Poarch - All American Family 

W. E. Poarch, Sr.
Hazel Poarch

The W. E. Poarch family was blessed with parents that taught us to love and enjoy each other whether in the family or not.  Daddy married Stella Broderick in 1922.  They were blessed with two sons and three daughters: Valgean, Wilba, Patricia and twins Bob and Billie.  When the twins were 6 weeks old Stella passed away.

In 1930, Daddy married Hazel Irene Cross in Kingfisher.  While living in Kingfisher, Daddy first worked as a mechanic then later owned the Poarch Motor Company.  They were blessed with 9 children, Eloise, Carol, Charlie, Gerald, Kennneth, Jodene, Anita, Jimmie and W. E. Jr.


back row: Wilba Koetter, Eloise, Carol, Valgean, Billie, Patricia Franks, Bob

middle row: Kenneth, Charles, Gerald

front row: Jim, W.E. Sr. holding W.E. Jr., Anita, Hazel, Jodene


Our parents moved to Watonga in 1938.  A member of the Poarch Family was in the Watonga school system until Dayna Poarch graduated in 1990.  There has always been a Poarch family living in Watonga since moving there in 1938.


back row: Charles, Gerald, Wilba Koetter, Billie Felton, Bob, Valgean, Patricia Franks, Carol Carter, Eloise Espy

front row: Kenneth, Anita, Jim,
Weldon Eugene, Sr., Hazel Cross,
W. E., Jr., Jodene

Each one remembers our childhood differently, of course.  We didn't have many boughten toys; but that let us use our imagination for fun.  We liked it when the storms came and the electricity was off or even before we had t.v. ---- that meant Daddy had time to play dominos or cards with us, of course, he usually won.  We didn't care.




back row: Eloise, Patricia, Valgean, Hazel, Carol, W. E., Sr., Wilba, Billie

front row: Gerald, Kenneth, W. E., Jr., Jim, Anita, Jodene, Charles, Bob

Mother would carefully open her canned food and boxes so we could play grocery store or house.  We played games like kick the can, tag and andy over with throwing a ball over the house.  The boys made tractors and cars with empty thread spools.  Everyone had chores to do.



back row: Charles, Wilba, Valgean, Billie, Bob, Jim, W. E., Patricia, Kenneth, Gerald

front row: Carol, Jodene, Hazel, Anita, Eloise

Daddy passed away in 1966.  He had been Service Manager at the Chapman Chevrolet garage for 25 years.  He never met a stranger and cared about everyone.  Mother was active at the Firt Baptist church where she sang in the choir asnd taught children in Sunday School for more than 25 years.  They were both active members of the Watonga Odd Fellows and Rebekahs.  Mother passed away in 2001.

Mother played the piano, where our Christmas Eve's always included singing Christmas Carols even though singing wasn't our strongest talent, her playing made us sound good.  Christmas was never about gifts at our house.  It was about making candy, the good food mother made, the older siblings coming home and what gifts we did get.


lneeling: Jim, Jodene, W.E., Anita

standing: Kenneth, Gerald, Charlie, Patricia, mother, Valjean, Wilba, Carol, Eloise, Billie and Bob (twins)

The first reunion was held in 1955 for Daddy and Mother's 25th wedding anniversary.  Daddy asked that the family would continue holding these get togethers.  The 58th year of reunions was held in August 2013.  Our first reunion was held at Daddy and Mother's house in 1955.  Ralph Carter provided a funeral tent from Keller Funeral Home.  After that, most of our reunions were held at Roman Nose Park until 2010.

July 28, 2013

front row: Wilba Koetter, Patricia Franks, Bob Posrch, Charlie Poarch, Carol Wight, Eloise Espy

back row: Jimmy Dale Poarch, Anita Reeder, Jodene Carter, Gerald Poarch, Kenneth Poarch


the following was written by Jimmie Poarch about our family:

This Family

In this family every new member is welcome,
Although it may be a different welcome than most families.

Through a lot of natural disasters,
this family has endured.

With all of the traffic accidents in our country,
this family has survived.

We have had hardships --
But this family has pulled together.

This family has had heartaches.
This family has lost sisters, brothers, daughters, sons and spouses.

Through all of the wars of this country,
This family has endured.

The Lord placed his hand upon this family and made it strong.
I am just one member of this family.
Love this family!!!!!

text for this page provided by Jodene Carter


If you would like to contribute pictures or stories to this page or if you would like to provide a link to another 'Poarch Page', please send them to this email.

October 24th,2013 - then came the time to dig a cellar.  I was very young, and all I remember about the construction was that there was a slope that ran down into this big square hole.  Charles, Gerald or Kenneth could tell more about the construction.

We stored vegetables and jams and jelly there.  We never ran out of jellies.  These were canned in pint, quart and half-gallon jars.  The canned food covered 3 walls, top to bottom.  One year, the floor was 2 layers deep in watermelons, and cantalope.  We ate melons at least 3 times a day.  I don't eat either one to this day!  In those days a lot of families canned food for the winter.

When I was younger I thought that the cellar was built for protection against storms and tornados.  Later I realized that this was how Daddy fed a family of this size.  Also, we never had a station wagon to take trips in,.