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Tree planting approved in memory of crash victim

In a Kempner City Council meeting that included some controversy, the final action item Tuesday prompted praise, rather than argument, from city officials. The council unanimously approved an 11-year-old Girl Scout's request to plant a tree in Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park in honor of her late father. Guinevere Carey, a member of Troop 6005, sought permission for her troop to plant a tree in the park in memory of Anthony Gilbert James Carey. The 34-year-old died June 3 in a two vehicle crash in the 12700 block of U.S. Highway 190 in Kempner. Guinevere spoke to the council briefly, and her troop leader, Kasey Schwartzer, read the rest of the girl's comments when Guinevere was overcome by emotion. Just a few minutes

before the crash, Carey dropped off his daughter at the Kempner park, hugged her, told her he loved her and said he would see her later in the day. Guinevere asked to be able to plant a memorial tree near the ramp in the park, as "my daddy was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, and ... some of the best memories were there with my daddy." The type of tree is not terribly important, Schwartzer said, although the troop leader said she submitted a request for one of several that Guinevere likes. Troop 6005 will plant the tree and maintain it until it is well established, Schwartzer said. The group also may help with other landscaping needs at the park, she said. Mayor Keith Harvey offered his condolences to Guinevere and her family, and he said nothing can replace a father. Harvey said he was an adult when his father died, and he cannot imagine how he would have felt had he been a child when he lost his father. "Never forget those memories you have," Harvey told the young area resident. "Never forget the love, never forget the words, never forget the conversations." Guinevere thanked the mayor, and Harvey said he hopes the arbor will serve "as a tree of remembrance and as a tree of life." The mayor said he will personally place Guinevere's father's memorial stone in the monument at the park. Those in attendance applauded heartily after the council approved the request for the memorial tree. Councilman Mack Ruskiewicz praised Guinevere for addressing the council. "That was a lot of courage -- and a true Girl Scout right there," Ruskiewicz said.

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