Chilli Soup: Berchtold memorial garden dedication Saturday

Marianne Gillespie
Chilli Soup: A hearty blog about Chillicothe written by Chillicothe Times-Bulletin editor Marianne Gillespie.

Family and friends of the late Judy Berchtold will dedicate a garden in her honor Saturday.

The public is invited to the dedication at 2 p.m. in the new section of Chillicothe City Cemetery. (If you enter on the Sixth Street side, it is in the middle of the open area to the right of the road.)

With open ground around it, the 14-by-9 foot memorial garden has the feel of a tranquil place, including a bench to rest awhile.

Jo Ellen Wood, a member of the Judy Berchtold Memorial Committee, told the Chillicothe City Council earlier this year Berchtold’s four children needed a place to go and remember their mother.

The council gave the committee the green light in May for the garden. Alderwoman Judy Cantwell told the council then that it is rare to have a group come up with a plan like this, fund the project and then have plans to maintain it.

To make the garden a reality, the committee raised money through a motorcycle ride the past two years, with this last year raising almost $4,000. For next year, the committee is making plans for flowers and possibly a tree.

Berchtold was shot to death April 11, 2009, at the intersection of Illinois Routes 29 and 17. Her estranged boyfriend, Tony Smith, was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this year and killed himself only a short time after his sentence began in prison.

Chilli Soup is a hearty blog about all things Chillicothe, written by Marianne Gillespie, editor of the Chillicothe Times-Bulletin, who enjoys chili from Steak N Shake.