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Garden Club member memorialized at Arbor Day Ceremony

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
(Left to right) Gail Lonibos, Lorraine Gautreau, Priscilla Monson, Loretta Ramirez, Jamie Trisler, Loretta Speligene, Conchita Richey, Marilyn Rice, Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Janice Dick, Jean Burstall-Moran, Eddie Bowman, Gonzales Councilman Neil Bourque, Pastor Steve Berger, Mona Bickman, Terry Richey, Reba Wheeler, Dale Bowman, Ellen Richmond and Ross Mohler.

The Gonzales Garden Club held its annual Arbor Day Ceremony at the First United Methodist Church at 224 W. Constitution St. in Gonzales on January 19. The ceremony was in memory of Mrs. Ruby Nell Smith who was a member of the church and was a charter member of the garden club.

The program began with a welcome from GGC President Jamie Trisler. An invocation was then given by Pastor Steve Berger who also expressed the congregation’s appreciation for a tree in Mrs. Smith’s memory. Arbor Day Chairman Loretta Ramirez explained that a Savannah holly had been ordered and will be planted once it arrives.

GGC Member Marilyn Rice said of Mrs. Smith, "Miss Ruby Nell was a wonderful garden club friend and fellow church sister. Curt and I always called her the energizer bunny - she just kept going. We all loved her dearly and she is missed."

GGC Member and longtime friend Lorraine Gautreau added, “Ruby Nell was a good worker in the garden club and organized committees all through the years. In her later years, she would sit with people who were sick all through the night to offer them comfort and to relieve family members. She didn’t want people to go through illness alone. She did that with me for my brother and for my mother, and I’ll never forget her for that.”

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux noted that he always enjoys attending the Arbor Day Ceremony each year.

Live Oak Society Chairman Gail Lonibos spoke about efforts to advance the culture, preservation, and appreciation of the southern live oak. Chairman Ramirez read a poem “An Old Oak Reminisces,” written by deceased GGC Circle of Roses Member Willie Mae Montgomery, personifying an oak tree’s life from an acorn to grand old oak.

Club President Trisler thanked the pastor, mayor, councilman, congregation members and garden club members for attending the ceremony to memorialize Mrs. Ruby Nell Smith with the dedication of a new tree for her church on Arbor Day.

The Gonzales Garden Club is federated by the Louisiana Garden Club Federation and the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Contributed by Gonzales Garden Club