Mark's Family Tree

In loving memory of my father
John Adam "Dutsy" Wakenshaw
March 31, 1942 - May 7, 2011

How does a son write a memorial to his Dad? I wish I knew because I need to write one now, and I don't know where to start. He was my Dad. What else do I say? There is an emptiness in my life right now. A part of me is gone. But I have filled that emptiness with so many memories. The things he taught me, the lessons I learned, and the good times we had, will always be with me forever. I'll remember the guy who taught me to drive. We used to go to KG-9 and get a big box of fried chicken livers to go. Then he would let me drive the whole length of the tow path in that old Toyota pickem up truck that said "Mark Wakenshaw & Dad" on the side. I remember the guy who taught me how to use tools. There was always a project in the shop for us to work on. I remember learning to play the trumpet and how he always wanted to hear some Burt Bacharach music. I'll never listen to the soundtrack of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid without thinking of Dad. It was our favorite movie and he so loved that music. I remember the exact post under the gazebo where we buried the 1889 silver dollar that belonged to my Great-Grandpa Sanders. Dad and I have kept that secret for 40 years. And I remember the day I soloed an airplane and how disappointed he was that he wasn't there to watch.

So many things we did for so many years and still there wasn't time to do them all. He was always dreaming of things he wanted to do and places he wanted to go. We'd talk about how we would do stuff if we could, or how cool it would be to have one of those things, or how fun it would be to go see that. And later in life when we both got computers, we had the time of our life. We had the world at our fingertips and we would always find the neatest stuff to share with each other. But the computers also drew us so much closer over the years. Living so far apart made emails so wonderful. We both loved to write, so we had the greatest time exchanging long drawn out messages. I think we solved over half the world's problems in those emails.

Dad may be gone, but he lives on in me with the memories I have of him and the memories we all shared together as a family. He was a big part of my life. I'll miss that bond we had as father and son. His only son and his best friend. My life will never be the same again, but I know I'll be fine. Last year a beautiful angel was sent to watch over me. After years of living alone, God knew I would be needing someone after Dad was gone. Someone to fill that emptiness. She was sent into my life at just the right time. And although Dad never got to meet my angel, it gave him peace knowing she was here, and he wouldn't have to worry about me when he was gone.

On the night he passed away
I saw the most beautiful sunset. There were some clouds above the horizon and for a while it looked as if we weren't going to see the sunset. But at the last minute the sun broke from under the clouds and came down to touch the water. And as it went over the horizon and out of sight I just knew it was Dad saying good bye. But like the sun, even though I can no longer see him, he will always be there for me. He may not be able to talk to me, but I can still talk to him. So as I sit here on this Father's Day 2011, I just want to say thank you Dad. Thank you for being "MY" Dad. I miss you and I love you so much.

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First time here?......Welcome to my family!!

A short introduction to Mark's Family Tree, and what this web site is all about.
PLEASE read this if you have never been here before...
Welcome! I hope you enjoy browsing these pages as much as I have enjoyed gathering the information. Here's how my web site works... Begin your travels by finding your family name on the Surname page. Or if you prefer, the Index A-Z pages lists EVERYONE, name by name. Find your name and go from there if you like. When you get where you're going, click on the underlined names to read more about that person on another page. If there is a little camera icon   next to that person's name, you can click on it to see pictures on a separate page. Also take note of any numbers in brackets, like this - [346]. You can click on these numbers to see the source(s) used for the information you are reading.

If you are a member of this family and are NOT listed on this site, please contact me!  I would love to hear from you, and would be happy to include your name in my little tree. Any other thoughts, suggestions, contributions, corrections, complaints, etc... can also be directed to me at the addresses below.

I began this "hobby" of mine in May of 2001. I never dreamed it would have come so far so soon. My "hobby" has turned into a full blown "career". It's been a lot of hard work, but I've loved every minute of it. I have met many new cousins on the internet and in person, and have been fascinated by their stories. And the many old family photos that have crossed my desk have been just great. I thank you all for entrusting me with your collections while I scanned them.

I want to thank everyone in this family for lending an ear to my many questions. Without your input, none of this would have been possible. It has been my goal to let future generations know about us. Who we are, what we did, and where we came from. Memories never die, but some do fade away. Thanks for helping me keep them alive and well. What a great family we have!

Family Morphs

If you don't know what a "morph" is, then you'll just have to click on one of the links below. I have some new software that I've been having fun with. I've taken some old family photos and used just the faces to morph through the generations from old to new. My first attempt at this was to start with my great-grandpa Wakenshaw and change him into my grandpa Wakenshaw, and then my dad and then to me. It came out so good I decided to make some more showing the women in the family. Starting with my great-great grandmother, and her daughter and her daughter and her daughter, right on down the line. Some of the facial features are kind of spooky as you watch the faces morph into their offspring. Some of us really do look alike! As you click on the links below, give them a few moments to load. A short animation will start after the file has loaded in your browser.

John Thomas Wakenshaw --> Adam Forsyth Wakenshaw --> John Adam Wakenshaw --> Mark Wakenshaw

Isabelle Scherrer --> Alva Opal Howell --> Marjorie Juanita Fink --> Connie Jane Ivey --> Ivey Wakenshaw

Isabelle Scherrer --> Alva Opal Howell --> Marjorie Juanita Fink --> Hilma Jean Ivey

MY MOM AND HER GRANDMOTHER (could be twins?)
Hilma Marie Carlson --> Connie Jane Ivey

Elmer Earl "Bill" Ivey --> Hilma Jean Ivey

Mark's Family Tree Reunion

held on September 15-16 2005

(note: photo pages are large.... please allow time for them to load)

I left this information on the web site for all those who want to see the photos from the reunion. This part of my site still gets many hits, so I didn't want to remove it just yet. There will probably never be another reunion like this one, as it was a major undertaking for me and I don't know if I could pull it off again.

We had just over 90 people for the dinner on Thursday night, and over 65 for the picnic on the lake Friday afternoon. It was a dream come true for me to have you all together at one time. I only wish we could have stayed longer, as I didn't get to visit with some of you as much as I would have liked.
I couldn't have been happier with the large turnout, and I want to thank all of those who attended.

The reunion dinner was held at the Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center in Springfield, Illinois. I want to thank Marc Evans and his staff at the hotel for helping me set this whole thing up. As I found out, planning a large gathering is not as easy as it seems. Here are some photos of the hotel and the sign out front welcoming Mark's Family Tree.

I also want to thank all my little helpers... My dad, who helped me hang up the family tree charts in the banquet room, and my grandma who told us when we got them straight! My mom, her friend Phyllis Knapp, and my sister, Ivey, who worked the sign-in table and got everyone their name tags. Also, thanks to cousin Barbara Ann Reichert for bringing the three birthday girls their cake & corsages. And a very special thanks to William Earl Pike for his kind words and Grace before our meal. He did a real fine job on very short notice.

Besides the family reunion, we also celebrated the 90th birthdays of my grandma, Beatrice Sanders Wakenshaw, and my great-aunt, Norma Williams Ivey. Both of these ladies were born on the same day of the same year. A dear friend of the Ivey family, Dorothy Housholder, was also in attendance and celebrating her 90th birthday that same weekend.

As much as I hate speaking in front of large crowds, I did give a small welcome speech after dinner. Then much to my surprise, my dad presented me with an engraved silver platter from the family for my efforts in getting the reunion together. Thank you all for that special gift. The rest of the evening was spent talking & visiting, taking lots of pictures and watching the slide show of old family photos I made. Here are some photos from the dinner.

On Friday afternoon we had our picnic lunch out at Lake Springfield. The weather was just perfect. Thanks to the folks at CWLP for the free use of the Tom Madonia East Park. We had the whole place to ourselves. Thanks also to the KFC on 6th Street for catering the meal and delivering it to the park. A good time was had by all. The kids enjoyed a free run of the park and playing on the dock trying to catch fish. While us "old folks" enjoyed just sitting and talking. Here are some photos of the picnic.  All in all, I couldn't have asked for the whole event to turn out any better. It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time. Thank you all again for coming to the party and I hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did.

A few weeks after I returned home I received a box in the mail from my sister, Ivey. In the box was a photo album and the words "Mark's Family Tree Reunion. September 15-16 2005" engraved on the front cover. Inside the album were pictures from the reunion dinner and picnic. Along with the photos in the album were all the thank you notes you all wrote to me during the dinner. I was really touched by reading them and had no idea this was going on "behind my back" during the dinner. Thank you all so much for your kind words. I am proud and honored to have you all for my family.

Family Tree Charts

These are the charts that were on the walls during the family reunion in 2005.
WARNING: They are rather large picture files, so be patient. They will take time to load...


If you would like a smaller chart of just your family, or any family for that matter, just drop me a line and I will make you one from the info I have on file. It is fairly easy for me to do, and I can email it to you in .JPEG form so you can save it and print it out. Just remember that the more generations there are, the larger the chart will be. So if you want to be able to print it on one piece of paper, then keep your requests to a minimum. A fan shaped chart will cover about five generations, and fit on one page. The boxed charts like I have above will only fit a few generations on one page, depending on family size. Email me for further details.