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Swing set on plaza in memory of son

August 22, 2011
Kylie Saari , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Tom Anderson spent a lot of time on Downtown Plaza during his life.

Growing up on Blue Earth Avenue, he would walk to the shops on Fairmont's main street, attend karate practice downtown, and when he grew up, he worked at Picture This, Scrap That.

"Downtown was a big part of his life," said Sue Anderson, Tom's stepmother.

Article Photos

Don and Sue Anderson, Tom Anderson’s father and stepmother, sit with Susan Wilken, Tom’s sister, on a swing donated in his memory on Downtown Plaza.

Tom passed away Oct. 12, leaving his siblings and his mother and stepfather, Mildred and Jim Duflo, behind, in addition to Sue and Don Anderson.

To honor his memory and his history on Downtown Plaza, Sue and Don donated a swing in Citizen's Park.

"It was a natural fit that we would put a memorial down there," Sue said. "It overlooks where he worked."

Sue said the family gave memorial funds donated in Tom's memory to the Martin County Humane Society, and they planted a tree at the memorial park across from Lakeview Health Services.

But they knew they wanted something downtown as well with the remaining funds. Exactly what that memorial would be they weren't sure.

Tom's brother, who lives in LaCrosse, Wis., noticed sturdy, nice-looking swings installed around his town, and pointed them out to Don and Sue, who knew right away they wanted something similar for Tom.

"When his brother found the swing, we knew that was it," Sue said.

Citizen's Park, nestled between City Hall and Bank Midwest, is home to other memorials: The gazebo was given to honor a city administrator, and many of the benches and tables are in honor of others. The clock was given in part by the Fairmont Foundation, which collected funds as memorials.

"For a little park there are a lot of memorials there," Don said.

The swing fits in well with the park - the city had extra paving bricks they allowed the Andersons to use and helped them determine where the swing would go. And it is already getting use.

"We have driven by there and seen people using it," Sue said. Additional benches pulled up alongside it attest to its prime location as a gathering spot.

The swing soon will be fitted with a memorial plaque.



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