Memorial trees for long-time Marysville community members Walt McKinney and Mike Ferri were planted on Oct. 1 at Kiwanis Park.
A ceremony at the park brought together family members, community members and local officials who remembered and honored the two men and their many contributions to the community.
“We’re looking forward to remembering two of Marysville Kiwanis’ finest,” said Doug Buell, Marysville Kiwanis president.
The club usually commemorates its long-time members with similar ceremonies.
“It is a club tradition that holds importance to us,” said Buell.
The Marysville Kiwanis are a local service club that focus on benefiting children.
Ferri passed away on Dec. 3, 2019. He was a long-time Marysville postmaster and a volunteer for the Kiwanis Club for many years, including serving as treasurer for multiple decades.
“I read a little article and it said ‘I love people who have no idea how wonderful they are and just wander around making the world a better place,’ and that sounds like Mike to me,” said Ferri’s wife Elaine Ferri. “He made my life better. He made my children's lives better and he was a wonderful stepfather to my three daughters."
Buell said Ferri gave back a lot to the community.
“Right away he became one of the pillars of this community with year-round community service,” he said. “He enjoyed volunteering and held various leadership positions."
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said Ferri was always a positive person.
“When you’re starting your day you want to run into people like Mike because they brighten your day,” Nehring said.
Whenever Nehring was at events he would be greeted by Mike, he said.
“I got to see Mike quite a lot because the Kiwanis are so great at supporting our events, whether it’s the Fishing Derby or the Merrysville for the Holiday parade,” said Nehring.
McKinney passed away on Dec. 9, 2018.
“He was heavily active in Kiwanis in multiple ways. He served multiple years as the president,” said Buell.
“If we had a fundraiser out at the rest stop he always worked the graveyard,” said Kiwanis member Tom King.
King said McKinney loved helping out with holiday events.
“When we ran the fireworks stand it was the same thing, Walt was always there,” said King.
For volunteering for more than 25 years with the Kiwanis he received the Legion of Honor award.
“You don’t have to go far to find out how much he meant to so many people, from Kiwanis to so many community members,” said Nehring.
McKinney was an Air Force veteran and served for 26 years with the Marysville Police Department, retiring as the assistant police chief.
“I wasn’t always a member of this police department, but I really appreciate the contributions that Walt made to make this a better community,” said Marysville Police Chief Erik Scairpon.
Marysville City Council member Jeff Vaughan said he learned a lot from McKinney.
“I served on a committee where he was the chair person and he taught me more about the right way to run a public meeting than anybody else I have ever served with,” said Vaughan.
More information about the Marysville Kiwanis Club is available at marysvillekiwanisclub.org.