Missionaries reunite after 55 years

Published: Friday, June 10 2011 4:00 a.m. MDT

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — More than 90 people crowded into Maddox Restaurant on Saturday, May 21, to reunite 47 missionaries who served in the former Central Atlantic States Mission more than 55 years ago.

According to the "2011 Deseret News Church Almanac," the mission, currently known as the Virginia Richmond Mission, was first formed in 1947 and covered Virginia and North Carolina. The mission headquarters were in Roanoke, Va., and it was overseen at the time by Henry A. Smith.

Doyl Ipson, of Cedar City, Utah, and two of his former companions, Val Timothy of Orem, Utah, and Glen Eliason of Ogden, Utah, along with their wives, started putting together the reunion a few months ago. Ipson called the reunion a success.

"There is no way of knowing how many joined the church because of contacts made by these missionaries," he said.

The missionaries, many of whom have served more missions since, enjoyed exchanging memories and sharing the stories of some converts, illustrating how many lives have been touched by the service of these people.

“My wife and I had a quick same-day turnaround trip to and from Phoenix for this special event," said Kay Rogers via email. "We are so grateful we could make the trip, as the day was significant, pleasant and memorable. What a joy it was to be with so many fellow missionaries. Our faces have changed and our memories have faded, but (we) will always be united by the love of having served together.”

Email: hbowler@desnews.com

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