Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Keynote

Pi Alpha Kappa Sorority

From Your National President ~Josephine Peterson ~ October 2009


Fall is officially here. We’ve enjoyed our last holiday until Thanksgiving. Our PAK Chapters have set meetings for the year, with many exciting and informative programs. I am so thrilled to serve as your National President and I know the next two years will be a fun learning experience. I am looking forward to attending a meeting of each chapter this year and anticipate meeting those sisters I don’t know and renewing old friendships.

I would like to thank our Past National President, Pam Gee, and the Convention Chairman, Joann White, as well as the Convention Committee for a wonderful convention June 5-June 6, 2009. Georgia Turnage graciously opened her home for the Friday evening reception, which was enjoyed by all. The refreshments Saturday morning were delectable and got us off to a good start. The meetings on Saturday in First Presbyterian’s Mansell Hall were well-organized and the business sessions went smoothly. The memorial service was beautiful as we remembered so many of our beloved sisters and PAK spouses. The lunch was delicious and the decorations, the darling hats, carried out the theme, “Hats Off to PAK” beautifully. Our scholarship recipient, Jazmyne Clyde, and her mother joined us for lunch and the presentation of the $1900 scholarship. We closed with the installation of our new officers: Josephine Peterson, National President; Georgia Turnage, National Vice President; Jane Brock, National Secretary; and Helene Benson, National Treasurer.

I have set for our theme for the next two years “Go Forth and Bring New Stars” to symbolize the fulfillment of our motto, “To the Stars Through Effort” and to fulfill our desire to bring new sisters into our wonderful sisterhood. I look forward to working with each of you.

2009 PAK Scholarship winner Jazmyne Clyde of Vicksburg High School.


The Denver Delta sisters took five months off before resuming their meetings on August 18. They met at Isolde Meyer’s home and collected money for the soup kitchen.
Isolde writes, “There was no formal program for this meeting. The Chapter spent their time together catching up on what each member had been doing over the summer. Betty Shea continues to care for her husband since his operation earlier this spring. Wallburga devotes her time to helping the sick and elderly tenants in her building. President Elly has been recovering from several illnesses over the summer. It started with a boil behind her knee, but it was daily nosebleeds that forced her into the hospital for 6 days of tests. The tests showed that she had blood clots in her leg, shingles, and gout! Thank goodness, she is doing much better now. Isolde shoveled snow in March, fracturing a vertebra that sent her to the hospital with agonizing pain for three days. Deciding against a risky surgery that would have “glued” the vertebra, Isolde went to recuperate at her daughter Melissa’s home. It was five months before she felt strong enough to take care of herself.

Hats off to our Denver sisters for their fortitude and perseverance!


Alpha Chapter has begun another exciting year. Frances Koury had arranged a tour of the newly-renovated corporate apartments at The Valley for their September meeting. They look forward to meeting at Christ Church in October to hear about their 170th anniversary. Other programs include the Medical Missions program at First Baptist, author Malcolm Allred, Megan Cook’s angels, and Kathy Koury Knudsen’s jewelry creations. February will again bring “To Vicksburg With Love” and they will host the other chapters at Founder’s Day in March.

Lucille Ables welcomed her fifth great-grandson, Brooks Fant, in May. She also traveled to Branson for the annual trip with her sisters. The four of them enjoyed visiting for a week. The weather was perfect and the mountains beautiful.

Babysitting two of her grandsons in June and July kept Pam Gee busy this summer. She also visited her brother in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and took her granddaughter to New Orleans on the train for a couple of days to visit the zoo and aquarium (and eat beignets!) She headed to Ireland for a tour the end of September then on to Richmond to visit her son Chris and his family. Chris and his wife Kathy are expecting daughter Addison Brooke in November.

Frances Koury was honored by the Vicksburg Convention Center and the Chamber of Commerce as a “Hometown Hero” recently (a well-deserved honor!) Frances has been instrumental in organizing the Four Seasons of the Arts programs. July’s concert with the Brett Family played to a full house during the 4th of July weekend. Coming in November is a candlelight program. Although free to the public, sponsors fund the over $7,000 in expenses. Frances thanks her PAK sisters for their outpouring of support and love following Ellis’ death in May. They had celebrated their 63rd anniversary two weeks earlier. She is looking forward to the wedding of grandson Aaron Koury on October 24 in Dallas.
Murphy, SC, was the site for Jean McKnight’s family reunion over the July 4th weekend. They enjoyed the cool air of the mountains as well as fellowship with family from Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, as well as Mississippi.

In August, Mary Lewis and husband Jack drove to Canada. They have a daughter who lives in Toronto and has a lake house about two hours from Toronto. They were joined by their two daughters and two grandchildren from Dallas and their niece, her husband, and two children who flew in with the Dallas group. It was a great vacation, a beautiful place, and great weather. Although they have made the long drive many times before, Mary said it was getting to be too much and they plan to fly next time.

Bernett Tucker said illness has taken up much of her time. We were glad to see her at the September meeting.

Lois Waldbauer had a 10th great-grandchild join the others. Lois said her family is getting large and “I write a lot of checks.” Their family reunion over the 4th of July weekend had to be held at Warner Tully Y Camp to accommodate her crew.

Illma Williams and her husband Milton began their summer with the wedding of their son Alan and his bride Lillian in Hattiesburg. Illma said the rest of the summer was quiet and peaceful.


Beta Chapter is looking forward to the first meeting this year on Tuesday, Sept. 15th. Marie Hernandez graciously agreed to serve as President and she encourages everyone to take jobs and help our chapter grow. We look forward to another good year in PAK!

Pi Alpha Kappa did itself proud with such a well planned and well run convention. We are all indebted to the convention committee for such a successful meeting. Beta members who worked so diligently on the committee were Linda Christian, Evelyn Harrison and Georgia Turnage. We had seven members in attendance and our hearts swelled with pride at the efficient and professional work of our Evelyn Harrison as National Secretary. The memorial service was a spiritual uplift for those of us attending as we remembered our dear departed sisters and Pak Rats.

Marie Hernandez was happy with the visit of son, Bob and his wife, Joy from Birmingham. She was a proud parent when Bob presented her with a sample of his most recent publication "Strategic Human Resources Management in Health Services Organizations", Third Edition. Bob is Professor and Director, PHD Program in Administration Health Services for the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Marie noted she read and understood the Preface, but that is as far as she got! She decided the book makes a good conversation piece for the coffee table.
Tracy Trichell's sons Thomas and James played on the 'Vicksburg Billies' baseball team which won the Governor's Cup in the seven year old division. This is the second year in a row that the team won. Also, her daughter Alexandra has started driving, and received her life guard certification and is on the Warren Central swim team. (Bet Tracy is a busy mom!)

Linda Christian has been elected State Garden Therapy Chair for the Garden Clubs of Mississippi. She is also secretary for River Region Ladies Auxiliary.

Janie and Bill Curtis went on a trip to Franklin, TN to visit their daughter and her husband and other relatives. They are looking forward to the wedding of their grandson Justin on November 28th.

Georgia Turnage enjoyed a trip to Alaska with her daughter on a cruise out of Vancouver. They also plan to go to Branson soon.

Mark and Kathryn Chaney's son Jim was appointed Circuit Court Judge by Gov. Barbour....and, Mark and Kathryn are waiting for the arrival of their very first Great-Grandchild! Nicholas Ryan Lee is due mid October. Proud parents-to-be are Lacey Chaney Lee and Ryan Lee.


Helene Benson and siblings Kevin, Molly and Erin enjoyed celebrating memories with family and friends on the occasion of her parents' 50th wedding anniversary in Baton Rouge this summer. The celebration came on the heels of LSU winning the College World Series which made the LSU themed party even more fun. GEAUX TIGERS!!. Helene and husband Rich enjoyed a visit from daughter Stacy and husband Chris and their three children in August. Stacy and Chris live in Las Vegas and Chris had never been this far east. The children enjoyed playing at Catfish Row and putting their feet in the Mighty Mississippi at the riverfront. Helene is back in full swing with her classes at Spring Hill and finds them very exciting and challenging.

Deborah Clanton's son Blake and daughter-in-law Becky had triplets on August 30th. The babies names are Chase Barlow Clanton, Lana Carol Clanton, and Lauren Elizabeth Clanton. The babies are all doing well and hope to be home the end of September.Hal and Joan Morgan had a wonderful time in Alaska with two couples they have known for 44 years. They all were married in Germany and in each others’ weddings. In July, while those in Vicksburg were sweltering in 101 degree temperatures, they were purchasing heavy coats to keep warm. The Morgans traveled to Cookeville, Tennessee, in September to attend Hal's 50th College Class Reunion at Tennessee Technological University.

Josephine Peterson has been on the road a lot these past few months. She visited her son Richard and his family in Anderson, SC, and enjoyed time with her grandchildren: Skylar, Ella, Anders, and Aspen. She spent Easter in Tucson, AZ, with her son John and they went on a sightseeing trip to Southern California. In early May, her son Will became engaged to a lovely young woman, Karie Pompelia, from Meridian. They will be married in a small family wedding in a small Episcopal church near Meridian on December 19, 2009. Josephine is delighted to be getting another daughter. In July, she went to the Isle of Palm near Charleston, SC, for a week at the beach with Richard and his family. She enjoyed the grandchildren. Her 3 ½ year old grandson Anders came home with her to Mississippi. He loved being the center of attention with all his Mississippi relatives. In late September, she will go back to SC to babysit the four grandchildren while Richard and Jodi take a 5th anniversary trip. She is looking forward to this special time with each of the children. This fall, Josephine has been substitute teaching and making preparations for the wedding.

Joann White attended the Warren Central High School production of The King and I in which her grandson Paul White appeared. She also enjoyed the wedding of her niece Cortney at The Orchard in Tupelo, MS. This summer she spent three weeks with family in Collierville, TN, and Holly Springs, MS, and was able to see all her brothers and sisters. She and her good friend (and PAK at-large member) Peggy Ward spent a week going to movies, lunching, and visiting with friends.


Vera Brown and husband George traveled to Gautier, MS and stayed at their Villas of Hickory Hills Resort condo on September 4-10. All of the family came on Friday and stayed through Labor Day. Her husband recently lost his brother, Richard “Bill” Brown.

Katherine Turcotte and husband Roy’s son Steve, who lost his job in Las Cruces, NM, finally got a job in McComb, MS. Good to have Steve closer to home. They also welcomed a great grand princess, Paisley. Jeff and Doris Turcotte are the proud grandparents. They live in Albuquerque, NM. They will also be going to Roy’s ship reunion in Savannah, GA the middle of September. He is slowly improving from his stroke.

Nancy Lucchesi and husband Bob are gong to Jackson Hole, WY and Yellowstone National Park in September for 7 glorious days.

Katie Hossley and husband Matt are expecting their second son, due December 12. Katie, Matt and their son James, spent six months in Arlington, VA, while Matt was working temporarily for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). James started first grade at Agape Montessori Christian Academy.

Marian Phillips and husband Bob are the proud great grandparents of a great-granddaughter, Ellie Reya Mylen Preston, born on May 6, 2009 at 10:04 p.m. and weighed in at 6 lbs. 3.5 oz. The proud parents are Jessica and Bradd in Santa Fe, NM. This makes two great grandsons now and their first great granddaughter.

Joan Donovan and husband Mike welcomed their first great-grandchild, Stephen Ryan, born August 15 to Stephen and Emily Donovan.

Anita Hossley had two very interesting trips during April and May. First, she visited her daughter, Marcia, in Durham, NC. While there, Anita toured the famous Duke Gardens. In May she visited her son and his family in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA. The highlight of her trip to Virginia was visiting Mount Vernon, George Washington's home. This past June, she attended a Forum Institute for RCIA catechists in Baton Rouge, LA. She is a member of St. Michael Parish's RCIA team and teaches a course on the Catholic Sacraments for the Diocese of Jackson. Anita's daughter, Marcia, has now moved from North Carolina to Baton Rouge, LA. She has been able to visit her daughter and family more frequently as a result.

Pam Melsheimer welcomes a new grandson, Jakob Ross Melsheimer born on August 21, 2009. Parents are Ross and Tammy Melsheimer of Brandon, MS. Big Brother Sean Aiden is two years old. Remember in your prayers Pam’s niece, Katie Barnett who is in Iraq with the 155th.

**** Deadline for the next Keynote ~ December 30. ****

PAK Officers ~ 2009-2011

Josephine Peterson, President

Georgia Turnage, Vice President

Jane Brock, Secretary

Helene Benson, Treasurer

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