Saturday, November 28, 2015

Museum Depot in Springfield, MO

Brother Joe, aka Joe Felin, is very active in the Railroad Museum in Springfield, MO, the city where he and his family have lived for almost 60 years.  Joe's group is raising funds to build a replica of a depot for the museum site.  The group's charter:  “The Railroad Historical Museum Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of Railroad History and heritage of the past and educating present and coming generations."  Most of you Dear Readers know Joe spent his whole career in the railroad business and is very knowledgeable about it.

On the very next Joe Felin Turnbo Tour, we plan to ask him to add the Museum as a stop--even though it is a "long way from Turnbo," (one of Joe's expressions for how far the Felin family has ventured from its origins on a farm on Turnbo Creek in Webster County in Southwest Missouri.)

If you are interested in more information or in making a donation, go to:

[The itself is interesting.  And, unlike many of the crowd funding possibilities, does NOT skim a large percentage of donations off the top.] 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ryan's Ramble

My grandniece Carrie Thompson (daughter of Shirley, granddaughter of my brother Bernie and sister-in-law Maudie) sent me a T-shirt for my participation in Ryan's Ramble on June 20, 2015,  a race in memory of Carrie's son Ryan who died in a tragic crash while he was riding his bike.  (There is more information about this tragedy in earlier entries on this blog.)

Thank you, Carrie.  I much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Brayden and Scott - November 14, 2015

Mark Goldman and Christopher Spreitler

These two came over to help us move some furniture around.
Mark thought they moved a cousin to "The Bench," a reference
to a concrete bench he helped us move in 2003.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Around the time Sabrina found the paper her mother had written years ago for a Creative Writing Class she took (See the last entry to this Blog), I ran into the physician who attended Mother from 1961 until her death in 1978.  His name is Martin Smoeller.  I recognized him in line at the check-out at Whole Food and approached him.  Yes, he is Dr. Smoeller.  He did not remember Mother, but was extremely gracious in talking with me.  He must be around 90 years old now, is very short and still very sharp.  I thought it was quite a synchronicity that Margaret's paper and the man referenced in it surfaced at the same time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Margaret's Paper

Margaret's and Norman's (Abbott) offspring, Stephanie, Sabrina, Randy, and Catrina have sold the family home in St. Peters.  Sabrina found a paper her mother wrote for a college class in 1986.  It is extremely well written, very interesting, and captures a lot of the spirit of Margaret as well as our mother (Margaret Marie Felin, neĆ© Madden).  You can access the paper at:

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Jalen, son of Scott Spreitler, grandson of the late Martha Sue Spreitler Boaz, is a senior in high school in Louisville, KY.  We just learned Jalen has been elected President of the HS Student Council.  Jalen excels in his studies, in art, in music, in sports, and now in leadership.  Congratulations, Jalen!  We are very proud of you!  Jalen spent five weeks at Murray State University this summer, having won a Governor's Scholars' Award.  The award is given to promising young leaders as an incentive to get them to attend a university in their home state.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Father Daughter Dance

Dancing to "Amanda," a very poignant moment

Francis of Asissi

Sculpture overlooking the grounds at the Jewel Box in Forest Part. Site of Amanda's and Tyler's wedding yesterday

Amanda is the daughter of Randy and Lynn Abbott, granddaughter of the late Margaret and Norman Abbott.

Amanda and Randy

Father and Daughter dance at her Wedding

Monday, August 17, 2015


I had asked Stephanie to send an update for the blog, and she did.  Here it is:

"Hello, my sweet tante.

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I updated everyone.  I have just been feeling funky and tired.  That being said, here is the latest. I went to the doctor last Wednesday and am doing pretty well.  I am having some issues with my gait and my strength, especially in my knees and hips, so today I started therapy.  I will go once a week and do a very minimal workout, as they don't want to overdo and cause the weakness and pain to get worse.  They have also referred me to a dermatologist to get the black lines in my nails checked, as in some cases they can be caused by a type of melanoma, so prayers for that would be greatly appreciated.  I am still terribly fatigued, and sleeping 12-16 hours a day is not unusual for me.  My appetite is still not the greatest, and when I went last week, I had lost another 7 (I think, it could have been 9) pounds since my last visit a month ago.   The doctors are not very pleased with that, but I just can't eat a lot of times.  Dan cooks all kinds of wonderful foods for me, but I have no appetite, and so he ends up cooking me a hamburger in the hopes that I will eat it, and most of the time I do.  I have lost a total of about 33 pounds since I started chemo.  I will go in 4 weeks for another CAT/|PET scan to see how things are progressing.

While there I asked if I was in remission and was told that with this type of cancer they will never be able to tell me I am in remission, all they can tell me is that the last scan showed "no evidence of disease" or NED.  So, as of my last scan, there was no evidence of disease, and I will take that.  I wish that I could hear "remission", but with this type of cancer, that just doesn't happen.

To all of you who have been praying, sending cards, and keeping us in your thoughts, thank you!  We love you all.

God bless all of you,


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jalen, The Scholar-Athlete

The photo that I tried to post with this headline is of the marquee at Jalen's high school in Louisville.  His name is listed as one of the winners of the Governor's Scholars Program.  Jalen's dad, Scott, was driving by the high school yesterday and saw the sign.  He stopped and took a photo which he sent me.

Jalen is currently attending a five-week scholar-in-resident program at Murray State University.  He will complete high school next year and will attend a university in Kentucky.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I am delighted to pass along the news that Stephanie's cancer is in remission!  Her family is planning a celebratory party.  It has been a tough eight months for Stephanie and Dan and all who love them.  Family, and friends, especially friends from their church, have rallied around them and given unbelievably loving and constant support--rides to doctor appointments, tests, and treatments; cleaning the house; mowing the lawn, repairing whatever, running errands, bringing food, checking in with encouraging and loving messages, and donations of much-needed funds.

The old saying about Christians, "You will know them by their actions," applies in spades to Stephanie and Dan and their family and friends.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Jake Felin Last Will and Testiment - December 8, 1934

Last Will and Testament - Jake Felin December 8, 1934

Sabrina (Abbott Smith) continues to find interesting artifacts as she sorts through her late parents' belongings.  She found the hand-written will of Jake Felin (my paternal grandfather, her great grandfather), scanned it, and sent the scan to Joe and to me.  I haven't yet found a way to get the scanned document posted here.

Interesting that another Jake (Langston), grandson of Bernie and Maudie Fellin, great great grandson of Jake Felin, was married last weekend in Spokane, WA.  We have one other Jake (Schmidt) whose great great grandfather was Jake Felin.  Jake Felin immigrated from Austria and changed his name from Giacoma to Jake after arriving in the U.S.  [Brother Joe and others, please weigh in here if I have any facts wrong.]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Family History

Sabrina (Abbott Smith) has been sorting through some boxes in her parents' home (the late Margaret and Norman Abbott).  She found this (below) can label and sent a photo to Brother Joe (Felin) and to me.  Brother Joe responded with:  "Tomato label is  interesting and must go back to the 1920's era. Sean Madden recalls pedaling on his  bike to see remaining bldg burn!  Concrete foundation still remains."  [Sean Madden is son of Curtis and Virginia Madden.  Curtis was a younger brother of my mother (Margaret Marie Madden Felin)].  

I remember Mother pointing out the concrete foundation decades ago (in the 1960's) and telling me this bit of history:

James Louis Felin (my father) owned three canning factories, one located in Fair Grove, MO, where Mother worked as bookkeeper and her mother (Margaret Stone Madden) worked peeling tomatoes.  (Dad also grew the tomatoes.)   That was how mother and dad met.  He was very successful, tall, and handsome, "a real catch," she explained.  A whole lot of history has flowed out of that tomato canning business.  

Sabrina has found other equally interesting papers which Joe is also commenting on.  Please, anyone else who knows tidbits about all this, weigh in here with corrections and/or more information.  I'll post more from Sabrina's treasure hunt later.

Sabrina, Joe, and I are planning a Fall "Turnbo Tour."  We hope to make a video to capture some of the history that Joe is so familiar with.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thank You

This note from Beth's nine year old friend Phillip warmed our hearts today!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ryan's Ramble - June 20, 2015, Spokane, WA

RYAN'S RAMBLE - June 20, 2015

Ryan Holyk died June 5, 2014, after suffering severe injuries when his bicycle was hit by a speeding police car in Spokane, WA.   For details about the tragedy, click on this link:

Ryan lived several days after the event.  His parents donated his organs, the ultimate and extremely courageous gift of life.

Ryan was the great-grandson of Bernie (my brother) and Maudie Fellin, grandson of their daughter, Shirley (aka Peggy).  Ryan's mother (Shirley's daughter), Carrie Thompson and other family members sponsored a memorial race in Ryan's memory, "Ryan's Ramble," which was held in Spokane today.  Ryan was my great grand nephew.  Carrie told me that I had actually met Ryan when some of us travelled to Spokane for Bernie's funeral some years ago.

When I heard about the Ramble on Facebook some months ago, I immediately registered for it to stand in solidarity with Ryan's family.  This morning here in St. Louis,  I participated by going to the nearby school track and walking the 5K distance.

Ryan's Ramble. June 20, 2015

Carrie and Sandi

Ryan's Ramble

Unknown, Carrie and Monica, Sisters, Ryan's mother and Aunt

Ryan's Ramble

At 5K

Saturday, June 13, 2015

News about Stephanie

Stephanie (Abbott Schmitt) had her last chemo treatment on Wednesday.  She is very happy to be done with them as they have made her extremely ill.  And we are quite happy for her!  Congratulations, Stephanie!


Sue (Felin Spreitler Boaz) took great interest in the goings-on of our far flung family and was dedicated to capturing as much as possible here, on  "The Family Gazette."  Her belief, which I share, was that some future family historian would find the Gazette a treasure trove of facts and hints about our family history.  My intention is to keep the blog intact and to add information to it from time to time.  Some of you have access to posting on the Gazette directly if you wish.  I invite others to send me e-mails with information you want added here.  If anyone wants to be added as a contributor, please let me know.  

Monday, June 08, 2015

End of Airport Runway Last Night


Shirley, Brayden, and I flew home from New Orleans last night.  Rather than land as we approached the runway, our Southwest pilot bypassed landing and began wide circling over St. Louis.  After about 15 minutes, he announced that the plane's flaps were not working.  He was flying around, trying to get them to function.  He was reassuring, telling us we could land anyway, but he preferred to do so with working flaps.  After another 15 minutes he told us we were going to land, using "of course, the longest runway," and that there would be fire trucks along the runway but only in an abundance of caution.  [In all my years of flying, this was only the second time fire trucks lined the runway in anticipation of a problem.]

Shirley was perfectly calm.  Brayden and I began measuring our heartbeat rates with my Apple Watch.  (Our heart rates picked up considerably.)  The pilot landed the plane with a very, very long bumpy ground ride, brakes screeching.  When the plane stopped, everyone cheered, especially Brayden and I.  Shirley said she only became alarmed when it took so long to stop the plane.  Then the pilot announced that we would sit for a bit while the firemen checked out the plane's brakes.  After another short wait, we turned toward to the gate.  We could see there was about 100 feet more of runway as the plane turned.

We were very happy to disembark, about 45 minutes late.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015