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A Rotary Moment: Lorrie Parker Garden, Morris Garden 2 additions to Montgomery’s Memory Park

September rains bring lots of green grass and lush foliage in Memory Park!

Memory Park in Montgomery, located behind the Charles B Stewart West Branch Library, is a beautiful site at any time, but particularly so after a rain. The birds are everywhere, the fish are jumping and the plants enjoy the drenching. I’m wondering if the family of rabbits who were there at opening still reside on the east side around Rainbow Bridge Garden – mom, we’ll have to check that out.

There have been several additions to the park this year. We’ll highlight two of them today and save the others for next week.

Rotarians Lorrie and Gary Parker, who were among the first to purchase bricks in the Rose Garden prior to opening day in 2005, recently saw work on their family garden completed. They created the “Lorrie Parker Garden” in memory of Lorrie’s dad, Wilbur Rowe and her mom, Geraldine “Jerry” Rowe. “I am from Ohio” said Lorrie, “as were my parents, and when my dad passed, of course, he was buried as was my mom, in Ohio. I wanted to have a special place here in Texas just for my parents. Memory Park is the perfect place because not only does it have a lake but it also adjoins the library. Growing up, our summers were spent at our lake house cottage in Michigan. During my high school years, my parents and I were visiting colleges back when I was trying to decide which school to go to. At each school, my dad insisted on going to each of the school’s libraries. The bench that was placed at my parent’s area faces the library. I hope that the special place at Memory Park brings some peace to those who have lost a loved one or maybe going through a difficult time. I know it does for me. Just walking around Memory Park lifts the weight of any burdens I may have and a sense of calmness wraps around me like a warm blanket in a cold winter.” The view of the park and the library from that location is beautiful indeed, and when the flags are up, their reflection in the water adds an additional breathtaking dimension. The garden includes a “witches cauldron” that belonged to Lorrie’s mom. Gary helped installed drip lines to the pots to water the plants. Also in the garden is a stone for Lorrie’s Dad, which declares “He Sang It Like He Lived – With All His Heart” followed by the words to the beautiful “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

The second garden is called “The Morris Garden” and is the creation of Christina and Bill Rathbun. Jack Morris, Christina’s ex and the father of her two sons, passed away earlier this year after battling a chronic condition for a long time. Six months later, the family lost Jason, the older of the two sons, from a sudden heart attack. Jack was great friends with Bill and remained a fixture in the Rathbun’s lives, the guys often sharing a good scotch on the porch and razzing Christina. The loss of both Morris men was made even more difficult because of COVID-19. It was a sad time for the family, made a bit better by the planning and creation of the garden, located by the waterfall and stream. “Memory Park is a place I spend time meditating and connecting with my loved ones in Heaven…the serenity of the Morris Garden gives us an inner peace connecting spiritually with Jack and Jason.” I know that area well, and it is indeed one of the most peaceful spots in the park. I can close my eyes and feel the serenity from afar.

To learn more about Rotary contact Kris via email at

[email protected]

or text 713 825-0141. Also see the website and facebook pages of any of our local clubs, or the Rotary District 5910 website at www.rotary5910.org
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