By Shereen Siewert
Pine Grove Cemetery officials are inviting the public to attach the names of lost loved ones to a remembrance tree in honor of Patty Grimm, the Wausau cemetery manager fatally shot Oct. 3 by a former employee.
The tree, dubbed “Patty’s Tree,” will be placed in the cemetery this week with an official lighting ceremony in December.
Pat Haskin, of the Wausau Cemetery Association, said she is reminded daily of Grimm’s legacy of goodness and caring.
“Not a day goes by when I don’t hear a story from someone about Patty,” Haskin said. “She was just so good, so kind to everyone.”
Grimm, 52, was a Wausau native and worked as the manager of the cemetery, 1501 Grand Ave., Wausau.
Former cemetery employee Henry “Hank” West, 64, faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide, 11 counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, three counts of attempted arson, one count of arson of a building without the owner’s consent, and resisting or obstructing an officer in connection with the shooting. William Buhse, 60, and Rosemelia Short, 70, were also wounded in the attack.
“It is sad to say that a tragedy can bring a community together, but the best part is that Patty certainly knew how to love people and they loved her,” Haskin said.
The lighting ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. Mayor Rob Mielke will attend, Haskin said. Community members are encouraged to bring along names of loved ones to hang on the tree, using material that will resist disintegration in the weather.
“After the holidays you may stop and retrieve the remembrance,” Haskin said. “Come help celebrate a life well lived.”