(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce has planted a tree to honor a businessman who passed away earlier this year. Jeff Kitchen, who died in April, is being remembered with an oak tree in the front yard of the chamber offices on South Spring Street.
Chamber President Phil Fritsche says he could not think of someone more deserving than Jeff because of his love and passion for the organization. Fritsche says during discussions on the type of tree to plant, everyone came to the consensus that an oak tree would be appropriate because it would put deep roots in the property like he did.
Jeff, an owner and broker at Century 21 Real Estate, served as chairman of the 18-thousand-member Wisconsin Realtors Association in 2005 and 2006. He was the only person to be recognized as the Beaver Dam Chamber’s “Member of the Century” during the group’s 100-year anniversary in 2013.
Earlier this year, Jeff and his wife Shirley were named the Citizens of the Year by the Beaver Dam Chamber. They were singled out for their involvement in numerous local charitable non-profits, as board and committee members, and were acknowledged for their generosity and hard work in the community. Shirley, who was in attendance at the planting on Saturday with their children, said they were honored to plant the oak at the chamber, which Jeff loved so much. Shirley says Jeff always felt that a strong Chamber builds a strong community.
A plaque in front of the oak tree is also being installed to denote his dedication to the organization.
Watch the ceremony here: