The new Waucoma Event Center was a hit with the 82 Riha-related folks who attended the 53rd Annual Riha Reunion of the Frank and Mary Riha family of Waucoma, July 19, 2015.
The reunion was hosted by the Matt and Mary Riha family, (Matt was the fourth child of Frank and Mary). In attendance was Barbara Jirak, one of three living children of Frank and Mary Riha. Her brothers, Leonard and Francis Riha happened to be hospitalized at the time, and therefore, unable to attend. Family members signed large get well cards to send to Leonard, his wife, Millie, and Francis.
Family members enjoyed a potluck dinner known for its kolaches and head cheese. In age, attendees ranged from the youngest, 5-month-old Easton Uhlenhake, great-grandson of Barbara (Riha) and Jim Jirak to 93-year-old Verena Croatt, wife of the deceased James Croatt.
Members traveled from as far south as Cape Coral, Florida, (Phyllis Gully—Phyllis is a granddaughter of Frank and Mary Riha); east from Washington, DC (Bryan Riha is the grandson of Matt and Mary Riha); north from Lakeville, MN (Roger Gilb is the son-in-law of Barbara and Jim Jirak), and as far west as Seoul, South Korea where Jessica Uhlenhake, great-grandaughter, is stationed.
This year the families enjoyed reading and sharing copies of the Riha family story entitled: Dedication and Determination: The Legacy of Frank and Mary Riha--Their Story and the Stories of Their Children. This 60-page bound booklet featured the family memories of Frank and Mary and those of their children.
Each family submitted their story and these were compiled by Marilyn Garvey. The pictures and stories were a hit with family members and brought back many good memories to share.
Frank and Mary (Franzen) Riha raised nine children on the farm on Usher Road outside Waucoma. Frank died in 1959; Mary in 1963.
Relatives of other deceased siblings also attended including Verena (Rausch) Croatt, wife of James (deceased) of West Union; Agnes (Holthaus) Riha, wife of Edward (deceased) of Decorah, Mary (McEnaney) Riha, wife of Matthias (deceased) of Cresco; Shirley (Wichman) Riha, wife of Daniel (deceased) of Waucoma; and members from the families of Loretta of Fort Atkinson (husband Alex Rausch), both deceased, and Angela of Milwaukee, Wis. (husband William Brannon) also both deceased. The total number of living descendants of Frank and Mary Riha is over 440.
The family of Edward and Agnes Riha will host the 54th Riha Reunion and have already set the date for July 10, 2016. They were so pleased with the new facility in Waucoma that they booked it immediately.