“You just feel at home”
by Dona Blanka
My parents and I moved to a farm northeast of Wamego in 1954. We joined Wamego Presbyterian Church in January 1955. I was in high school then, and I sang in the choir every Sunday until I was married in 1959.
The week after I graduated from high school in 1957, I was asked to be secretary for our new minister, Bob Burnett. My office was the little room west of the organ. I worked 5 1/2 days each week. I went in Saturday mornings to print the bulletins. I went downstairs to the little room north of the kitchen and ran 80 bulletins off by hand on the old mimeograph machine—I had to turn the old handle for each one. Willard Balderson paid me $1.00 an hour when I worked.
I did that for four years until a week before my son Ronnie was born in May 1961. All four of our kids were baptized in the church when they were two months old.
I served three terms as Deacon in the 1970s. I would go with Denzal Nonhoff, our minister, to Topeka to visit our members in the hospital whenever he went. I taught and helped with Bible School for 15 years.
Robert, my husband, was an Elder two different terms. Our daughters babysat the little ones in the basement, Brenda for 3 years and Diane for four years, until they graduated from high school. Willard Balderson paid them $1 for each child they babysat each week, and he did so from his own pocket. Child care was not provided before Brenda and Diane did this.
As of this year, I have been in the First Presbyterian Church for 64 years because the people have been so friendly and caring. You just feel at home.
(This is part of a continuing series of articles from our congregation, sharing memories in honor of our 150th Anniversary Celebration.)