“Papa” is Peter L. Green, Skyler’s grandpa, who died of cancer Jan. 13 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 73.
Skyler, who has her grandfather’s blue eyes, says she talks with “Papa” every now and then. “Papa” was at the tree dedication Thursday, Skyler said, and she also said he was happy about the tree being dedicated in his honor. Skyler said her grandpa hoped it would be a purple tree.
The local Keep America Beautiful makes a dedication to KAB board members and/or their families as a remembrance when someone passes away.
This tree was picked specifically by his eldest daughter, Cheryl Dunson, a KAB board member, because it was a London poplar tree and her father was born in England. The location was chosen next to the Greenway about a quarter mile from Santek Environmental, where Cheryl Dunson works. The tree will be “rouge” in color. That was close enough to purple for the little granddaughter.
Tears were being wiped away as the Green family and KAB board members finally saw the tree for the first time.
“It’s tall, like Papa,” said his youngest daughter, Jacki Short.
“I have mixed emotions,” said Barbara Green, Peter L. Green’s widow. “I feel sad, but I feel fortunate. I feel I have many blessings. It’ll be nice when I come to visit to come by the tree to reminisce and think.”
And a tree was perhaps the most appropriate dedication possible.
Cheryl Dunson’s pastor, Guinn Green from the Kinser Church of God, told Peter L. Green a story before he died. A member of his congregation asked the pastor to meet her in heaven at the second tree on the right after she died. Cheryl Dunson’s dad asked Pastor Green to do the same with him. So the tree — and a plaque that will be added soon — was the perfect choice to honor her dad.
“I’m very, very honored,” Cheryl Dunson said. “It’s humbling that people think enough of my dad and me and my family to do this.”
And what would her dad think if he were here?
“Wow!” Dunson’s mom, Barbara Green, said dad would have said. “I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve anything special.”
But his daughter Short disagrees.
“He did for everyone else,” she said of her dad.
Green was born in England and immigrated to America in 1972 with his wife, Barbara, and his two young daughters, Cheryl and Jacki. He and his wife were married for 49 years.
He was a retired boilermaker, business owner and member of the Masonic Order, as well as a member of the St. Andrews Pipe & Drums. He attended Faith Presbyterian Church in Seminole, Fla.
Green played a number of instruments, enjoyed traveling, and was an avid sports fan, as well as golfer. He enjoyed working out at the gym, and riding his motorcycle. He also was an ardent Florida Gators and Pittsburgh Steelers supporter.
This particular memorial was suggested by board member Bondy Hackett. She suggested a tree be planted and dedicated along the Greenway near board Dunson’s place of employment, Santek Environmental, so she could visit it often.
Dunson’s mom, her sister, Short, and niece Skyler, traveled from Florida to attend the dedication.
Anyone interested in have a tree, etc., dedicated to a loved one can reach the Shade Tree Board in Cleveland by contacting The Public Works Department at 423-472-2851.