The Deep Roots of Rick’s Legacy, by Anne Caffery

Trees…an integral part of our valley and in our lives. Chances are that wherever you’ve called home, at some point in your life there was a tree, maybe you climbed it or raked its leaves, you sat beneath its leaves for shade, or you carved letters into the gnarly bark. You might come from a family of skiers or hikers, gardeners or privacy seekers, trees work their way into all of our stories and in many ways they live forever.

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Memorial has had a tree, “…a sentinel tree,” said Dennis Pedemonte (who knows each and every plant on the campus). This beautiful white birch changed with the seasons and became a permanent part of the Memorial family, visible from any part of the campus. It stood a beacon for countless years, shimmering leaves and branches, a metaphor for life.


As the time for Rick’s tenure as CEO to transition into a new season, Dennis and his tree friends recognized that in circle of life serendipity, it was time to remove the tree. The base of the tree, its very heart, was taken to Dr. John Barany’s hilltop wood shop. Using a room sized lathe, they carved layer after layer from the tree, turning the wood until a beautiful bowl emerged. The timeworn markers of a beautiful life, perfect rings and riveting burls. This bowl was presented to Rick with cards of notes and appreciation.


The roots Rick and that magnificent tree put down will endure, as that bowl will hold things for Rick in his home, we at memorial will hold on this campus and in our hearts all that Rick gave and will continue to give through his legacy here at Memorial.

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