GUERNSEY - In November, two grieving neighbors Cis Hofer and Pat McCord shared an idea. Both had lost the men in their lives, Danny Hofer and Stan Bennett. Within a block around them on N Nebraska Avenue, two other Guernsey men had passed away, Paul Martinez and Harold “Fuzzy” Wright.
Cis has a large full cedar tree in her front yard. Pat suggested that it be decorated for the holidays as a memorial to all recently deceased family and friends of Guernsey residents. Cis wasn’t sure how the idea would be accepted. But as she talked to families and friends who had lost loved ones, the idea was joyfully accepted and grew larger than she or Pat expected. The notion of a memorial to lost loved ones spread like wildfire.
Ornaments and decorations were brought to Cis. Some ornaments have names and comments written on them. Others are symbols of what the beloved person enjoyed. Friends donated lights and helped with decorating.
One Guernsey resident stated that in the past three years, she counted 38 friends and family members who have passed away due to variety of causes. Some may have grown up in Guernsey and moved away, but still had family in town. Some were close friends of Guernsey residents. Tiffany Dean of Gorman Funeral Home has counted 33 deaths in Guernsey in the past two years that the funeral home assisted with.
Many feel the Memory Tree has been a blessing near the end of a very hard couple of years. It brings smiles to those who are grieving as they look for their ornaments and see the beauty of the whole tree when lit. Due to many requests, Cis plans to decorate the Memory Tree again next year.
Her house is at 82 N Nebraska. Any one wishing do drop off ornaments or decorations for loved ones can leave them on her back porch on Ontario Street. She is beginning to take ornaments down and storing them for next year.