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College's Teitzel Garden to honor past employees
Posted: 5/3/2011
Monday, May 16, 2011 3:00:00 PM
Teitzel Garden Since its founding in 1925, Centralia College has been known as a cohesive, home-town college. It has long attracted faculty and staff who treat students and each other as family and have established a tradition of service over the span of long careers.

The college and the Centralia College Foundation are now recognizing those who have exemplified that high standard of service and have since died. Such is the legacy of Margaret Teitzel who was claimed by cancer in 2002 after nearly 25 years at the college. The Margaret Teitzel Memorial Garden, a brick-paved walkway, has been created to recognize her and others who have given their time and energy to the college.

The college and the foundation are hosting a Teitzel Garden dedication ceremony on Monday, May 16, at 3 p.m., at the Garden, located in the walkway between the Health and Wellness Center and the Hanson Administration Bldg. The public is invited.

Some of those who have served the college and have since died are recognized with an engraved brick in the Garden; benches honoring Teitzel and a fountain honoring Russ Mohney, a writer for the college who died in 2010, are also part of the Garden.

Members of the college and general public are invited to purchase a garden brick to add the name of a friend or loved one to become part of the legacy of service. The individual named would need to have been an employee at the college for at least five years.

While anyone may purchase a brick—the cost is $25—the Centralia College Foundation will purchase bricks to annually honor up to three individuals chosen by a committee.

The idea for the garden was presented to Dr. Jim Walton, college president, by college staffer Nita Taylor following the untimely death of three college employees in 2007, each dying within a few months of each other.

The three were Helen Lucier, Sherri Wallace and Barbara Dodge.

In a letter to Walton proposing the creation of the garden, Taylor said: “It has made us realize that life is too short and all too soon our life could be over. (Some) wonderful people who have worked at the college have (died) and while they are missed there is nothing on this campus that shows they were even here. To rectify this, I would propose that the area between the (Health and Wellness Center) and the Hansen Administration Building be dedicated to those who worked at Centralia College and have passed on.”

The proposal is now reality.

Teitzel’s last job was Director of Facilities and Auxiliaries and her dream was to see the area now named in her honor to be beautified. She died of cancer before that was accomplished. This area would be a quiet place where individuals could come to relax, meditate, remember or reflect.

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