Memory Benches Growing In The Park

Memory benches to honor departed loved ones are being placed in Green Valley Park to replace the aging, existing benches.

Memory benches to honor departed loved ones are being placed in Green Valley Park to replace the aging, existing benches.


A couple of months or so ago, while on my cool-down-from-jogging lap around Green Valley Park, I noticed what appeared to be a new park bench on the lake’s north side, with a shiny plate attached to the middle of the bench’s back.

Curious, I sat down on the bench to get a better look at the plate, which in part read “In Loving Memory of Our Parents, Caroline and Robert Markey ... From Their Family.” I remember my thoughts at that time were — what a terrific way to honor and remember a loved one that has passed on.

In a conversation with the Markey family, daughter Caroline told me, “In Mom and Dad’s nine years of living in Payson, they always loved going down to Green Valley Park, whether it was exercising with a walk, having a picnic or just relaxing by the lake. We thought honoring them with a bench would be something they would really like.”

Since my first encounter with the Markey bench, I’ve noticed that two more memorial benches have popped up alongside the park’s sidewalks. One honors Saige Bloom, a Payson teen who one year ago this month tragically lost her life in a car accident.

The other has been purchased by the family of Doris and Omar Lemmage. Daughter Lynn said, “Our parents always enjoyed Green Valley Park. They walked many evenings there and always enjoyed the outdoor concerts, which is why we asked that their bench be placed near the concert ramada.”

Two additional benches are in the immediate planning stages. One is a special project and will be in a brand new location, near the parks and rec building and right next to the lake. It has been donated in the memory of Don Dieberger, who was a member of both the Payson Flycasters and Trout Unlimited and is informally, in Don’s memory, being designated as a “fisherman’s bench.”

Parks supervisor Nelson Beck told me, “We have 16 benches currently in Green Valley Park. The memorial benches that we are putting in each replace one of the aging, existing benches that are in the park. This is a new project for us and we’re still working out all of the details for it.”

If you would like more information about how you can help our parks department upgrade the park benches in Green Valley Park (the new benches are really attractive and way more comfortable than the existing ones) and at the same time honor a loved one who has passed on, you may call Nelson Beck at town hall, (928) 474-5242, option 7.

What a wonderful way to remember a loved one by saying “I Will Always Love You.”

This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the music artist who sang the 1993 No. 1 hit “I Will Always Love You”?

This R&B singer-actress was born in 1963 in Newark, N.J. She began her singing career at age 11 with the gospel group The New Hope Baptist Junior Choir. As a teen she worked as a backing vocalist for both Lou Rawls and Chaka Khan.

This multi-talented celebrity pursued a modeling career in 1981, appearing in Glamour magazine and was on the cover of Seventeen. She starred in the movies “The Preacher’s Wife,” “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Bodyguard.” She was married to Bobby Brown from 1992-2007 and is the cousin of Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. She passed away in 2012.

Is this “I Will Always Love You” artist: A) Mariah Carey, B) Madonna, C) Whitney Houston, or D) Janelle Blizzard?

This week, if you’re the fourth caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of this week’s artist’s greatest hits.

Last week’s question

Last week’s music trivia question asked if you could match the following Motown artists with their respective No. 1 hits?

A) The Supremes, B) The Four Tops, C) The Jackson 5.

1) “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” 2) “I Want You Back,” C) “Baby Love.”

The correct matches were: The Supremes — “Baby Love” (October 1964); The Four Tops — “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (October 1966); and The Jackson 5 — “I Want You Back” (January 1970).

Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Barb Lindley, of Payson, who won two tickets to this past Tuesday’s Masters of Motown concert, compliments of the Tonto Community Concert Association. Barb is now a three-time music trivia winner. She last won about two years ago.

A final note

Please remember to support the Hashknife Pony Express Riders who will be galloping to the Payson Post Office parking lot next Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. to pick up the Hashknife special delivery mail.

There will be free Hashknife bandannas for the youngin’s, that can be autographed by each of the more than 20 riders. There will also be cookies and juice and announcements of the elementary school Hashknife coloring contest winners.

See you at the post office!

DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482


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