Pioneer Family of 2017

May 8, 2017

This is Paul Janensch with a Treasure Coast Essay about the remarkable Idlette family.  On Saturday, Joe Idlette Jr., his wife Bernice and their progeny will be honored as the pioneer family of the year at the Vero Beach Heritage Center on 14th Avenue.  Writer Janie Gould tells their story in Indian River Magazine.  In the 1960s, Joe co-filed a federal lawsuit to integrate the public schools in Indian River County.  It took several years to get a favorable ruling.  In the meantime, the Ku Klux Klan talked of killing him.  Later, Joe was the first African American elected to the school board.  He and Bernice have six children, all of whom pursued successful careers, plus 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  For details about the dinner, go to veroheritage.org.  I’m Paul Janensch.