SYRACUSE — Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Club held a dedication ceremony Sunday, April 8, in Syracuse Lakeside Park, where two benches were placed in the memory of Josephine H. “Jo” Butler, who died unexpectedly Aug. 4, 2017, at the age of 80.
Representatives of the Syracuse, Milford and North Webster public libraries each also received copies of National Garden Club publications, The Saved Seed and The Frightened Frog in honor of Butler, who taught at Syracuse Elementary for more than 30 years.
Butler was a garden club member for “many years,” said speaker Pam Schumm, and during that time served in many capacities, including treasurer. She also chaired the geranium sale, the club’s largest fundraiser. After Butler’s death, Schumm added, the club found “it took many people to do what she did alone.”
Contributions were made to the garden club in Butler’s memory after her death, and with those funds the club chose to honor her with the placement of two benches in Lakeside Park near the flower beds she helped maintain. One of the benches was donated by the manufacturer, Polywood.
Park Board President Dave Van Lue, who also spoke — along with Garden Club President Marty Cesco and Secretary Linda Harkleroad — praised the garden club’s beautification efforts around town. “The garden club is just awesome,” he exclaimed, adding it makes him “proud to live here.”
Also in attendance were representatives of Syracuse Parks and Recreation, Garden Club members and many other friends and family.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held at Syracuse Community Center.