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May 13, 2014

Athene Study Club says good-bye after 66 years of service

DUNCAN — After 66 years, the Athene Study Club on Monday called it quits, deciding to disband due to  decreasing membership.

 Eleven members remained with the club up to the end, including founding member Doris Douthitt, 102 years old, who helped found the club in April 1938.

 Of the known active members,  nine were present for the final meeting.

To celebrate the club’s history and to recognize the end of an era, the club met on Monday for a final luncheon at the Brown-Weedn Home on 9th Street. Members went through old scrapbooks put together over the years before eating a luncheon prepared by Betty Davis, the cook at First United Methodist Church.

“I hate for this to come to an end on my watch,” President Jan Gaddis said. “But I’m glad we could do this.”

Several guests were invited to the final meeting, including the club’s scholarship winner Sabrina Garner and Stephens County Historical Museum director Cova Williams. The scrapbooks will be donated to the museum.

While members looked at scrapbooks, Garner talked about her college career at the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in chemical engineering and pursuing a minor in Spanish.

The study club was a public service organization, which had been active in giving back to the community, whether through scholarships, purchasing an iron lung during the time of polio or putting up gates at the cemetery.

And if a grave marker for the club could be placed in the Duncan Cemetery, the dates would read April 2, 1938 to May 12, 2014. The plot would probably be just beyond the gates the club helped put in place.

The club chose not to do a program during the last meeting. Instead, Gaddis wanted club members to focus more on socializing.

As the meeting drew to a close, members found themselves facing a farewell. Gaddis admitted to being saddened, displaying emotion when she read a Bible passage, and  said she hated to let the club go because of how close the women were.

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