I believe it was 2010 , when I was sorting thru my mother’s books and discovered the book, New Burlington, the life and death of an American village. Inside were clippings of the Collett-McKay reunions. I was intrigued enough to Google Howard Doster who wrote the article to see if he could tell me more about the Colletts. My mother was an only child and had been a Collett but we did not know much about the family. My mother had died in 1996 and I wanted some connection to the family I didn’t really know well. I found a phone number and called Howard and he could not have been nicer. As far as he was concerned , I was a long lost cousin . Since the reunion was some months away, I decided that my husband and I would drive from our home in Virginia to Ohio to meet my relatives. When we arrived in town on the Friday , Howard insisted we come to the farm and meet up. He then proceeded to direct us to every cemetery that held a Collett relative and told us all the details. It was amazing to learn all of the stories connected to our family. Howard, Barbara and Bob and I went out to dinner that evening and we had an amazing conversation. On the Sat, we sat with Howard’s family and met so many new faces. The weekend was a delight and the pleasure of meeting Howard and his family was beyond my expectations. I had come with a family tree in hand to prove my connection and came away with treasured friends. Several years later, I brought my daughter, Amanda Collett Corrie who was at the time working for the State Dept. It was magical for her to meet all the Colletts. My husband and I attended the 150th reunion and again Howard made us feel like family and we were invited back to there house for their family gathering. I have never met someone so full of life, so much joy, and a true zest for living. Howard is a true example of how we all should strive to live our lives. I will always remember the entire Doster family for giving me a slice of where I came from. We will miss Howard but will have the most wonderful memories of the reunions where we shared his company.

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