North to Alaska

Last summer, Lohn native, Norma Lee (McShan) Ranne of Brady, and daughter, Lindie Wall of Plano, flew from Dallas to Seattle then to Anchorage, Alaska to visit Norma Lee`s nephew, Mark Necessary and family, who live in Kenai a short distance southwest of Anchorage. The trip was an exciting opportunity for them to visit one of their favorite relatives and enjoy the incredible beauty of our 49th state. Since Mark has been a resident there for 40 years, he made a perfect guide to show his visitors around the Kenai Peninsula. One of the first trips they made was to Homer, a small village known as the sport halibut fishing capital of the world. Commerical fishing and logging are the main industries. They enjoyed watching the fishermen and had a delicious meal of halibut. The ladies took a National Park Cruise out of Seward, Alaska, saw a lot of wildlife, which included birds, such as cormorant, black oystercatcher, common murre or guillemot, horned puffin, tufted puffin and so many others beyond description. They watched humpback whales, orca or killer whales as they blew oxygen through their blowholes. The spray can be seen from up to a mile away, but they were much closer.’ They also got to enjoy watching the whales breach, which is thrusting more than 75 percent of their body out of the water and fluke; lift their tails out of the water as they begin to dive. Other mammals they had the pleasure of watching were Steller sea lions and sea otter. The cruise took them out of Seward to Bear Glacier, Fox Island, Hive Island, Cape Resurrection, Barwell Island, Rugged Island, Cheval Island and Chat Island, back up to Three Hole Point, right up to Skee Glacier, Aialik Glacier, Pederson Glacier and Holgate Glacier then back down to Harbor Island, Matushka Island and then back to Seward.’ They were fortunate to have been on the cruise on what the captain noted was the smoothest day of the year so far. They also had the pleasure of attending the Kenai Fourth of July Parade, much like the July Jubilee Brady has each year. Kenai is a town of about 20,000. To their delight, Anita Necessary was the queen of the parade.’ Norma Lee opted out of this trip, but Mark set Lindie up on a guided fishing trip for salmon on the Kenai River.’Lindie was not lucky enough to catch one. It was a little early for the salmon, but she and others were impressed when one of the ladies on the boat did catch a 40-pound salmon. ‘The river trip was exciting as they saw numerous bald eagles. Mark advised that after July 20 or so, almost everyone would catch salmon. On the drive back to Anchorage, they made several detours and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.’They returned to Texas with wonderful memories of the awesome beauty of Alaska. Lohn Valley natives are scattered across the lower 48 from the west coast to the east and points in between. The majority still live in Texas; Mark appears to be the only one who lives in the far, far north. He is considering a second home in Texas. Mark was born in Lohn and spent the first four years of school at Lohn. He graduated from Anson High School, attended Texas Tech and SMU (Cox) Business School. He met and married Anita Grooms from Dumas and began his life-long career with the petroleum industry there with Diamond Shamrock. In 1964 he and Anita moved to Corpus Christi where he began’working in an oil refinery as chief chemist and eventually became the plant superintendent.’ ‘In 1969 he received a call from a company that was planning an oil refinery in Alaska. Tesoro, a small Texas company based in San Antonio, offered him a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor which he accepted. Mark retired in 1997 as senior vice president’ of Tesoro Alaska and an officer of Tesoro Petroleum Corporation. His job has taken him to Russia, the Carribean and, as they say in Alaska, ‘the lower 48 states.’ ‘One of his exciting Alaskan experiences was riding a snow machine with his son and four other people’from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. A trip of more than l,050 miles on the Iditarod Trail, they experienced temperatures of 40 degrees below zero, sleeping in a tent. The toughest part was’the crawling out of the sleeping’bags at this temperature in the mornings.’ “We always enjoy our visitors (mostly from Texas)’ who visit us, take in the sights and get in some excellent fishing, he said. “God has been good to me to give me a wonderful wife, two fine sons, good friends and good health for all of us.” Mark and Anita have been married for 46 years. Their sons, Lance and Monte, live in Alaska. Mark`s father was Cope Necessary whose real name, Sorrels Bishop, was seldom used’perhaps on his diploma when he graduated from LHS in 1929. His mother was Cleo McShan from the class of 1931. He is the oldest son; his brother, Bill, lives in Brawley, Calif. A sister, Susanne, who lived in Austin, is deceased. The Necessary family has been gone from the Lohn Valley for more than 50 years. Nelda Moore Rogers, whose great-grandmother was Mary Jane Necessary, has researched the family and has been unable to establish the country of origin, possibly they were of Scottish/Irish descent. The oldest one found in America was William Necessary in Russell County Virginia in 1800. Nelda shared this information about the family. William and his wife had 10 children. One son was William Preston, whose son, James Singleton, was the father of the Necessarys who came to live in Lohn. The Deck family, who came to Pear Valley, lived near the Necessary/Moore families in Virginia. James Singleton Necessary was married three times. He and his first wife, Sarah, had three children: two sons and one daughter, Mary Jane, who married Floyd S. Moore. Floyd and Mary Jane`s three sons, James, Clint and George Washington Moore, came to McCulloch County. He and his second wife, Jane Felty, had nine children. From that group, four moved to the Lohn- Pear Valley area; Bill Necessary who married Lizzie Sorrells. Their children were Natha Mae, Orville (Pat), Cope, Odelia and Edward (Pete), Ida Victoria Necessary, who married Wallace Marion Fowler, Jr., Rebecca K. Necessary who married Joseph Samuel Deck and Myrtle. Miss Myrtle was well-known in Lohn as she worked for Dr. Land for many years. She lived at the Cagle Hotel and later lived in a rock house located behind the present site of the Lohn post office. Everyone assumed she was a spinster, but she had been married in Virginia. James Singleton`s third wife was Mary E. Deck, sister of Joseph Deck, father of five sons and two daughter who also lived at Pear Valley. So there is a large number of descendants of the Necessary family, several right here in Lohn. The children of Bill and Lizzie Necessary and their children`s children attended school at Lohn. The last to attend were Pat and Ruth`s children, Harold Gene, Clifton, Curtis and Laverne. On the maternal side is the McShan family where Mark spent many happy times at the home of his grandparents, Newt and Lena McShan on the Brady mountains. *** The’ Lohn community pot luck luncheon will be this Sunday, Jan 27, at noon.

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