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Denio family reunion draws over 120 to Ripon

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POSTED October 1, 2009 2:19 a.m.
RIPON — One highlight for this summer in Ripon was the Denio Family Reunion organized by retired Ripon teacher Carla Escola and her husband Peter for much of a weekend at the community center.

Ken Denio of Ripon and the Escola sons Brent and Laif and their families joined in welcoming family members to the community.

Some 125 family members traveled to Ripon from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Oregon, New Mexico, Tennessee, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Idaho as well as up and down the state.

It was a reunion of reunions where relatives not only shared meals over the three-day period but they also shared experiences they’d had since their last reunions in 1985 and 1998.
There were softball games on Friday and Saturday, board and card games, three-legged races, preschool “birdhouse painting” activities and a Friday evening talent show that headlined comedy, musical and hula numbers, jokes and the sharing of family accomplishments and group singing.

Escola said the family has been traced back to Deerfield, MA, in the early 1700s when French voyager Jacques DeNoyan and English lass, Abigail Stebbins, were married shortly before the Massacre of 1704.

DeNoyan was said to be one of the first white men to discover the Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota/Canada.

The young couple was taken captive to Quebec where they settled and she raised their family of a dozen children.  As the story goes when their eldest, Rene DeNoyan, was about 10 years old he returned to Deerfield to visit his “Stebbins” grandparents.  He failed to return to Canada and became Aaron Denio.

From that beginning came the large and extended family with the surnames of Denio, deNio, and DeNio most of whom can trace their roots to Aaron.  Owners of the Denio Farmers Market in Roseville are also part of the clan.

Some settled in the East, the South, the North, and some even fought in the Revolutionary War.  Others fought on both sides in the Civil War and others came out west in covered wagons.  There were early-day relatives as well who followed the rails as the railroad developed westward.

Akron, NY, boasts a Denio Memorial Library with many serving their country in more recent military conflicts.

An impressive list of careers and vocations identified the pursuits of the family members who traveled to Ripon.  They all obviously enjoyed each others’ company – fantastic to see extended family members getting along so well.

There was every vocation represented from teachers to nuclear and civil engineers, researchers, pilots and flight attendants, dental, electronic and radiology technicians, supervisors, ministers and other religious leaders, cabinet makers, developers and real estate appraisers and landscapers.

Members of the extended Denio family are constantly locating new relatives as seen both at the Ripon gathering and the annual Cayucos picnic, Escola said.

One of the six-year-old children told his grandmother that he learned some new tricks from his Hawaiian cousin.

Sunday morning saw the end of the reunion with about 90 family members gathering to worship together before lunch and their last visits and goodbyes.

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