Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tueller Reunion

 On July 1, 1953 Blaine Carlson Tueller and Jean Marie Heywood got married. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of that union their ten children and their families all gathered in Brian Head, Utah for four days of fun. Family members came from Venezuela (in route to Switzerland), Kuwait, Nepal (in route to Massachusetts), India, Taiwan, Japan (in route to Utah), Hawaii, California, Arizona, Washington, Wisconsin and Utah. That gathering has been going on for a few weeks so even before the official reunion there were plenty of get togethers.

On Friday, June 28th the Emmett family joined with some of the clan for a trip to the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah.

Marie and three of her siblings enjoyed running into their cousin Jack Bickmore (center)

 We left for the reunion on Sunday after church. Will did all of his packing for the trip and did so by laying out all of his outfits (soccer jerseys) for each day.

Monday morning many of us went on a wonderful hike (led by grandson-in-law Mike) along the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Wild flowers were at their peak, including one of my favorites--lupine

Lots of dead Sub Alpine Firs

The group that made it all the way out to the Ramparts Overlook (a four mile round trip hike).

Aunt Diane photo bombs the jump photo

Blooming blue bells cover the hill side.

An ancient bristle comb pine

More favorites--blue columbine

That afternoon some of the young boys and their parents went on a Chad lead treasure hunt hike under the beginner lifts at Brain Head. 

We had hoped to find cell phones and large amounts of money that had fallen out of skiers' pockets when they fell, but all we found were 2 quarters (Marie found one) and a dime.

At the base Will and cousin Lamont (barefooted) from Hawaii enjoy that last remnant of snow.

That night and every night we enjoyed dinner and visiting in one of the three rented cabins.

Monday night--on the actual day of the anniversary--everyone gathered on the deck of "Cabin Sweet Cabin" where the Emmetts, Jim Tuelleers and Krumpermans stayed for a very entertaining talent show. Here are some highlights (for more photos of the whole show go to Tueller Reunion on Flickr): Leading out was oldest sibling Jan and family who sang some favorite songs from their many years of car trips in a variety of cars.


A surprised Matt (currently serving as US Ambassdor to Kuwait) smiles as four of his five grandchildren emerge from the cabin to take on their duty as his "official" bodyguards.

Blaine and Jean are all smiles.

Jim, a history professor at BYU-Hawaii, when given a random year from the last millennium, would  tell us what happened in that year, while his family acted out the event.

Aunt Rachel's talent was blowing bubbles with the help of some great-nieces.

Betsey and family, just returned from Nepal, sang about their adventures there.

Matt's daughter-in-law Ayae shows some of the pre-swim lesson exercises her daughter Yuna learned in Japan this last year.

Diane and husband Lant (and Asher) doing some Gangam style dancing.

The teen cousins singing the song "fabulous" from the Disney TV show Phineas and Ferb.

Last week while viewing the super moon I tired to sing "I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me" which my mother always sang on night time drives home through Sardine Canyon. I couldn't remember it all so we googled it and found a different, but very delightful version (lyrics and tune ) that Marie really liked. She learned it on her guitar, Sarah made our head dresses to go with the lyrics (moon, lark, oak tree, ocean, mountain) and we all sang.

Cousin Emma's (smiling center bottom) talent is yoga so she invited people up to do yoga with her. Her Aunt Martha joined in but chose to do a more elementary routine.

Jeanne and family singing the Root Beer song that our kids also like to sing.

With only one practice a few hours earlier Aunt Diane leads a family chorus. Joel joined in and Aunt Diane (a high school choir teacher) was able to help him figure out how to find the same notes everyone else is singing. She and he succeeded!

Sarah read with nice dramatics a humorous essay from her English class last year that describes her quest in life to figure out who she is by what she reads.

Grandma Jean, with a "blue bird on her shoulder" as a symbol of how happy she was to have everyone gathered, reminds her posterity to always look for the good and to speak kindly

Jean's lovely "sermon" prompted spontaneous singing (a common occurrence in the family) with all ten children of "Jesus Said Love Everyone" 

The final act was a family trivia game by Aunt Martha and her boys.

Marie smiling when everyone realized she was the one who was shot in the butt by brother Matt and his bb gun.

"It hit me right here."

Singing Grandma's favorite song "Families Can Be Together Forever" and grandpa's favorite "The Lord My Pasture will Prepare."

Next morning we all drove to Panguitch to Grandma Jean's childhood town. I was made DB (put in charge) of the family photo (it is a rare thing for an in-law to be appointed to be the DB-designated boss). Knowing that it was a large group, as we drove through town I scouted it out for any type of incline or bleacher we could use to make it easier to see everyone. We didn't find much to go on so while we waited at the cemetery for everyone to come I walked out and around the perimeter looking for any possible place for a photo. Then I saw it. The lone house to the east of the cemetery had built two berms on either side of the lot and recently planted trees atop them. They looked perfect. I went and knocked on the door and asked the father if we could use his hill/berm for a family photo. He was a bit concerned about the recently planted trees, but when I told him that it was my in-law's 60th anniversary and my mother-in-law's parents were buried next door and we would not touch the trees he willingly consented.With the help of my dad's tripod that I inherited and the timer on my Canon camera we had a fairly successful photo shoot--which includes all 10 kids, 26 of the 30 grandkids and all 12 of the great grand children. While we were posing, the family was nearby rounding up a few calves that had escaped from the corral.

 Family photo, Venezuela, 1972. It is a rarity because it includes all 12 children.

Here is a recreation of that photo, with the same ordering (except a reversal of Jeanne--on dad's lap in the original and Rachel--on mom's lap).

The Matt and DeNeece Tueller family

The Jan and Win Lowman Family

Panguitch in the distance

Jean Marie Heywood Tueller's great grandfather was Joseph Leland Heywood who was baptized in 1842 in the ice covered Mississippi River by Orson Hyde. Joseph Smith, who taught and converted Heywood on the first day of his visit to Nauvoo, helped cut the ice for the baptism and then confirmed Heywood. He and his fourth wife Mary Bell both crossed the plains with the Mormon pioneers. They then met and married and settled in Panguitch. They had 12 children together.

Their son David Leland Heywood and his wife Kate DeLong

 Their son Leland DeLong Heywood and his wife Marie Evans.

Their daughter Jean Marie Heywood Tueller, who was born in Panguitch, with her daughter Marie Tueller Emmett and a granddaughter Marie Amara Tueller (Matt's eldest daughter). Four generations of Maries.

Jean's younger sister LuDean who only lived 19 days. She contacted the flu from the delivering doctor who came to the Heywood home to deliver her after treating a person with the flu.

To introduce these and other ancestors buried in the cemetery the kids went on a treasure hunt to find tombstones. Once found they returned to the pavilion where Grandma Jean told them stories about those they had found. 

That afternoon we enjoyed boating (thank to uncle Lant's new boat) eating and visiting at Navajo Lake. 

Joel (in lime green) helping his cousin Katie (same age but a foot taller) ashore. She broke her foot the day before the reunion while swimming with cousins at Aunt Diane's.

After dinner that night there was a spontaneous singing song fest of all of the family favorites sung over the years wherever the Tuellers lived: Ireland, Austria, Morocco, Venezuela, Panama, The Philippines, Spain and the United States.

Next day on the drive home we stopped to visit Utah's first territorial statehouse in Filmore. Brigham Young hoped this new, but short-lived, capital would encourage more southward settlement.

A few weeks ago Sarah's (playing in the former statehouse) doctors finally felt that her blood pressure was at a safe and stable point for surgery. They originally wanted to operate on June 26th, but that would have meant that Sarah, who will need about a week in the hospital to recover, would not be able to attend the reunion. At her request we asked if we could postpone surgery so that she could attend the long awaited reunion. The doctors agreed and it is now scheduled for July 10th. In the meantime Tueller gatherings (swimming, BYU soccer game, fireworks) continue.


  1. I feel like I was at the reunion myself after viewing all these wonderful pictures! Thank you, Chad, for posting these! May God continue to bless each of you, especially Blaine and Jeanne during this special time in their lives!
    Jean Loughran, Anne Lowman's proud mother

  2. Wow what a great time it must have been. I loved all the pictures and was especially happy to see a Chicago Cub T-shirt in one shot. Go Cub! Go Tuellers!