Another of Etowah Water and Sewer Authority's former board members has been honored with a tree planted in memory of service.
On July 9, former board member, the late Dr. R.E. "Doc" Mallernee had a tree dedicated in his honor in the authority's Garden of Distinction. Mallernee served on the board of directors from 1989-2004.
According to Etowah Water and Sewer Authority General Manager Brooke Anderson, the garden was created last year to honor past board members who have served the authority over the years.
"Our board of directors are not paid," Anderson said. "This garden is a way for us to remember and pay tribute to those that have served Etowah."
Last year, the first five trees planted were dedicated to the original five board members.
According to Anderson, Mallernee served on the board during a "very critical time" in Etowah's history, helping oversee the building of the sewer infrastructure and the placement of the outlet mall plumbing.
"He was very instrumental in our efforts to improve Dawson County," Anderson said. "Doc was very good about telling you what he thought. He had a great love for Dawson County."
Before moving to Dawson County and serving on the Etowah board of directors, Mallernee was an army dentist in Texas. After moving to the area, he served on the county planning commission as well as the regional development committee and on the authority's board of directors.
"Doc could have been at home and retired, but he chose to serve his community," Anderson said. "All his years on the board, he was never paid for it."
Mallernee's wife, Betty, was at the dedication.
"Doc would have been embarrassed if he were here," she said. "But secretly, he would have been proud of this."
Anderson said that the board was excited to honor Mallernee as the first of the next round of board members to be honored.