Sharpes hold 70th consecutive Christmas Eve reunion

Published 11:47 pm Friday, February 12, 2016

By Ronnie Kilgore
Special to The Star-News

On Dec. 24, 2015, the Sharpe Family had their 70th consecutive reunion, even though it rained, rained and rained all week! The weather was warm, no it was hot for a Christmas Eve.

The patriarchs of the Sharpe Family, Jeptha Sharp and his wife, Leona Smith Sharp, started out in the Loango area, then moved to Red Level and farmed just north of Buck Creek Church. Mrs. Sharp had her hands full with 15 children, but two died at birth. Both Jeptha and Leona passed away in 1945 and the suggestion was made to have the family get together each year starting in 1946 on Christmas Eve. Of the 13 original children, all have passed on except for three, Earl Sharpe of Destin, Jesse Sharpe of Ozark, and Lucy Sharpe Kilgore of Red Level. The only sibling -of Jeptha and Leona Sharpe who was not able to attend was Earl Sharpe.

Lucy Sharpe Kilgore is almost 98 years young. Her health had not let her walk and sit for long periods of time, so she had not been in the last three years. Steve Sharpe volunteered to transport her ‘scooter’ over to the Lodge, so she could ride around and visit with the others.

About 48 people attended this year’s event. Each person was asked to sign a registry, so their names could be included in this article. Everyone seemed to enjoy the gathering and with warm weather, some were outside popping fireworks. There were groups discussing births and death during the past year and catching up on all the event from last year.

Each year, a different family is in charge of hosting the event. This year the host was Jesse Sharpe of Ozark. He had a lot of help from Glenn, Terry, Billy Joe and Steve Sharpe, with lots of help from their wives.

All the tables were covered with red and green cloths and food was lined up – chicken and dumplings, ham, potato casserole, chicken, salads, cakes and pies. Those attending brought a covered dish or two.

Jesse Sharpe said a few words and then gave thanks. He reminded those gathered what this event is in memory of and what all should be celebrating at Christmas.

The Vergie Wright family will host the 2016 reunion, but all of the others are ask to help out. All decedents of the Sharpe clan are ask to come to the 2016 reunion.

Those in attendance were:

• The Gene Sharpe Family: Terry Sharpe and wife Mary Jane; Steve Sharpe, wife Kathryn, daughter Jill Sharpe, and friend Bob Howell; Billy Joe Sharpe and wife, Jeanie Brooks Sharpe, daughter, Laura Sharpe, and daughter Leanne Stewart and granddaughters, Kaylea and Olivia; Glenn Sharpe and Barbara Griffin.

• The Virgie Wright Family: Karen and Ricky Price, Dothan; Farrell and Rosalyn Wright, and grandchildren Ashley and Taylor Wright; Peggy Wright, her son ,Tommy, his daughters, Sheridan and Jamisyn Wright, and Angela Kelly and Noah; Lynn Bush, Mike Bush, and Chase and Melissa Bush; Max Wright and his daughter, Shelia Crissey; Buddy and June Smith.

• The Jim Sharpe family: Jimmy Joe Sharpe and wife, Sandy.

• The Lucy Sharpe Kilgore family: Lucy Sharpe Kilgore and her son, Ronnie Kilgore.

• The Jesse Sharpe family: Jesse Sharpe and wife, Jean, their sons Rodney and Richard, and his wife, Georgia Ann; her mother, Edith Griffith; their daughter, Amelia Sharpe, and their son, Mason and wife, Lauren Sharpe, and son, Jacob, and daughter, Hannah.

A great time of fellowship and food was enjoyed by all in attendance.