Our family historians have created a book about the Berger family. This book was given out at the last family reunion.
The book is filled with so many loving pages of great pictures, family history, family tree information and beautiful memories. Thanks to all of you that helped-Berger descendants and loved ones-for making it possible.
It is not hard to imagine how much larger the 214-page book could have grown to be if not for the deadline for the reunion. Everyday brought new surprises from many of you. There were also many who were so very helpful sending pictures, memories, and family information-even very precious keepsakes.
The book started with an idea by Marla LeBlanc Doolin and Steven LeBlanc about encouraging the Berger descendants to write any memories they might have of any of the Berger sisters. This was to be held in conjunction with the family reunion courageously chaired by Marla and Steve scheduled for November 28, 1998.
Susie LeBlanc Evans graciously accepted the task of compiling the memories into a book of sorts. Annette Derouen Gray was already hard at work putting together a detailed family tree. The two second cousins-once removed-who vaguely knew each other and who coincidently lived in the same north Houston neighborhood, were working separately on different parts of the book. When they began working together and combining their imaginations, the book started growing. Sheila LeBlanc Lauw, who has an ongoing interest in genealogy, shared incredible information she had obtained from France. With all this new information, Susie and Annette became passionate about their new endeavor.
The search was on for more pictures, more facts, more documents, and more information. There were many more telephone calls, emails, interviews-some were even tape recorded-and UPS deliveries.
Belva LeBlanc and Eula LeBlanc tirelessly answered question after question. They were always available and ready to go. As in the pat, Georgia LeBlanc Fremin and her daughter, Charlotte, were so generous with information, copies, and past reunion details. Laura Mae LeBlanc Romero and daughter, Diana Romero Ortemond, willingly sent a priceless picture album among other rare article to share with all of us. Dolly Griffin Delcambre did not blink an eye when asked to locate and photograph her grandmother's grave.
Limited budgeted allowances did not stop Susie and Annette. Husbands, Jack and Steve, generously underwrote major publishing costs vital to the resulting book format. Two other very special ladies who lovingly contributed to this book were Eugenie "Gam" Berger's nieces, Thomasine and Margaret Bares. The recollections they shared were informative and their true southern charm so refreshing.
Susie insisted her job was the most rewarding-while some of us think more in terms of long, laborious hours and expensive, all consuming piles of stuff.
Annette's family probably can not remember how their home looked before the BERGER FAMILY TREE was literally planted and grew to full maturity before their very eyes. Annette's "green thumb" has made her a certified expert in Berger's Who's Who.
Lucy Comeaux Kim, who also lives in the Houston area, maintained that she did not contribute much to this work of love. However, her hours of discussions with Susie and Annette stimulated many ideas that are contained within this book. She also wrote most of the stories that help tie pieces of this book together.
As you read the memories of the Berger sisters, you will notice how similar remembrances are repeated. You will share Susie's tears and laughter as she tirelessly read and typed each precious memory.
Thanks to all who contributed to this great work of life.
The dedication in the beginning of the book sums it all up: "This book is dedicated to our deceased loved ones. They have all had such a profound influence on our lives and we remember them in a special way. We feel their approval as we join together to celebrate the most important things in life-love and family."