2017-09-28 / Front Page

Lamppost dedicated in Gartrell’s memory


Family members on hand for the dedication of a lamppost to the memory of Pete Gartrell included (l-r) John Hall, Ken’nyiah Gartrell, Barbara Neal, Justin Gartrell, Trinity Gartrell, Hattie Gartrell, Peggy G. Martin, and Tommy Martin. John Singleton and Bambi Arnold (lower left) conducted the ceremony, and afterwards, family members admired the plaque installed on the lamppost. At right, Peggy Martin displays the T-shirt she had designed in her brother’s memory. Family members on hand for the dedication of a lamppost to the memory of Pete Gartrell included (l-r) John Hall, Ken’nyiah Gartrell, Barbara Neal, Justin Gartrell, Trinity Gartrell, Hattie Gartrell, Peggy G. Martin, and Tommy Martin. John Singleton and Bambi Arnold (lower left) conducted the ceremony, and afterwards, family members admired the plaque installed on the lamppost. At right, Peggy Martin displays the T-shirt she had designed in her brother’s memory. One of the few remaining lampposts in downtown Washington was dedicated in memory of Henry “Pete” Gartrell last Friday morning in a brief ceremony on the corner outside the offices of the W-W Chamber of Commerce, where Gartrell was serving as president when his untimely death occurred.

Private donors, through the Chamber of Commerce, had expressed a desire to honor Gartrell, not only for his love of family and friends, but for his lifelong humanitarian efforts and his service to the community of Washington-Wilkes. “Pete truly had a servant’s heart,” Chamber Director Debbie Bennett commented during the ceremony. “He served in many capacities for many years.”

Gartrell served on the Chamber’s board more than once and had been in his second term as president.

“Dedicating this lamppost in his memory seemed a most fitting way to perpetuate his memory in the community he loved so much, gave so much to, and to honor his efforts as a true community leader,” Bennett added.

Chamber Executive Director John Singleton read from the Bible, Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

“This was Pete’s mantra – his way – his plotted course in life,” Singleton added.

Downtown Development Authority member Bambi Arnold and Singleton unveiled the plaque.

In the closing prayer, Rev. Amethyst Wynn said, “He had a mindset of service left for us, to which we can aspire.”

The bronze plaque mounted on the lamppost reads, “Pete; Henry James Gartrell; b: February 22, 1948; d: August 22, 2016; Loved beyond measure; Missed beyond words.”


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