Chapter Chatter: El Toyon Chapter – A Christmas Tribute to Service Members

The El Toyon Chapter entered a patriotic Christmas tree, “Thank You For Your Service”, in the 27th Annual Festival of Trees held by San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum. The tree featured 100 photographs of chapter members’ family and friends, both male and female veterans, from the Revolutionary War to current military. Photographs were sent to Sheri Fenley, Registrar, and she spent hours printing and cutting approximately 120 photos for the tree.

The display case includes military items from our members. Donna Wallis, shared a medals case earned by her father-in-law, Col. Lynn R. Wallis who served in the Army in WWI, WWII and the Korean War. He received five Purple Hearts and Distinguished Service Cross. Betty Mathis loaned her husband’s Navy uniform, Lewis D. Mathis, Jr., who served during WWII and her father-in-law, Lewis D. Mathis, Sr.’s Marine uniform from WWI. Marilyn Rauzi shared a medal case from her husband, Frank J. Rauzi, California National Guard and U.S. Marines, during WWII. He earned over eight medals that are on display, and his military picture with a camouflaged machine gun. Darres Cook loaned a rare field organ (dolceola) used by Commander Marshall Smith, Navy Chaplain, for religious services on the WWI battlefield.


Chapter member volunteers who decorated the tree and display case, are pictured, left to right: Betty Mathis, Treasurer; Marsha Merica, First Vice Regent; Sheri Fenley, Registrar; Rebecca Clover; Adine Gnekow; (not pictured) Donna Wallis, Past Regent; Darres Cook; and Marilyn Rauzi.

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