After John Crady passed away in June his wife Carol decided she wanted to do something for the Village of Lyndon to honor his memory.
John’s nephew and wife Dean and Jeri Lynn Harrison suggested planting a tree in the village’s Richmond Park near the playground equipment as John loved to play with grandchildren.
An old work friend of John’s, Doug Harms, was contacted by Carol to plant a 15-foot magnolia tree, which was planted in the park last week. Harms is also the owner of Dial-a-Tree, a Rock Falls company which transplants trees.
Harms worked with Crady at the Northwestern Steel Mill in Sterling for thirty years and spoke of Crady’s incredible work ethic during the dedication ceremony. “I remember John worked 104 hours in one week and came back every day with a big smile on his face while everyone else was dog tired.” He also recalled that John used to like to run through Rock Falls and Sterling after his shift, while the rest of the workers were taking a shower and getting ready to go home.
Harms also raises homing pigeons and brought several in a crate to the dedication to illustrate a point about Crady. Speaking about how his friend would take off on runs after work by himself and eventually reunite with his shift mates before going home, Harms released about a dozen birds, representing the shift workers, while holding on to one pure white pigeon, that represented Crady. After about thirty seconds the white pigeon was released and quickly reunited with the flock just as Crady would do with his co-workers.
The Magnolia tree is expected to reach a mature height of approximately thirty to forty feet and should provide shade for the playground for decades to come.