DEXTER — One could say that the bonds of kinship in Dot LaGasse’s family have truly survived the test of time.
Earlier this fall, LaGasse of Dexter, and her five brothers and sisters, were reunited as a family for the first time in more than 30 years. Although five of the siblings, who live on this side of the Atlantic, have been able to get together for holidays and at other special occasions, it wasn’t until this fall that all six members of the family could be together in one place for a reunion.
After numerous scheduling conflicts and setbacks, the family’s brother, Raymond Bennett, formerly of Bangor, was able to travel once again to Maine after a 30-year absence. Bennett left the area after he graduated from Bangor High School in 1935 and began a distinguished career in the military, retiring after 20 years. Bennett eventually made his home in Europe, working at a German film distribution company and later as utility procurement manager for the Paris Hotel Hilton.
Finally this fall, all the arrangements fell into place for the family, and Bennett left his home in Chatereux, France, for a visit to Maine. The siblings gathered in Dexter for “quite a reunion,” filled with a week of laughter and reminiscing, says LaGasse.
Families that Bennett was able to see again included Donald and Pauline Bennett of Orrington; LaGasse, and Peter and Peggy LaGasse, Dexter; Bonnie LaGasse, Windham; George and Marjorie Baker, and Georgette Norton, Bangor; Sharon Cannon and Donna Golding, North Orrington; John Millett, Bucksport; James Millett, Old Town; Shirley Kilian and Evelyn Lewis, Massachusetts; Linda, Jose and Kevin Alvarey, Portland; James Rene; and John and Michael Lewis of Washington, D.C.
After a week of visiting, which included a Maine clambake, Bennett spent a week with his sons, Lee and Gene, and grandchildren in Michigan.
The family had such a wonderful time, said LaGasse, that all came away from the week wondering why they hadn’t all gotten together sooner.
“I suppose that we all have been so busy all these years with the things that we had to do, and one day led to another and another, and gradually the years went by,” said LaGasse. “But we all had such a wonderful time and everyone was glad that we all made the effort to get together.”
With the holiday season quickly approaching, LaGasse urges other families to make the effort to gather.
“The reunion was wonderful. We all had so much to talk about and catch up on. We all hope we can all get together again, because the reunion meant so much to all of us and it was such a wonderful feeling to be all together again.”