Hiram – Sixty Garrettsville Strong shirts recently made quite a splash in Tampa, Florida, when descendants of Frances Pike wore them as the official shirt of their family reunion there. For forty-two years, Frances Pike was a respected teacher in Nelson and Middlefield. When she died in 1997 at 91, her loving family decided to honor her memory by gathering as a family every other year. Thus the Pike Family Reunion was established.
The first location was Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida, where the family recently met again for this year’s reunion. Other locations were Gettysburg and Northeast Portage County, where younger family members could visit sites important in the lives of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, Orlando and Disney World , Sanibel and Lakeland, Florida, as well as Stone Mountain, Georgia.
While in Georgia, a senior family member, Don Pike, now of Lakeland, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch for an Atlanta Braves baseball game, a treat arranged by his son, Greg Pike, now a producer with ESPN in Connecticut.
In addition to Don Pike, longtime owner-operator of Pike’s Turkey Farm on Route 88 in Nelson, the elder family members include Ken Pike, a financial advisor, who for the past 28 years has maintained an office in Hiram, where he and wife Damaris Peters Pike reside, and Kay Pike Easton, a tireless and honored contributor to worthy causes in Huntsville, Alabama, where she and husband Earl Eastin enjoy their three children and eight grandchildren living nearby.
The Pike family is deeply rooted in this area. Don, Ken, and Kay grew up here and graduated from Middlefield High School. Don’s wife, Ann Stroup Pike, graduated from Hiram College and—along with children David, Connie, and Greg Pike—Garfield High School.
Family members found the recent reunion to be such a treat that many urged that it become an annual event. Certainly all will wear their Garrettsville Strong shirts when they return home to Cincinnati, Mansfield, North Olmstead, and Hiram in Ohio; Lakeland, Naples, and Palm Harbor in Florida; West Hartford, Connecticut; and Huntsville, Alabama. Yes, Garrettsville Strong is strongly affirmed by the Pike Family!