Murray UU Church
Memorial Garden Project

505 North Main St, Attleboro, MA 02703
 Phone: 508-222-0505
Email:   map/directions 



LEFT: Bill Morrow, Linda Saxton and Nancy Johnson working in the Murray Church Memorial Garden

From inception of the Memorial Garden, the MG Committee recognized that the loose pea stone that makes up the walking areas of the garden created a more difficult or less stable walking surface for those needing any walking aids.  The Memorial Garden Committee has long been wrestling with the problem – the issue blocking the “path” always being - what else, “money.” 

PHOTO ABOVE: Roger Boucher and Greg Wehmeyer working on the path.

About 5 years ago, Mary Whelan, as chair of the MG committee, collected estimates to have a brick path professionally constructed.  At that time the estimates were about $4,000 – out of reach of the committee.  You can imagine what the estimate would be today.

As the next chair of the committee, Tom Lamonte wrestled with the same issue. The funds for the Memorial Garden just couldn’t cover what it would cost for installation of a path wide enough for a wheel chair while keeping the sacred atmosphere of the outdoor sanctuary.  And one of the goals has always been to keep charges for interment of ashes in the MG as low as possible, raising the fee only when needed to cover the increased costs of maintaining the garden.

PHOTO: Some of the Memorial Garden Crew  gathered on   the nearly completed path. BACK ROW: Roger Boucher, Greg Wehmeyer, Linda Saxton, Mary Whelan, Adam Zysk, Bill Morrow, Inki  Hasselbaum, Rusty Morrow   FRONT ROW: Ivan (Roger’s grandson), Sarah Zysk & Nancy Johnson

In 2003-2004 I was the D&D “liaison to the MG Committee,” responsible for attending/reporting back to the D&D’s on the Memorial Garden.  When I reported the path issue to the D&Ds, they committed to help fund part of the monies needed for a new path by using a portion of the Memorial Gift Fund.  It took a little more time to find the rest of the money, but with a number of folks donating toward the new stone monument, we were able to reallocate some funds toward the path.  In addition, by having volunteers construct the path (after 2 volunteers attended an all day course designed for contractors building professional installations using Pavestone products), we were able to make this long awaited event happen over the summer of 2007! 

PHOTO: Sarah Zysk, Linda Saxon and Maura Zysk working in the Memorial Garden

The scariest part was taking a leap of faith and trusting in our congregation - that volunteers would show up to build the walkway.  We made an announcement in church and sent out letters asking for help.  A lot of folks called and said they’d keep us in their thoughts and hearts while they were away on vacation…I was more than a little concerned…but people came – 8 nights in a row to begin with and then 2 evenings during the work week and Saturday and Sundays for 4-6 hours for much of July and August.  I never knew how many people or just who would arrive each “work” evening.

PHOTO: The Murray Church Memorial Garden Crew sitting on the newly installed path. Back: Rusty Morrow, Linda Saxton, Inki Hasselbaum Middle: Nancy Johnson, Shelly (the Mallet) Freddo, Greg Wehmeyer, Bill Morrow Front:   Rob Hasselbaum, Adam Zysk  

The Memorial Garden Crew  sitting on the newly installed path. BACK ROW:  Rusty Morrow ,Linda Saxton, Inki Hasselbaum MIDDLE ROW: Nancy Johnson, Shelley (the Mallet) Freddo, Greg Wehmeyer, Bill Morrow.  FRONT ROW: Rob Hasselbaum and Adam Zysk

For those that came, it’s been a fun, hard, frustrating and fulfilling experience.  Also, a weight loss aid.  First we stripped off and hauled out perhaps 10 cubic yards of pea stone (gravel) and dug out approximately another 7 yards of sandy soil leaving the outline of a pathway 8” to 10” deep.  Second, we used a rented a “plate-tamper” to run over the soil in the ditch.  We mixed sand, what we had removed plus some we purchased, with some of the pea stone to refill 3” of the trench, tamped again, mixed more sand and gravel for another 3”, and tamped again.  We then carefully added another 1 ½” of sand which we leveled using long 2X4s.  Then came the “easy” part – laying the pavers.  The three circles came first – it was pretty exciting to begin to see the dream we envisioned become a reality.  Next came the curving paths connecting the circles.  Thank heavens our group of volunteers included a couple of engineers, and that everyone was dedicated to doing a professional job that will last a lifetime and more.  We wanted to get it right and we removed numerous rows of pavers and restarted the process 3 times before being satisfied that we had the right pattern and “feel” to the path. 

Memorial Garden Path Dedication

PHOTO: The Rev. Sandra D. Fitz-Henry leading the Memorial Garden Path Dedication on September 9, 2007. (Photo Courtesy of Bill Freddo)

The new stone monument was placed in the garden in September, 2007. The new Memorial Garden Path was dedicated after the first service in September as part of the Murray Church Memorial Garden and in recognition of those who helped make this endeavor possible.  

Members of the Memorial Garden Committee wish to express gratitude and appreciation to all of those who helped make the purchases of the new stone monument and the pavestone path materials possible and to those who have turned an already lovely garden into an even more sacred place in which to remember those members and friends of Murray Church who have gone before us.

The hard, physical labor of laying the path was done by an all-volunteer group who met more than 400 hours over some of the hottest days of summer to complete the work in time for the opening of this Church year. 

-Russet Morrow

A Special Thank You

Special thanks to the individuals, groups and families who contributed their time and funding towards creating the new Memorial Garden Path.

Roger Boucher & Ivan

The Bragg Family

Clara Barton Guild

The Rev. Sandra D. Fitz-Henry

Bill and Shelly Freddo

Christine, Phil, Stephen and Hannah Gadbois

Ingrid and Rob Hasselbaum

Sheila Jacobs

Nancy Johnson

Bill and Russet Morrow


Memorial Gift Fund Administered by the Deacons & Deaconesses

Morse & Beggs

Joann Oberbeck

Donna Palmer

Linda Saxton

Lauralyn Smith in Memory of Charlie Carpenter

Greg Wehmeyer

Mary Whelan

Adam, Maura, Patrick and Sarah Zysk



For more information about the Memorial Garden Committee, please click here!