Gatling clan gathers in Suffolk for 26th annual reunion

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

The descendants of Cater Gatling gathered recently to celebrate their 26th annual reunion.

The family includes the following family names: Boone, Morings, Edwards, Benton, Peele, and Eley.


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About 113 family members kicked the weekend off with a dinner at the Holiday Inn. The room was decorated in green and white with photos of past reunions on display. Family members pictured in military regalia were front and center in the display in keeping with the renewed spirit of patriotism.

During the dinner recognition was given to graduates, new additions to the families, and marriages since the last reunion. A memorial period was held for deceased family members – Rosa Goodman, Wilbert Johnson, Kelly Gatling, John Manly Gatling, and Carlton Franklin.

Special expressions of thanks were given by members of the families to Sylvia Morings and Wanda Edwards for helping to care for the children of Valorie DaCosta who is currently serving in the armed forces in Baghdad. DaCosta is in the reserves and has been on active duty since March. Her children are Christopher, 14, a freshman at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, and D.J., 3. DaCosta is the daughter of John and Mary Johnson and the wife of Gordon DaCosta Sr.

Ethel Brown narrated a fashion program and some family members served as models. Following, door prizes were given away by Wendy Bullock and Cathey Jackson, coordinators of the dinner.

Saturday’s activities ended with a midnight cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk.

On Sunday, the family gathered for a morning worship at Oak Grove Baptist Church. The guest speaker was the Rev. Deon Gatling, a family member. What made this service special is that it was the first sermon that he preached since his ordination.

Following the worship service, the family gathered at the home of Terry and Isabell Morings for the traditional picnic with about 200 family members and friends in attendance. Lexie Lee catered the event, as she has done every year.

Out of town family came from California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Ohio, Richmond and Washington, D.C.