Above: The two new benches and three new trees planted this spring in memory of Mark Gee. Submitted photo
Mark Gee was a walker. He rode a bike around too, but he was a particularly avid walker, especially in his later years. The former state senator, EG town councilor and EG Fire District commissioner thought nothing of walking from his house on Middle Road to downtown East Greenwich, or to head in the other direction on Middle Road to the high school and the Fry Brook Recreation Area.
Gee died in June 2022. To honor him, his wife, Dana Gee, decided a fitting tribute would be to add a couple of benches along the Fry Brook Recreation Area trail.
“He was a furniture fanatic as well, so benches seem apropos,” Dana Gee said. Starting last summer, Dana worked with Andy Wade and Bill Pagliarini from the EG Community Services and Parks Departments on what and where on the trail would be best. They developed a plan to install two benches and three trees by the exercise pad there.
Dana paid for the material and the town kicked in the labor.
“The benches were delivered over the winter and Bill’s guys put them together,” Dana said. “They were so kind and did an amazing job. I think Mark would be pleased as [the benches] will last and are actually very comfy!
One of the benches is dedicated to the memory of Mark; the other bench is “a seat for Mark’s childhood imaginary friends, Gowky, Sutter, Peas, & Mr. Hooten.” According to Dana, Mark was the youngest of four children but was far younger than his siblings, so he made up his own beloved companions.
So, if you happen to find yourself at Fry Brook and are in need of a break or just desirous of some quiet time with nature, there is now a spot to rest and perhaps contemplate long friendships, real and imagined.
Read more about Mark HERE.