Former Pedee resident Ted South, 78, died on Dec. 2. He grew up on Shady Lane, going to school in Pedee and lived there until the ’60s. He was the brother of Carla Burbank.

Daniel and Heidi Russell just got home from a truly life-changing trip to the nations of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, given to them by friends who felt it was important for them to go. They visited many historically significant sites in the three countries. In Egypt, they spent time among the pyramids, seeing artifacts from King Tutankhamen’s tomb, and spending a sunny afternoon sailing on the Nile river.

In Jordan, they walked through a mile-long crevice in red stone to the ancient city of Petra (carved from red stone bluffs and made famous in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Also in Jordan, they visited the place believed to be where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Later, in Israel, the Russells enjoyed time at the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea where they stood in many places described in the Bible.

One of the many highlights of the trip was participating in the annual lighting of the Bethlehem Christmas tree among the Palestinians in Bethlehem. This event was marked with speeches and special performances, including an appearance by Yacoub Shaheen, the 2017 winner of the television show “Arab Idol.” While at the Sea of Galilee, they had “St. Peter’s Fish,” a traditional fish lunch served to tourists and pilgrims. It was also traditional to bite the head off the fish. Yum? The weather was perfect — sunshine and 60s to 70s the entire time, except for a few drops of rain in Jordan as they were riding to the border crossing into Israel.

Meanwhile the kids got to stay at various times with friends and relatives and did well with that.

Pete and LaVerne Bennett became the parents of a grandfather on Dec. 8. Their son Rick and Michelle’s son Ryan and wife Shawnna’s baby was born in Salem, where they live. His name is Elliot Phillip and is Pete and LaVerne’s first great-grandchild.

Pedee Church’s Christmas schedule includes a Christmas Eve morning service at 10, and their traditional community candlelight service and children’s program on Christmas Eve at 7.

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