated site since you gave me the website address at the last Paradise Alumni Reunion I attended. I have it stored in my favorites listing. It brings back wonderful memories of the people and the little things that made Paradise so special.

Thanks so much!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


A special Thanks to Devin Strecker for telling us about this tour of Paradise.

"If you ever use Google Maps
then you probably know about street view -
where you can drag the little orange guy to a street
and it will show you the location as if you're
standing on that street looking around.
Well, they just added Paradise
so now you can go through all the streets and
take a virtual tour of the town!
Very interesting."
Type in Paradise, Kansas, then drag the little orange guy to a street.
I will be sure and watch this morning to see if Dan Hoisington gets to work on time. :)

Paradise is a city in Russell County, Kansas, United States.
The population was 64 at the 2000 census.
Paradise was founded in 1889.
Originally it was named Ivamar, who according to legend, was a beautiful and popular young woman in the city. The city was renamed "Paradise" after a hunting expedition led by James Meade stumbled upon the village, having trekked through miles of burnt prairie. On the other side of a creek was green grass, which looked like a paradise to the hunters, and thus the name was changed.


“On Wisconsin” is 100 years old
(Thank You Dan Hoisington for bringing this to my attention.
Dan had a Senior Moment - he thought this was the Paradise Fight Song. :)
However, I took him at his word and published everything about "On Wisconsin" :(
Millard sang the first line and the last line.
Dan Hoisington filled in the rest - except he forgot part of it.
Janette Angel Ross filled in the two lines before the end.
According to Judy (Hutchison) Tomei . . .
"If I remember correctly, the Paradise Fight Song was sung to the tune of the Notre Dame Victory March.
I think we changed the first line when I was in high school to
"Come on you Pirates, go out and win."
Judy (Hutchison) Tomei Class of 1971"
Team work!!!!!!

Come on old Paradise Go on and win
We're ready any time you begin.
Listen to our pep club roar.
Fight for a while and fight some more.
Our motto is we always play fair.
We've got the best team found anywhere.
We will Fight with all our might
So Fight Team
Fight! Fight! Fight!

The "Notre Dame Victory March" is the fight song for the University of Notre Dame. It was written by two brothers who were Notre Dame graduates. The Rev. Michael J. Shea, a 1904 graduate, wrote the music, and his brother, John F. Shea, who earned degrees in 1906 and 1908, wrote the original lyrics.
The lyrics were revised in the 1920s, it first appeared under the copyright of the University of Notre Dame in 1928.
The chorus of the song is one of the most recognizable collegiate fight songs in the United States, and was ranked first among fight songs by Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell, who remarked it was "more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more."

Thursday, November 12, 2009


We Appreciate Each of YOU!

Duane Cronn stated in his comment under COMMENTS - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
“Your counter shows 13,600 hits, so it appears that there are more than just a few people that actually look at the blog.”
My response . . . .
We started this blog on May 25, 2008. We did not have a counter until Aug. 5, 2008. I have kept a daily record of how many visitors have been on it since that time. From Aug. 5, 2008 to Jan. 8, 2009 there were 8,758 hits. Then on Jan. 9, 2009, I changed counters. From Jan. 9, 2009 until today Nov. 13, 2009 there have been 13,737. Therefore, since Aug 5, 2008 we have had 21,495 hits.

That is because of each of you - Word of Mouth.
Thank You very much.
Also, Duane stated . . . . .
“Also I want to thank you not only for your time spent working on the blog but also I assume that you also pay the costs to run the website out of your own pocket.”
My response . . . .
That is so thoughtful of you to think about expenses Duane. However, there is no charge for a Blog. My husband (Millard) probably thinks that my time on the Paradise Blog is being used more effectively than on his
Woodcarving Blog
and his Woodcarving Web Site.

I love doing the Paradise Blog and meeting and hearing from so many of you.
It is very rewarding.
I am going to take off a couple of weeks and get Millard's blog and web site up to date.
This should make the writer in the "Ugly" happy.
"Why don't you give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other way to entertain yourself." :)

Hmm! I doubt that I can stay away for a couple of weeks - I am rather addicted.
Devin Strecker said it all in his Comment - which I truly appreciate . .
Onnalee, you put so much effort and heart into the Paradise blog and it really shows.
You have connected so many people through time and space that all share one thing in common: a love of our community, neighbors and family around Paradise Kansas, no matter how long ago it was when we lived there.
I am so grateful that you have provided us with such a forum and think you do a wonderful job maintaining the blog.”
I could not have penned these words any better. Thank You Devin!
The connection that we have made with each of you has been very rewarding.


Scroll down to read the posting with this title before reading these comments.

I received a message on facebook from one of my former students that is a Dr. in Boulder, Colorado.I like her analogy . . . . .
"It looks like lemonade was made from lemons!"
Dan Hoisington (Class of 1967)
I can't get my comment to post so am emailing you the following:
To the secret person who thinks Onnalee needs to"give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other entertainment" why don't you do all of the other 013958 of us a break and don't look at the blog anymore. Obviously you do not like it.
Also, next time you want to rag on the great job Onnalee does please have the guts to sign your name. You can't write an editorial in a newspaper without your signature.
Dan Hoisington
Norma Hutchcraft Williams (Class of 1961)
Hi, Onnalee, I wanted to add my endorsement of the blog. You are doing a great service to keep us connected. In these times when things change so fast and we are bombarded with news and new ways to receive news it is wonderful to connect with old times and places and people that we knew back in the day. I check the blog every other day or so as I don't want to miss anything. I especially appreciated learning that my Aunt Helen Burger had been/is ill and have called and talked to her. That alone makes what you do invaluable. I appreciate your screening of language and content so it can continue to be a quality spot. Thank you very much and you may post this on the blog. I, also, am not very computer savvy and it is easier for me to e-mail you directly. Norma Hutchcraft Williams

Norma made me feel a little guilty. If anyone uses a word or some language that I think is inappropriate, I usually edit it in some way. Well, my good friend & former student, Terry Martin got by with it, as his S word would not have been effective if it would not have been used as is. Sorry to disappoint anyone. I could say, "The Devil Made Me Do It" , but that is not the case. Terry made me do it . . . I copy and pasted his comment as it was.
Randall Weller (Class of 1958)
Hi---I admit that I do not tap into the Blog like I should. Have been gone most of the Summer and have not done so. Then, I tap in and find this hooey about someone complaining about it and maybe taking a critical shot at you. I am going to get nosey and ask you to bring me to date on what happened. I go to Paradise every week and would like to know. I think it is a wonderful thing that you have done and I have enjoyed reading what others have said and done. I am not computer literate enough to contribute. I would like to know who complained and what about.
I have no problem with publishing this and put my name on it!!!! It is wonderful and I know it will continue to be. Randall
Duane Cronn (Class of 1957)
I am a long time resident of Paradise, and have been reading your blog since I found out about it a couple of years ago. I think it is great, and I enjoy reading the e-mails, looking at the photographs, etc. You have put in a considerable amount of work in this project. Please keep up the good work.
It’s too bad we have someone in our community that would send you such an e-mail. I always figure there is going to be that 1% who wants to spoil it for everyone else, so you might just as well ignore them.
Your counter shows 13,600 hits, so it appears that there are more than just a few people that actually look at the blog.
Also I want to thank you not only for your time spent working on the blog but also I assume that you also pay the costs to run the website out of your own pocket.
I graduated with the class of 1957. My classmates were Myron Miller, Blair Houser, Denzil McNeal, Alvin Webster, Bud Montgomery, Larry Schmidtberger, Diane (Hoisington) Hanzlicek, Joyce (Rounkles) Mello, and Marilyn (Elliott) Hoopes.
Devin Strecker (former Paradise student and contributor to the blog)
Onnalee, you put so much effort and heart into the Paradise blog and it really shows.
You have connected so many people through time and space that all share one thing in common: a love of our community, neighbors and family around Paradise Kansas, no matter how long ago it was when we lived there.
I am so grateful that you have provided us with such a forum and think you do a wonderful job maintaining the blog.
Terry Martin (Class of 1965)
Onnalee you have done a great job with the Paradise Blog. Please keep up the good work and don't let some has been mess with you. You know me, If I was you I would make that has been a nice batch of chocolate chip cookies with x-lax in them. This would help them with their shitty outlook on life.
C.C. of Fairport
What are they talking about? I have seen nothing that you have been offensive to or that you told something that you shouldn't have.....I gave you permission on my story....I'm sorry! I hate it when people try to ruin a good thing.....
We are having an OSWALD-FAIRPORT Reunion next July. We are inviting everyone that had or has ties to the Fairport area. We had about 41+ last May at the Fairport Market...had a fantastic time. We visited, roasted marshmallows, took pics at the Oswald Monument, visited the diamond hill, went geocaching and just had a darn good time. Only one day, so am hoping with every ones cooperation we can do 2 or 2 1/2 days.....We had some clear from Oregon and California. and they are coming back next year. I will get you to put something about it so everyone that wants to attend can get it on their calendars. WE HAD AN AWESOME TIME. And the garden will be going good by then so lots of fresh veggies.......imagine that!!!!!
Michele Peterka (Granddaughter of Garnett Angel - daughter of Janette Angel Ross)
If you want to post this, you can, it's up to you... but I said nothing I'm afraid of or ashamed of... Unlike the poison pen author who took time out of his or her sad pathetic little life to spew such wickedness! So if you do publish my response... you will post my FULL name! :o)
This is the work of a coward. It means absolutely nothing without a name to stand behind it. Only an Evil, Hateful, Ignorant person does this.
I wouldn't worry about it, or give it any energy... the person who wrote it is not worth your thought or your time! Pray for them, and ask God to help bring Peace to their tormented mind and soul.
Only the people who matter, support and love what you have done... I would delete it off the Blog, and don't give it a voice.
Karen Hudnall Jakub (Class of 1960)
Onnalee, good for you!!!! Looks great. I like the way you did it - the Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Perfect. I also am glad you put in the message about always having permission or request to put the material on the Blog. Anonymous can just take that and chew on it a while!!! Can't wait to see the positive responses to the latest entries!
You go girl!
S.B. - A former Elkhart student in Saudi
I don't know any of the people, but that's a rather nice blog. It looks like a lot of work but I'm sure it's worth the effort to keep so many people in touch with their hometown friends! Nice!
I wouldn't worry about the overly sensitive critic. If people post personal messages on your blog I think they have chosen to participate. More than half the people in the USA are mentally ill, otherwise, how could Obama have been elected President?!?!?! You can't be asked to judge someones mental capacity by the messages they send you.I know you understand "personal responsibility" and "discretion" as I remember many of the things you said to us during Youth Choir practices regarding personal conduct and values. My memory is fuzzy at times but I absolutely have no memory whatsoever of you ever saying anything off the wall and I know you have the ability to glean public messages from mere gossip. If someone talks about their memories of high school or shares clippings from a newspaper from 30 years ago or even updates news about someones battle with cancer, it's not really an invasion of privacy to share it with friends. It's not like you would leave postings on your blog of personal attacks. Or, if someone starts posting their pin numbers or talks about so-and-so's financial problems you would wipe that off as soon as you see it.
S. W. - A friend and reader from Oregon
I can see that you have put many hours into that blog spot! Admirable!!!!! No wonder that I don't get many emails from you!
Sad, when you are trying to do a good thing, that someone so unjustly attacks you.
To re-word an old quote, "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you cannot please all of the people all of the time."
To that disgruntled person, I would have said, "If you don't like it, don't click onto this site--i.e., if you don't like it, don't read it."
Carry on, good Sister, carry on! But I didn't make a comment on the blog since I am not a part of the Paradise community, and indeed, though a Kansas native with deep roots in that soil, I'd never heard about Paradise, Ks until you started writing about it.


Read this from top to bottom to get the full effect of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!
This is an email I received this morning from Karen Hudnall Jakub.
Thank You so much Karen.

6 “Hi Onnalee,
I have been missing so much. I haven't been visiting the Paradise Blog on a regular basis. I just spent some quality time catching up. What a blessing you are to so many! I just love reading and remembering. Having lived in Fairport instead of Paradise, there are some of the Paradise residents I don't know that well. Of course, I've heard of them or at least know the family name. Again, you are a real blessing to many.

I really regret that I haven’t saved the many emails that I have received from time to time to be able to share them with you. Each of you make our work on the Paradise Blog so rewarding.

In one of Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart’s emails that is in a posting about her on the blog. Nov. 7, 2009 she wrote the following . . . . Thank You, Rosemary.
“I just wanted to tell you that I got through the blog. I skimmed through some of it as there is a lot to read. I appreciate all the work you have put into it. My, there is a lot there. Thank you so much! There were many names that I remember and some of the people I remember. It was neat when I saw my 1952 class Graduation class picture. There were 9 of us--i think--and I was the only girl!”

Aug. 30, 2008 Iva Laughlin Byrd wrote a message - which is on the blog -

“Onnalee, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say:   (There was a photo of a bowl of M&M’s here)

As someone who grew up in Paradise and had to leave between my junior and senior year, I really am grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with my former school mates.The blog that you and Millard started has brought us a lot of Enjoyment. I know it takes a lot of time and energy and just want you to know that I do appreciate it. Hope you will be able to continue this very special work. We have never met. Hopefully someday we will. I always seemed to get close to the music teachers, so I believe if the timeframe was different, we would have been friends.Looking forward to getting to know you via email until the day we meet face to face. Iva Byrd

The above was the Good. In fact they were great. There are others too and I am wondering why I didn’t save them.

Thank You Each of YOU!

For the record - I strive to never publish ANYTHING without permission and when a person sends something to me, I usually copy and paste it so it is their wording.
I had a goof up with the "Paradise Quilt" posting, which I have made it known that it was a mistake.
Remember - everything is by permission or request.

Here is the Bad and the Ugly
It was sent as a Comment to be published on the blog. However, it has been “sanitized” in order that it could be put on The Paradise Blog.
As a long-time resident of the Paradise community, I know (name) as well as (name). I am dismayed and a little taken aback that you would see fit to publish such intimate and personal details. Especially when you don't have their permission to do so.
Those current members of the Paradise community that I have spoken to about this tell me that (name) has numerous mental health issues, and it may even be that (name) isn't capable of realizing that they shouldn't be sharing such personal details about someone other than themselves. You, on the other hand, need to take some professional and personal responsibility and realize that what you are posting is indeed crossing a line and may even be considered "none of your business".
Perhaps you mean well, or perhaps it is as others here in Paradise are telling me - that you also have numerous mental problems. Whatever the case may be, please understand that the few people that actually look at this blog do indeed have some manners and understand and respect other people's individual privacy.

If you are going to keep running this blog, then you really need to understand what the terms journalistic ethics and personal responsibility actually mean. Otherwise, you are inviting legal troubles.

Why don't you give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other way to entertain yourself.
Publish this comment.
Reject this comment.
Moderate comments for this blog.
Posted by Anonymous to Paradise Educated at November 9, 2009 11:13 AM

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Quotes from the Paradise Farmer:
"June 7, 1920 - Miss Junia Sullivan, who is in charge of the telephone central office, gives the best of telephone service, and is well liked by patrons of the system.
September 20, 1920 - Lest you forget, the telephone central office is open during these hours:
Sundays, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.
On week days 7 to 9, with an hour closed at noon and supper time.
Patrons should realize that the operator cannot answer calls every minute of the day."
Junia was born June 9, 1880, in Wilson County, Kansas. She was the daughter of John Melvin and Lydia (Shepherd) Sullivan.
She died February 5, 1966, and was buried in Mt. Hermon Cemetery, Paradise, Ks.



Helen Burger will be having surgery at Stormont Vail at 12:45, Mon, Nov. 16th to correct an ongoing problem. She would greatly appreciate your prayers for her and for her daughters - Thelma, Alice, Sue and Loa - during this time. Also, continued prayers will be appreciated for both her and Loa during this recovery time - which will take several weeks because of her age.

Helen was 91 on Oct. 5th.
This picture was taken a couple of days ago.
Isn't she one amazing 91 year old?

Saturday, November 7, 2009



Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart
was the only girl in the graduating class of 1952.

Other members of her class were . . . .
George Beller, Robert Beller, Robert Dickinson,
Merle Houser, Harold Hudnall, Tommie Hutchinson,
Darrald Newman and
Chester Webster.

It is always such a delight to find "old" and "new" acquaintances that are Paradise Graduates. I am enjoying being on facebook and seeing several of my former students and some of my relatives that I have not seen for some time - and some that I have not met. Every week brings new postings that Ifind so interesting and exciting.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from Rosalynn Heiney Wells Handley . . . . .

"I was telling my mom about some of the Elkhartians I have been re-connecting with. For some reason I remembered seeing something about Paradise and Lyons KS in one of your posts. She went to grade school in Lyons and graduated as the only girl in her Senior class in Paradise in 1952!! Would you or your husband be ...anywhere near ages to have remembered her?? Rosemary Thomas was her maiden name. She had a younger brother named Dale Albert and went by D.A. Just a curious little Kansas girl I am!"

My response . . . .

Rosalynn, we are from Emporia in Lyon County. However, I am sitting here with our Paradise Roster of all the graduates of all the years. Amazing!!!!!
Millard graduated in 1958, I taught my first 3 years in Paradise (1963-66).
We met each other while I was in Paradise and had our first home there after we were married in 65 - then we taught one ... more year - Millard still in Luray and I was in Paradise.

Your Mother will really enjoy the Paradise Blog - especially after she gets through the latest postings. If she goes all the way back to the beginning she will see so many wonderful pictures of Paradise. It will probably take her a couple of days. lol!
From Rosalynn . . .

She went to the 40th reunion in Paradise! She's still in Springfield, but doesn't drive much. I forwarded the blog info to her...I know she will love it. It has been fun finding information and life cycles from old friends :)
Thank you so much for the response

Then I had a message . . . . .
"Rosemary Heiney Stewart sent you a message on Facebook..."
Her message . . . . .

Hello Onnalee, I know you won't know me--my daughter, Rosalynn has been writing to you and it has been so interesting to learn more. I remember the name "Mr. Harrell from when my kids were in band in Elkhart, but never associated it at all. When Rosalynn mentioned that you had taught in Paradise I told her I was sure that I remember the name Harrell from Paradise, but couldn't remember any faces to put with it. When she told me when your husband graduated I could see why.
I graduated in 1952 and my maiden name was Thomas. We lived out by Fairport and I rode the bus to Paradise. I remember well how I used to tell people that I graduated from Paradise and there were really Angels there, It was always funny. It's been many years since I have been there, I went my Jr. and Senior year there and had many happy memories of there. Some of them very funny in fact.
I was married and moved to Great Bend some time after I graduated.I still am in contact with Harold Hudnall who lives in Great Bend and I always get an invitation to the reunions, but it is a long way from Springfield and I am not really physically able to go. I did get to go for my 40th class reunion, but that was the last. It was amazing how much older they all looked than I did (that's a joke). I would like to think that, but afraid it isn't true. My husband and I went for my 40th, but he passed away in 1996 so I just can't make it anymore.
I am interested in learning more about the Harrell's, but can't remember any being close to my age.
The Lord has blessed my life and my husband was a Minister. We pastored 3 churches over almost a 30 year period. We had 3 children, my oldest is Rosalynn, my middle child, Karen passed away with Cancer when she was 22. My son and family are Missionaries in Venezuela and have been there for about 17 years. Won't bend your ear any longer, but just thought this was all so interesting.
I have the Paradise blog now in my favorites that you sent and I know I will enjoy it even though I don't know most of the younger ones.
Hope to hear from you. May God bless you and your family.
Sincerely, Rosemary (Thomas)Heiney Stewart
I sent her a message and asked for her permission to put her messages on facebook . . . .

"Yes, you have my permission to put my message on the blog. Thanks!
I sent you another message asking you about if you and Millard had the furniture store and the funeral home in Elkhart, it just keeps coming to my mind that it was Harrell furniture and I thought that about the funeral home also. I remember we bought some furniture there. This is just all so interesting even though it's been so long ago."
Another message from Rosemary

I promise this will be the last time I will bother you for awhile. I just wanted to tell you that I got through the blog. I skimmed through some of it as there is a lot to read. I appreciate all the work you have put into it. My, there is a lot there. Thank you so much! There were many names that I remember and some of the people I remember. It was neat when I saw my 1952 class Graduation class picture. There were 9 of us--i think--and I was the only girl! I enjoyed seeing the Hudnall family pictures especially. Harold and I have sort of kept in contact and I also remember that my little brother, D.A. Thomas was in the second grade at Fairport with Karen Hudnall. He always said that she was his girlfriend. So it was fun to see her picture now. My brother, D.A. passed away in 2007. He was retired, but for many, many years was head librarian at the DR'S library at K.U.medical center. His wife still lives in K.C. and he only had one daughter and she and her family live in St. Louis. It is so neat to go back in time and remember some of these things from our past.

I thought of something funny that Millard will probably get a kick out of. When I was a Jr. or Senior at Paradise I had to go about 11 miles to get into town so I drove my parents car and went to our play practice--I parked in front of Basheors cafe and went with some of my friends just to ride around for a little bit after play practice. When we got back we were all just standing by my car talking and when I opened my car door the light came on and one of my classmates noticed that the town drunk (I think I know his name, but won't say) anyway he was in my backseat either asleep or passed out. Of course the boys got him out of the car, but I've oftened wondered what would have happened if I had got on the road going home and he would have raised up--He probably wouldn't have hurt me, but I probably would have killed me and him too. This is one of my funniest memories from my days in school there. Just thought I would share and you would probably think it funny too.Is so nice that you live close to your kids and Grandkids--they are so special! I enjoy so much that I am close to Rosalynn and part of her family. It means so much especially since my son and family are so far away.

She wrote another message . . . .

I did look on the blog today, I presume that the newest ones are at the top.
I enjoyed seeing all of the pictures of your Anniversary. I think Millard still looks like I remember him and you do too in the face. I think that you had long sort of blonde hair when I remember you in the furniture store. Of course we all look a little older, but that just means God has granted us a longer life.

I was thinking about the table and chairs set that we bought from your store--it was is 1972 or 73 and I have used it all these years--Just got rid of it and a new set last Summer. It was really a nice set and a good one evidently! The table was still in very good shape, but the chairs were getting a little unstable. It was sort of Early American style with the Maple finish. We later after we had moved from Elkhart bought a China hutch to match it which I still have. Thanks for writing. Rosemary


Thursday, November 5, 2009


"It was utter chaos!!! "But I'm alive" Trenton wrote on his Facebook!!

I just heard from Micele Peterka (daughter of Janette Angel Ross - Granddaughter of Garnett Angel) She has heard from her son, Trenton.

TRENTON is SAFE! He is locked down in his barracks at Fort Hood, but he is fine! Thanks Everyone for Your Thoughts and Prayers... Mine were answered, but still praying for those who's Soldiers truly need our prayers today.

I talked to him earlier today... it was a tense half hour before I finally heard from him... He didn't know too much then. I know he was getting a lot of calls and Text messages, so I left him alone to answer everyone. As long as I knew he was ok, that's all I needed.
Trenton was about 3 blocks away from where the shootings were....

I also received an email from Janette . . . .

Our grandson, Trent was in a class, 3 blks from the shooting in Fort Hood, TX today!!! We were so relieved to finally hear from him late this afternoon that he was OK along with his entire platoon! We were doing some praying today!! But in my heart, I felt that he was OK, somehow!! Our daughter, Michele, couldn't reach him by cell for quite a while, but eventually, he called from a land line and got thru to his parents, Troy & Chele.
"It was utter chaos!!! "But I'm alive" he wrote on his Facebook!!

So very very sad. Please keep the families of the deceased soldiers/police in your prayers.
Love to all, Richard & Jan

This is such great news and we all are so Thankful!