FC: Celebrating 50 Years of Living, Laughing, and Loving...
1: Fred and Lynda Varin's Golden Anniversary Journey | Presented by Your Children
2: Fred's Parents | William "Bill" Elsworth Varin, Born March 14, 1914 Ruth Inez Brunner, Born October 20, 1915 Married September 14, 1935
3: Lynda's Parents | Grover Franklin Pletcher, Born December 1, 1892 Wilma Marion Elizabeth Helman, Born July 4, 1903 Married December 3, 1923
4: William Frederick Varin Born December 10, 1936 | Fred, the oldest of four children, born to William and Ruth Varin
5: Through the Years... | At Muskegon High School, Fred would jump out of the classroom window after the teacher left. He did it 180 days in a row before he was caught! | Fred's best class was history with a grade of A++! | Fred still hates to have his photo taken...
6: The Varin Family | Young Bill Varin | Young Bill Varin | Fred with his parents | Fred and his sister Ruth Ann | Ruth Ann, Bill, Fred, Ruth, and Victor Varin
7: Bill, Richard, and Ruth | Young Couple Bill and Ruth Varin | Fred with his mom | The Varins | Bill at work
8: Lynda Lee Pletcher Born June 30, 1938 | Lynda is the youngest daughter of seven children, born to the family of Grover and Wilma Pletcher
9: Through the Years... | Lynda was the rebel of the Pletcher girls. Her parents expected her to be a teacher, like all her sisters, but her dream was to be in the travel industry. | Lynda and Nancy - best friends!
10: The Pletcher Family | The Pletcher Parents, Grover and Wilma | Don and Melanie Pletcher | Mom and Dad Pletcher with Carol and Lynda | Carol Pletcher | Dick and Phyllis Rogers | Lynda, Carol, Dad, and friend Ike | Lynda, Phyllis, Marion, Jim, Carol, Wilma, Tom, Grover, and Don Pletcher
11: Marion, Carol, Lynda, Jim, Don, and Phyllis | Lynda looking glamorous | Marion, Carol, and Phyllis | Tom, Don, and Jim with Dad | Lynda, Carol, and friend | Jim and Sue Pletcher
12: Fred and Lynda Dating... | They dated for seven years... | Fred and Lynda met in study hall at Muskegon High School | He kept asking her to go out with him. After 2-3 weeks he wore her down and they went on their first date. And the rest, well, it's history! | BBBBBBBBB
13: High School Sweethearts | While necking one night, Lynda noticed that there was a strange lump in Fred's shirt pocket. Ever curious, she asked what was in it because it was making necking uncomfortable. He said, "It's for you." She replied, "Oh, let me see it." He took from his pocket a small box and gave it to her. It was an engagement ring! They cannot remember if he ever actually asked, "Will you marry me?" Whatever the case, they were getting married. (Yippee!) That evening she showed the ring to her mother, who inspected it and proclaimed, "It's a good diamond."
14: Fred and Lynda Graduate
15: Being the son of a railroad man, it was appropriate that Fred would start his career with a railroad job. He worked for Grand Trunk Railroad in Muskegon for three years on the docks oiling tankers. In addition, he worked one summer for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Car Ferry where he assisted guests, cleaned rooms, and served dinners. Eventually, he landed a job with Brunswick making pin-setters. He worked at Brunswick until he accepted a position at his in-laws' store, Pletcher's Furniture, where he stayed for a few years selling, repairing, and delivering furniture. He then accepted a sales position with Irwin's Furniture where he stayed for ten years learning more about the industry, sales, and managing the delivery employees. Fred returned to Pletcher's Furniture after he was asked to be the assistant manager. He stayed with Pletcher's Furniture for ten years until he accepted a position with Irwin's Furniture as a manager. Fred stayed with Irwin's Furniture until he retired. He enjoyed a career in an industry where he could work with his hands and interact with people. | After graduating from Muskegon High School, Lynda went to Humboldt Airline Institute in Minneapolis to train in the travel industry. Her folks were not crazy about the idea, but she was determined, and convinced them to allow her to attend. Upon completion of the training, she returned to Muskegon and started applying for jobs. Eventually, she landed a job with Capital Airlines in Grand Rapids where she worked in reservations for 6-8 months before transferring to Muskegon as a ticket agent for three years. When she was pregnant with Mikie, Capital Airlines told her that she would need to move to Detroit to keep her job; this was not possible so she had to resign. Lynda started working at Muskegon Travel as a temporary employee in 1964. As fate would have it, she became a permanent employee a year later and eventually purchased Muskegon Travel as a co-owner in 1975. Lynda was lucky to have worked her entire career in an industry she loved, traveling to many distant countries, and meeting wonderful people. | Fred & Lyn's Careers
16: Getting Married | Carol, Lynda, and Mary
17: What a beautiful bride | Ready for the honeymoon! | A Beautiful Autumn Wedding in Michigan | October 8, 1960 Muskegon, Michigan
18: Before you know it, there was a baby on the way.... | So innocent. If they only knew what was coming! | When the twins were first born, Fred used to carry them in the pockets of his bathrobe.
19: ...or should we say TWO!!! | The Tar Episode When Renee and Becky were about 2-3 years old, the family was living at 423 E. Isabella Street. Fred was preparing to tar the roof, while Renee and Becky were playing in the backyard. As he was about to climb the ladder to the roof, he noticed that the ladder was covered in tar. He didn't see the girls, so he checked in the house and asked Lynda if she had seen them. She replied that she had seen the girls go by, but had not paid attention to what they were doing. After a quick search, the twins were found in the bathroom covered in tar, and trying to wash it off themselves. They told their parents, "We were helping Dad paint!" The girls required a turpentine bath in the back yard, then another bath in the tub, and a rub down with baby oil. As a consequence of Renee and Becky "helping" Dad, the entire bathroom and a multitude of towels were covered in tar. | The girls with Grandma Pletcher
20: "First" Child - Renee Louise Varin Born July 30, 1961 | Having lots of fun! | Renee's school photo, holding her styling comb
21: Ren on the "Green Machine" | Strike a pose! | Grade school photo | Loved those tattoos | Renee in 1971
22: "Second" Child- Rebecca Lynn Varin Born July 30, 1961 | Loved that yellow shirt! | Becky in 1971 | Becky enjoyed going to the playground
23: Becky still makes those goofy faces | We all had fun on that tire swing! | So cute!
24: Then Came- Carole Michelle "Mikie" Varin Born November 16, 1963 | She looks so innocent... | Mikie was named after Mom's sister Carol
25: Mikie in 1972... Love that haircut! | Adorable | Mom had a rule in the house that we had to wear a dress to school twice a week - this was Mikie's favorite dress.
26: Finally, a Boy- Alan Frederick Varin Born June 25, 1968 | Love those shades! | Alan in 1971 | Alan would not go to sleep when he was young unless he was sung "Silent Night"! | Alan loves the memory of Dad allowing us to keep the baseball field in our yard even though he worked hard to keep the yard looking nice.
27: Second Grade- The year he cut his own hair! | Alan with a bass he caught in 1976 | 5th Grade | Alan acting like a caveman | Alan in the stocks | Alan loves baseball
28: At the Madison house, Renee and Becky would take all their clothes off and run down the street – Mom found the girls by following the trail of clothes. | All the neighbor kids would hang out with the "Neighborhood Dad." OUR Dad. It made us proud that the other kids thought he was as great as we did. | We kids liked playing "airplane" on the picnic table. We would jump off the picnic table with our arms open wide. | The Kids Remember...
29: One of our favorite games was playing "Green Machine" with our green bike. We would chase the neighborhood kids with the bike until they reached a predetermined "safe" point. | Something must have been funny! | These are the embarrassing things that happen when a large family lives in a home with one bathroom. | Vacations at the rental cottage were the BEST!
30: Fred and Lyn's 1st house was on Isabella St. They had a dog named Bufferton C who became jealous after the twins were born, so they gave the dog away to live on a farm. | Childhood Memories... | When Renee and Becky were 3-5 yrs old, Fred decided to do some painting. He had a bunch of tools, paint, and supplies sitting in the upstairs hallway. One day Fred came home from work and noticed the paint was open. He found paint everywhere. He suspected the girls were involved. When he found the girls, Renee had no paint on her but Becky was covered in paint. He asked the girls if they had gotten into the paint, they both responded, "No," but obviously one of them was lying. Hmm... I wonder which twin that was? | Becky hated to be left out. One day Fred and Lynda were playing cards with Tom and Judee Green, laughing and having a good time. Becky came in and yelled, "Old people have all the fun!" She was as mad as a hornet! | At the Madison St. house, Renee and Becky used to fall asleep at the top of the stairs with their blanket and pillow so they could hear the adults talking below. Fred and Lynda would also find them there in the morning sleeping outside of their bedroom door. | When Fred and Lyn were first married, Fred did not know how to fix anything. He taught himself everything from fixing up the house to working on cars. | The kids used to climb up on the buffet and surprise Dad by leaping into his arms as he walked by. It's a good thing he was a good catcher and didn't frighten easily. | Dad would sit on a black metal chair in the middle of the bedroom and read to the kids every night. | Mom would make sandwiches and do laundry in her bathrobe and slippers every morning. Mom always made the best tasting sandwiches; they never taste the same when you make them yourself. | On Sundays, Mom would spend all day cooking a huge wonderful meal in the kitchen. | Great memories were made with family trips to places like Deer Park, the Shoe Factory in Holland, Frankenmuth, a cottage in Ludington, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (including the "Mystery Spot"), and the sand dunes. | We loved going shopping with Mom every Saturday (well, maybe Alan didn't). | Missing goldfish! They were never found, but the rumor is that Renee ate them; however, there was never any proof. | Grandma Varin made the best hot chocolate and buttered toast. | The girls would read Grandpa's crime magazines in the attic while staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house. | Grandma Pletcher had a lot of birds in the basement of her house. It smelled really bad, but the kids liked going down there and checking out the birds. | When we were older we enjoyed camping trips - just Dad, Jeff, Nick , Jake, Alan and Matthew. | Alan still remembers sitting on Grandpa's lap while he smoked his pipe. | Alan hit Dad in the eye with a toy while trying to wake him up, ouch!
31: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Once upon a time a mouse, a bird, and a sausage formed a partnership. They kept house together, and for a long time they lived in peace and prosperity, acquiring many possessions. The bird's task was to fly into the forest every day to fetch wood. The mouse carried water, made the fire, and set the table. The sausage did the cooking. Whoever is too well off always wants to try something different! Thus one day the bird chanced to meet another bird, who boasted to him of his own situation. This bird criticized him for working so hard while the other two enjoyed themselves at home. For after the mouse had made the fire and carried the water, she could sit in the parlor and rest until it was time for her to set the table. The sausage had only to stay by the pot watching the food cook. When mealtime approached, she would slither through the porridge or the vegetables, and thus everything was greased and salted and ready to eat. The bird would bring his load of wood home. They would eat their meal, and then sleep soundly until the next morning. It was a great life. The next day, because of his friend's advice, the bird refused to go to the forest, saying that he had been their servant long enough. He was no longer going to be a fool for them. Everyone should try a different task for a change. The mouse and the sausage argued against this, but the bird was the master, and he insisted that they give it a try. The sausage was to fetch wood, the mouse became the cook, and the bird was to carry water. And what was the result? The sausage trudged off toward the forest; the bird made the fire; and the mouse put on the pot and waited for the sausage to return with wood for the next day. However, the sausage stayed out so long that the other two feared that something bad had happened. The bird flew off to see if he could find her. A short distance away he came upon a dog that had seized the sausage as free booty and was making off with her. The bird complained bitterly to the dog about this brazen abduction, but he claimed that he had discovered forged letters on the sausage, and that she would thus have to forfeit her life to him. Filled with sorrow, the bird carried the wood home himself and told the mouse what he had seen and heard. They were very sad, but were determined to stay together and make the best of it. The bird set the table while the mouse prepared the food. She jumped into the pot, as the sausage had always done, in order to slither and weave in and about the vegetables and grease them, but before she reached the middle, her hair and skin were scalded off, and she perished. When the bird wanted to eat, no cook was there. Beside himself, he threw the wood this way and that, called out, looked everywhere, but no cook was to be found. Because of his carelessness, the scattered wood caught fire, and the entire house was soon aflame. The bird rushed to fetch water, but the bucket fell into the well, carrying him with it, and he drowned. | Dad told the kids bedtime stories all the time...this was one of their favorites. He often changed the story, but they never noticed!! | It's a strange story to tell kids, guess Varin kids are not ordinary !!
32: Our Family... | Aunt Carol and kids | Becky and Ken | Mom and Dad with Renee and Becky | Lynda | Fred
33: Mom, Aunt Carol, and the twins | The Varin girls | The Varin Clan...Love those outfits! | Ren teaching Alan to ride a bike. Soon he will be riding the "Green Machine"... | 1969- The girls with Stevie, Julie, and Bucky
34: ...And Fond Memories | Aunt Carol and Alan at her wedding | Lyn | Renee and Beck | Mom and the twins | Grandpa and Grandma Pletcher | The girls | Renee, Alan, and Dad
35: A Very Varin Christmas | Christmas was always special in their home. | Dad driving the kids crazy opening his Christmas presents so slowly, one piece of tape at a time. | After asking for a race track for multiple years, Becky finally got one. Problem was, Dad would not let her near it because he was too busy playing with it himself. | Christmas days hold wonderful memories - big table, fine china, lots of family, fabulous food, and great conversation. | One Christmas, all the cousins were at the Varins' house for the holiday. The kids were jumping from bed to bed. It was a lot of fun. Then, Mikie's bed crashed and the wood slab holding the bottom mattress broke. It made a huge noise and the adults came upstairs to check it out. That was the end of that game. | Christmas Eve at Aunt Carol and Uncle George's house. We had breakfast at night with homemade fried polenta and ham. We would try to sneak a look at who the presents were for, but Aunt Carol was crafty and put the tags on the bottom of the gifts so we could not see them. | Dad and Mikie getting one pair of PJ's for Christmas each year. She would get the tops and he would get the bottoms. | Decorating the house from top to bottom each Christmas! | Santa made the best Christmas stockings ever. | Mom made wonderful Christmas presents in ceramics class, like the jewelry box ladies which we still treasure today. | Alan used to sneak into the bedroom to see presents before Christmas and try to figure out where all the presents came from.
36: Great Adventures... | Mikie's letter home from a trip to Colorado | Alan's letter home from Camp | There was nothing better than those Oakview Elementary School carnivals. One year, we signed Mom up to make a cake for the cake walk. While it was baking, the cake sank. We filled the entire cake with frosting and plastic flowers. It looked great and was one of the first cakes to go. We did not stick around once it was given away because we didn't want them to start eating the cake and find out it was all frosting. | Oakview Elementary School | We enjoyed going to the YMCA camp, Camp Pendalouan, where we did things like arts and crafts, swimming, and archery. We thought it was hours and hours away, but it was actually located only a little north of Whitehall, Michigan.
37: Renee's letter home | Becky's letter home | from YMCA Camp | from YMCA Camp
38: Growing up a Varin kid... | All that training and still no rhythm! | In dance class we were taught tap and ballet to songs like "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head," "Moon River," and "Sugar, Sugar." Mikie was so nervous for the recital that she peed her pants and had to dance the whole thing wet. | Yum! We loved picking berries in the backyard while Dad worked in the garden. | One day the three girls tied Alan to a chair and left him there because he was bothering them.
39: We loved "performing" dancing and acting routines for Mom and Dad. The most memorable was the presentation of The Three Little Pigs. | ...the younger years | We loved playing house in the pine tree in the backyard! | What fun we had catching bugs near the railroad tracks... | The girls with cousin Ken
40: Renee and Becky | Aunt Carol made us these Halloween costumes! | College Graduation 1984 | Working hard at geology field camp | Renee and Ron met while working at Northway Bowling Lanes | Ren's Indian phase | Mom let us earn extra money working around the house washing windows, ironing and cleaning so we could go to our first Star Trek Convention in Chicago. What a memorable event! We saw Kirk and Spock in person. | After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1979, Renee attended Muskegon Community College, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in 1984. | Renee in her Michigan State dorm room | Ren
41: The Teen Years... | Graduation Day! | It was fun working at Northway Bowling Lanes | Becky and Mark in high school | Becky and her Star Trek stuff | Show off! | After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1979, Becky attended Muskegon Community College. Then she went to the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources (Fisheries) in December 1983.
42: The teen years continue, Mikie and Alan | Mikie wanted a dog so much she used to walk down the railroad tracks a couple times a month to visit the dog pound. When she turned 21 a friend, Pam, gave her a fluffy little puppy. Since Mikie lived in a trailer park she could finally have a dog. Mikie got sick and ended up in the hospital for a couple days. Casey ended up at Mom and Dad's – she never got that dog back – it became Dad's new best friend. | Mikie with Casey | Mike taped a message on the cassette player begging for a dog (she thinks Dad still has it). | Mikie put Mom and Dad through hell, crashed a couple cars, stayed out late, and ... let's just leave it at that. | lllllllllllll | After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1981, Mikie enrolled at Muskegon Community College. After attending MCC for a couple of years she took a leap and moved to Grand Rapids, MI to go to computer school. Eventually, she realized she preferred working with people, not machines. She spent the next few years working at a variety of places in town. She gained valuable experiences along the way before finding her niche doing accounts payable at Gordon Food Service. | Mikie and soon to be hubby Jeff. They met at a toga party. It was Love at first sight!
43: ...more trouble! | Alan, Mom, and Dad went on a trip out West and Alan spent the entire trip constantly reminding them about the All Star game he was missing. | When Alan and Dianna began dating, she enjoyed listening to some very entertaining stories about his parents' past. | Alan received a puppy for his birthday, Mittens. Dad taught us to be gracious receiving gifts and never return them, so he convinced Dad to allow him to keep the dog. | After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1986, Alan attended Baker College and received an associate degree. In 1989, Alan and Dianna moved to Sterling Heights, Michigan due to job transfers with their companies, Budget Rent A Car and SPX Corporation.
44: The castle | Learning line dancing at the castle with Ken and dancing to Saturday Night Fever "picking apples" | Cooking hot dogs, marshmallows, and pies on the open fire... YUM!!! | Eating dandelions and cattails that Dad cooked on the grill during his "natural eating phase" | Riding in the back of the car with the hatch open going to the campground bathrooms | Getting freaked out by all the frogs in the campground bathrooms at night | Swimming in the pond near the campground and jumping from the swimming raft | Our impromptu trip to the Upper Peninsula one summer with Ken - it was hot but we got to play in Tahquamenon Falls and it was a great unexpected adventure | Canadian Lakes,Michigan | Alan remembers using mom's arm as a pillow on road trips | Walking to the old haunted house, daydreaming and looking for treasures | During car trips, playing "what's the song" to see who could guess the song the quickest | Going to Uncle Ron's and Aunt Mary's cabin for jell-o cake and campfires | Swimming with Cousin Ken at Lookout Point Beach | Our Favorite Vacation Spot!
45: Fond Memories... | Reading comic books and watching thunderstorms in our trailer | Dad caught a big fish, which he stored at the back of the trailer. The next morning it had been eaten by wild animals | Mom sitting on the beach, trying to read, while we swam and continually yelled "watch this" and "look at me"! | We used to take turns going fishing with Dad... one time he got a hook in his pants | Playing tennis with Dad and Mom | Making crafts to sell at the craft fair and Becky won honorable mention for a painting of a whale! | Getting pickled bologna and large pickles at the convenience store at the entrance to Canadian Lakes | Driving around at night looking for deer and Dad calling Mikie "Eagle Eyes" because she always spotted the deer first | Alan did not like swimming in the pond after the incident in the bathtub where he fell... he was now afraid of the water! | Stopping at the Antique store to look for trinkets and buy more comic books | Alan riding his little Honda 50cc all over the place | Mikie's first kiss was at Canadian Lakes with a boy named Todd from Howell, Michigan | The smell of skunks still reminds Mikie of her childhood, and she loves it!
46: Becky the first one to the altar!! | Becky remembers Dad getting a little tipsy at her wedding and when they danced he told her he loved her. He doesn't say it often, but when he does you know he means it! She will never forget that moment. | Becky - the first one to the altar!
47: Mikie and Jeff's Wedding August 22, 1987 | When Mikie got married and was ready to walk down the aisle, Dad asked her if she wanted to go through with it (the wedding) and Mikie said it was too late and he said , very seriously, it is not too late. They began walking and he said "it's too late now!" That made her smile and enjoy the moment – then she began walking fast and he pulled her back and told her to slow down "you only do this once, take your time".
48: Ron and Renee's Big Day October 8, 1988 | Dad and Renee | Ron and Renee got married the same day as Mom and Dad, 28 years later. We celebrated this event with two wedding cakes. | Four generations of Varins | Renee and baby Kara
49: Alan and Dianna take the leap!! October 27, 1990 | Dianna has fond memories of dancing with her father-in-law on her wedding day... | What a striking couple!
50: Through the years Dad enjoyed... | Creating a backyard oasis and showing everyone the "wonders" of his yard! | The grandkids and dogs love riding with Dad on his mower! | Sitting in his chair and playing in the yard with Tucker... | Playing on his computer and collecting old radio shows | GARDENING | DOGS, DAD'S BEST FRIENDS | COMPUTERS | He loves to watch sports on TV | Dad and Sparky in the yard | "Little" Casey | Buddy and Dad having fun
51: Refurbishing vehicles. Yep, he got that dirty! | Creating his electric train village | We loved visiting Dad while he worked at Pletcher's Furniture store. On Saturdays we would bring Dad lunch, get candy out of the drawer in the office, and play hide and seek in the store. | Dad tells the grandkids he has strange animals and a pet pink elephant in the backyard. | Of course they believe him!! | TRAINS | TELLING STORIES | FIXING THINGS | Dad is always doing something to make the house a home, from updating a bathroom, making an attic into a cool bedroom or re-doing the kitchen, he definitely has a talent!!
52: Through the years Mom enjoyed.... | Hawaii | While vacationing in Michigan, Renee and Kara took Mom canoeing. Mom fell in the river; they got stuck, came across fallen trees and returned with multiple bruises. Mom has refused to go canoeing since that day. | FRIENDS | ADVENTURES | FAMILY | China | Good Times | Mom loves reading mystery novels by authors like Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton | Mom loves those one armed bandits!! | READING
53: London | Greece | TRAVELING | THE BUSINESS | Paris | Yugoslavia | Thailand | Cruising and having Fun | October 26, 1993
54: Memories from 1745 Madison Street Muskegon, Michigan 616-773-8623 | Will remodel projects ever be finished!? | Great Christmas memories!
55: Dad and Mikie goofing off in the house | Family photo at the house | Ron and Renee in the backyard | We LOVED that home!!!
56: Ron and Renee | Renee's Adventures... | Tori | Renee accepted a Federal Government position as a Contract Specialist with the Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in 1985. After three years she moved to Denver, Colorado for a position with the Geologic Survey. She didn't enjoy it and decided to go back into the contracting field. She accepted a position with the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in 1988. She has been there ever since. She found she was better at buying stuff than looking at rocks. Surprise! Surprise! . | Jenny | Renee | Ren works to support her love of traveling, Disney, running, science fiction fantasy and STAR TREK.... | We grew up near railroad tracks and would hear the trains go by all the time. In Highlands Ranch, CO Renee lives near a railroad and can hear the trains go by at night, She loves it!! It comforting, like being a kid again. | London | In 1986 Ron moved to Detroit and became an account technician at TACOM. He also worked in accounting at the IRS in Detroit and then Denver, until he obtained a position with the Fish and Wildlife Service, where he is currently a systems accountant. Ron enjoys sports and playing with his dog.
57: Ren enjoys running and volunteers as the Race Director for the Federal Cup 5K | Renee worked part time as a Cast Member at Disney Store 505 for about 14 years. | When Renee first started working for TACOM in Detroit she did not like it and was upset. She called home and talked with Dad who gave her a pep talk. 25 years later she is still working for the Federal Government. It must have been a good conversation! | Running through Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World! | The finish line... | Renee working at DCMA | Ren's medals from Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World
58: Ren re-generating in the Borg alcove! | LIVE LONG AND PROSPER | Ren trying to fend off that Gorn! | Alien Characters!! | Renee at Comic-Con | Convention Encounters | Miss those Warp Core Breach beverages at Quark's Bar | Yep, Renee does dress up!! This time from the alternate Star Trek universe. | Renee at Star Trek: The Experience in Vegas | This Klingon is too nice! | Space the Final Frontier...
59: Renee and Becky with the logical Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, the infamous Captain Kirk! | Excitement on a Mexican cruise | Qapla'! | Adventures in Disney | Halloween at Disney. Ren as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. | Earning running medals! | Hanging out in London | Renee and Becky Fun Times Traveling | Renee and Becky love going to Star Trek Conventions
60: Becky's Life and Loves | After college graduation Becky moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. She accepted a position with a local mapping company, Analytical Surveys, Inc. (ASI). She stayed with ASI for 17 years holding multiple positions including technician, analyst, project coordinator and department manager. | In 2002, Becky accepted a position with the City of Colorado Springs where she has applied her talents for map making as a GIS Analyst. Becky enjoys her career in GIS & mapping and has decided that maps were just as interesting as fish; it still is essentially natural resources, right?! | What an accomplishment! Hiking to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado! | COLORADO | Becky enjoys traveling. Must have gotten that bug her Mother | Becky near the Peter Pan statue in London | Visiting Stonehenge | Riding the Tube! | A few of Becky's favorites things - whales and carousels! | Becky loves Michigan, the water, beaches and light houses
61: PUPPIES | Maxil | Miley | Maisy | Penny | Becky will always be a Star Trek fan. She remembers watching it for the first time and being immediately hooked! Going to the Chicago Star Trek Convention was so memorable, especially riding in the elevator with Walter Koenig (Chekov.) So Cool! A trip that will never be forgotten! Thanks Mom. | Disney and Peter Pan will always be special to Becky. Someday she is going to own the Peter Pan's Fight attraction and put it in her backyard! | STAR TREK LIVES | Yum!!! | Wendy and a fan! | Becky loves Starbucks!
62: Kara Renee Cipriani, born January 31, 1988 | The biggest love of Becky's life! | Kara through the years | Kara graduated from Liberty High School in 2006. After graduation she attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs earning a BA degree in English with a Professional Writing emphasis | Kara loves books, reading, and writing fan fiction. | People tell Kara she has an obsession with Harry Potter. She likes to say she's passionate. | Kara looking extreme and ready for prom! | Kara loves going to the Dollar Store with Grandma
63: When Kara turned 21 she went to see Jesse McCartney in concert, again and again and again... | Becky, Kara, and Dave at college graduation. Yep, she did it! | Becky and Kara doing the graduation happy dance! | Kara attended Richmond University in London for six weeks, and University of Denver's Publishing Institute | Kara and Mom celebrating high school graduation with a big trip to NYC. Kara also has the traveling bug! | Kara's furry friends: Penny, Max, and Wolfie | Kara enjoys playing with the dog in the yard and talking walks with Grandpa... | Kara and Jesse | Aunt Renee and Kara
64: Mikie & Jeff enjoy family times | Mikie and Jeff like to vacation in Mexico | Jeff, doing what he does best! | Mikie in Vegas | After getting married Jeff and Mikie moved to a cute house in Wyoming, MI. After four years of marriage they were surprised with their our own set of twins, Nick and Jake. It was the birth of these babies that gave Mikie the incentive to go back to school to become a teacher; she graduated from Grand Valley University at the age of 32. After Rachel was born in 1999 she went back and got her Master's Degree. She now teaches at Kenowa Hills Public Schools. The family currently resides in Lowell, Michigan. | Jeff worked for Autostyle from the age of 19 and later advanced to a position as the Manufacturing Supervisor. In 1995 Jeff took a position with Lack's Enterprises where he is currently the Plant Manager. | Jeff remembers being scared of Fred when he first started dating Mikie. She told him a story about her friend Dawn getting in trouble when she said "turd" during dinner. Jeff was scared to swear in front of Fred- so he was nervous the first time they went golfing together. Jeff's fears were put to rest when they began golfing because Fred was cussing like a sailor all day - Jeff knew right then that they would get along just fine.
65: Continuing a family tradition... surprise it's TWINS! | Nicholas Shane McVey & Jacob Alan McVey, Born April 9, 1991 | What handsome sons | Best vacation ever! Comic-Con | Comic-Con changed the lives of Nick and Jake. When they left Lowell for the con they were planning to attend Davenport College for careers in computer science; when they came home from Comic-Con they decided to follow their real love - drawing and art by going to Kendall Art College. | Jake remembers going out west with Grandpa and Grandma. Grandma made Grandpa pull the car over to ask a lady about her puppy and it practically scared the lady to death. | Nick remembers racing Sparky out to the sandbox all the time, then digging holes to China! | Nick and Jake enjoy comic books, drawing, computers and hanging with friends. | Having fun with Dad
66: Rachel Dawn Lyn McVey Born September 5, 1999 | The long awaited girl | Rachel loves to swim | Rachel enjoys hip hop, gymnastics, being a tomboy, and wearing dew rags. | Rachel likes Sponge Bob | Rachel likes all the elephants in the woods and walking in the woods with Grandpa to find them. She enjoys going to visit Grandma and Grandpa because they have candy and cookies and Grandma is always giving her little trinkets. | What a pretty girl!
67: Nick & Jake graduate from High School 2009 | Important family members Jessie & Mandy | Rocky Mountain High | Family Fun | Mom and Dad taught us many traditions that we continued with our children. Camping, playing in the yard together, doing crafts and having the most awesome Christmas ever, including opening the stocking first and wrapping everything!
68: Alan's Family | In 1997 Alan began working for Spartan Corporation and the family moved to Spring Lake, Michigan... | Matthew enjoys playing games on the computer and camping | Cute grin! | Matthew likes Grandma making him eggs for breakfast | Matthew remembers Grandma and Grandpa letting him play Legos by scattering them everywhere, and building stuff in the living room! | Alan and Dianna welcomed their first child, Matthew Kyle Varin on January 11, 1995 | Dianna enjoys cooking, scrapbooking, landscape design and interior decorating. Alan enjoys sports.
69: On January 16, 1999 Alan and Dianna welcomed their first Daughter, Lauren Nicole Varin | Lauren enjoys sports and is a major tomboy | The girls preparing for their school talent show | Megan loves cheerleading, singing, and fashion | Megan enjoys painting fingernails with Grandma | The girls like helping Grandma and Grandpa make homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving - they get to tear up the bread! | All the kids love going for walks in the woods with Grandpa | Grandma makes the best root beer floats ever! | Daughter Megan Alexandria Varin arrived on June 14, 2000 to complete their family
70: This family loves Halloween! | What a scary pair! | Megan checking to see if her spell took effect! | This group is ready for tricking and treating | Don't worry honey, it will only hurt for a second... | No photos please! | Matthew makes one horrible looking zombie | Lauren as a geisha | What a sweet looking kitty
71: In 2001, Alan and Dianna built their dream home in Spring Lake, Michigan. However, as fate would have it, in 2004 Alan received a promotion with National Car Rental which included an out-of-state transfer. The family packed up and relocated to Wentzville, Missouri in 2005. | By 2009, Alan had accumulated many years of experience in management, with a variety of companies and decided to become his own boss... thus the inception of LM2 Resource Solutions, a recruiting company, on August 28, 2009. LM2 stands for "L" Lauren, and "M" times 2 for Matthew and Megan. | Alan and Dianna will be coming up on 20 years of marriage, keeping happy and busy with their lives, jobs, and three wonderful children. | Family Times... | Dianna has worked in accounting since high school. She started with a co-op position at Sealed Power Corporation then took a position as an accountant for Paris Studios of Photography in Muskegon. Once the family moved to Missouri, she started working as a staff accountant at Surdex Corporation, where she is today.
72: Kid Thoughts... | In 6th grade Renee and Becky entered the science fair with their display about earth worms, which included an earthworm vertical sandbox and a paper mache and pipe cleaner earth worm. They tied for 1st place and had their names on a plaque that hung in the library. Years later, Mikie entered the contest with a display about chicken hatching and Dad build a device to incubate eggs, but Alan messed with the thermostat and all the chicks died. So a friend bought 4 baby chicks for the project and Mikie kept one chick 'Dusty' for years as a pet. | Becky would sit at the kitchen table every night doing multiplication flash cards with Dad. | Mikie remembers sitting at the dining room table doing Algebra and being in tears every night... | It was awesome when Mikie went to Florida and Dad surprised her when she returned by redoing her bedroom with blue paneling and new blue carpet. | Everyone loved Mom's famous hamburger pockets (burgers and veggies in tin foil cooked in the oven). | It was so cool when Mom got Mikie an airplane ticket and let her go to California by herself. | Once Mikie made green sauerkraut for dinner. It tasted good but looked bad... | One of our favorite outdoor games was playing "statues" in the yard until the street lights went on -their time to go into the house. | The kids enjoyed having all the neighbors over playing baseball in the backyard with Dad as the pitcher. | The girls would go to Grandma and Grandpa's every summer and ride Grandma's big 3 wheeler bike down that hill, across the railroad tracks and into town. | In the winter Dad would turn off the heat during the night. When the girls got up in the morning they would run downstairs and go into the bathroom, and turn on the small space heater to warm up. Sometimes they would get dressed next to the heating vent, while the house was warming up. | Once while tubing down a river in Michigan, Alan practically walked on water when he spotted a snake near his feet. What a sight! | When Mikie started her paper route she was not able to carry all the papers so Dad had to drive her around. Thanks, Dad! | The girls liked it when Mom went on trips for work. She always came back with presents (they still have many of these items). While Mom was gone, Dad cooked dinner and made a huge mess of the kitchen which they had to clean up! | Alan remembers not being able to leave the dinner table until he ate his spinach - they tried everything to make it taste good, he still hates it! | Alan remembers looking at the airplane picture in the Muskegon County Airport and wishing mom wasn't leaving on another trip... | Alan remembers reading his sister's diary... hey which sister? | Alan worked with Dad at Pletcher's - seemed like all he ever did was dust furniture, sweep the lot, and wash windows! | Alan picked out a bike at the Schwinn shop - he was very excited even though he knew it was really expensive and Dad and Mom we probably couldn't afford it.
73: In the winter Dad would plow the snow into a huge pile in the back yard and we would make forts in it. | The kids loved shoveling the driveway with Dad on a cold winter evening. It was so quiet and still with the light of the moon to guide them. It was a special bonding time with Dad. | 1745 Madison Street | We played "library" upstairs. Maybe that is why we all like reading now! | It's cool sitting on the roof | Snow Ball fights! Tons-O-Fun!
74: Present | Whisker kisses! | Bumblebee tickles! | Dad
75: Times... | Mom doodles on papers throughout the house... | Mom
76: 6827 Tranquil Trail Whitehall, Michigan
77: Our Friends and Family
78: Lynda and friend Nancy at Lake Michigan | Lynda and friend | The Green Family 1988 | Tom, Judee, Sheila, and Steve Green 1974 | Roger and Sharon Klinger, Tom and Judee Green, and the family | Fred and Lynda with friends. They look like criminals! | Fred, Lynda, and friends ready for a night on the town
79: Bill Varin as Grand Marshall | Sharon Klinger, Richard Varin, Lynda, and Kara | Victor Varin | Ruth Ann's Family | What a nice looking couple | Varin Snapshots
80: Ron, Mary, Signe, Nathan, and Ken Lyon | Grandma and Grandpa Pletcher with grandkids | Carol Pletcher | Dick and Phyllis on their wedding day | Family gathering | Jim and Sue Pletcher and family | Tom Pletcher | Carol and George | Don and Melanie Pletcher
81: Pletcher Family Times
85: Sherwin & Signe Koning | Renee, Kara, and Becky at Stonehenge | Megan and Lauren | Brian and Laura Pletcher | Aunt Carol and Uncle George | Hey, Jeff, watcha cookin'? | Ken Lyon in Chicago | Uncle Sanford and Aunt Rosanne | George and Carol | Fred and Lynda celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary | Ren with medals from the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge | Rachel looking cool!
88: Tales to tell... | Fred used to sleep in the buff until the twins were 2-3 years old. The twins had the habit of walking into their bedroom in the morning while they were still sleeping. One day they walked in and grabbed something and asked, "What's this, Daddy"? Lynda laughed hysterically and Fred wore pajama bottoms from that day forward. | Dad would fall asleep in his chair, but as soon as the kids would turn the TV channel, he would wake up and make them turn it back to his show; usually it was a boring sports program. | The kids had fun with their Mr. Wizard kit until they blew up the basement ceiling mixing chemicals, it was fun! | We used to sneak into Mom and Dad's bedroom to talk on the phone and read Dad's Playboy magazines. | Alan remembers watching Dad crash his mini bike into the garage while showing him how to ride it. | Mom got mad with Alan for cutting his finger while washing dishes... mainly because there weren't any clean dishes left in the entire kitchen! | The kids loved going to the L.C. Walker Arena to see the circus. | Alan won't forget Dad's expression when he came home with a dislocated thumb. | Alan remembers being brought home by the police on his sister's 16th birthday party. | We all remember spending Saturday afternoons at Mom's office while she worked. | Mikie loved it when Mom took her to a John Denver concert. | Once Alan walked home from school, sick, in the middle of winter, only to find there was no way to get into the house... so he sat for what seemed like forever on the front porch trying to keep warm with a space heater. | We love the Seaway Festival art fair, parade and carnival. Once Dad spent $10 trying to win Mikie a fish at the carnival – he never did and she cried all the way home. | Dad hated getting up early to drive the kids to school when they could have walked, like when Mikie broke her ankle – he wasn't happy, but they were. | The kids loved laying a rug on the bedroom floor and running from the hall and sliding on it. | When Dad would come home at night, he would wrestle with the kids on the rust colored carpet. | Dianna always wondered why "a week's worth" of newspapers were always scattered around on the living room floor; that mystery has never been solved. | Dad introduced Renee to his Tarzan books; she read every one. | When the mailman would come to the house, the kids would try to see who could get to it first. One time Renee and Becky got into a brawl and Renee still has the scar on her face from the incident. | Alan set off fireworks in the garage with his friend, Danny. They almost started the garage on fire and Dad never knew. | Dianna remembers helping care for her mother-in-law while she recuperated from open heart surgery; those support stockings were a bugger to get on! | It was fun going out to the garden and eating peas right off the vines and chewing sour rhubarb.
89: The kids were always excited for Fridays. Mom would take them to Mr. Quick's for dinner; they didn't eat out a lot and this was a real treat. | Renee remembers Dad trying to teach her algebra. She could not figure it out, and then Dad said something and it all clicked- she finally understood it! | When the family went on a vacation to Kentucky, Becky bought some little animal figurines. Alan put her suitcase behind the car and Dad didn't know it was there. He drove over her suitcase and some of the figurines broke. She still has them! | When Mom, Dad, and Alan picked Becky up in Utah they went on a mini vacation to the Arches and other national parks. Just them, it was fun. | The kids loved using afghans and blankets to make "forts" under the dining room table and throughout the entire living room. They also made forts on top of the closet in the bedroom. | Dad would eat a bowl of cereal, usually Rice Krispies with peanut butter, at night as a snack. It seemed strange then, but now we eat that same snack often as adults. | We all enjoyed going to the local playground, especially the one with some kind of crazy slide thing that was aluminum, and so hot they could hardly touch when it was sunny out. | The girls used to tan in the backyard using baby oil. What were they thinking!!? | The girls used to put contact paper on the kitchen counter top every couple years because it was falling apart; it wasn't all that pretty but it worked. | They didn't have a shower in the house until the girls were in high school, so they would wash their hair in the kitchen sink, not the easiest thing to do. | The girls decided they wanted their own bedrooms so they drew straws, with the intention that one of them would get the downstairs room for one year. Mikie won the first year and never went back! Mom and Dad let her paint the walls herself along with fluorescent feet climbing all over the walls. | The family rented a cottage one year with Grandma and Grandpa. A fly landed in Mikie's drink and she freaked out. Grandpa casually stated, "It's small, don't worry, it won't drink much.” | Mom and Dad took Mikie's friend, Dawn, under their wing and let her be a part of the family. Dad picked her up most weekends and brought her to our house. Mikie won't forget how nice that was of Dad... | Mikie remembers going to "football games" in high school and coming home and not knowing the final score when asked by Dad... hmm, I wonder why? | The girls have memories of Aunt Carol doing crafts, correcting her school papers for five cents a page, and on their 18th birthdays she took them to get their ears pierced. Dad was not a fan, he said they all had enough holes in their heads, and didn't need anymore. | Mikie would sit on the couch (rust colored floral) and play with the curtains behind her head because they were silky. | Dad enjoyed encouraging the grandkids to play in the sand pit; they loved it! | Mikie remembers telling Mom that she was living with Jeff. Mom just said, "Well, I kinda figured that out when I saw his underwear in the laundry you brought home to do." | The girls remember drawing with the light table and burning a hole in the carpet in Mom and Dad's bedroom. They were mad!!
94: Mikie and Jeff's engagement photo | Alan looking cool! | Rachel | Alan and Dianna at the prom | Nope not Chicago, Kara in NYC | Renee and Kara in fancy hats | The grandkids enjoying the pool | Those crazy Varin kids, Lauren, Matthew, and Megan | Nick | Jake
95: The kids love coming home to visit and sitting on the swing on the back porch and chatting with Mom and Dad. | "There's nothing more special than being a part of a family that listens and comforts and cares. And nothing more special or dear to the heart than the feelings of love that a family shares." | "Family ties are precious threads No matter where we roam. They draw us close to those we love And pull our hearts back home."
96: Our Crazy Parents!
97: You are GREAT PARENTS! We Love You! Renee, Becky, Mikie and Alan | To parents who showed us what was truly important in life - each other...