The late Ken Garman was known for his work with bridges and his life of service to his community. A fitting bridge dedication ceremony was held in honor of the late Roxbury Lion Saturday on the Lions Club grounds in Lurgan Township.
Garman was instrumental in installing the beautiful walkway bridge on the Lions Club grounds, and family and friends were able to gather Saturday to dedicate the structure to his memory.
Garman sadly passed away on Jan. 29, 2018, at the age of 90.
Immediate Past President Dennis Alleman, who has served as the club’s president since 1984, began the ceremony by speaking about Garman’s life.
“He was born in Carlisle and he retired in 1988 from PennDOT where he was a bridge foreman, hence the bridge we now have,” said Alleman. “In addition to us, he was a member of the Roxbury United Methodist Church, Orrstown Lodge 262 F&AM, Valley Forest, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Harrisburg Consistory and the Shippensburg Scottish Rite Club. He was presented the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, an award that club sponsors recognize for long and distinguished service. He was a United States Navy Veteran and a member of the VFW and American Legion in Shippensburg. He did operate the Blue Mountain Roller Rink. For those old enough to remember, before the building was here, that’s where we had the Halloween and Christmas parties.”
Alleman said, “Getting a bridge approved back when they tried to do this was not the easiest thing to do. Ken would have had familiarity with how to do a project since that was what he did at PennDOT, but Ernie Tarner, who he knew, actually approved the project. We had an opportunity to purchase ground on the other side of the creek.”
Ray Swords said Garman was involved in a lot of projects at the club.
“He was a key figure in remodeling the inside of the building a couple times,” he said. “He took care of the bleachers and did all the spraying of the weeds. After we were chartered, we started shooting matches up at the back of the skating rink and the reason we have such a good shooting match today was due to Ken. He was really involved in everything out here and he was one of the best workers. I want to say Ken was a good friend.”
Alleman also shared a fun memory about Garman.
“One thing you could depend on when there was a fair was that Ken was going to cook the french fries,” he said. “No one has cooked more french fries for us than him.”
Garman’s granddaughter, Kristen Bushman, delivered a heartfelt speech about her grandfather.
“I was lucky enough to spend 25 years with my grandfather, and a lot of my time with him when I was young was spent at the Lions Club,” she said. “I played softball here and Pappy was at every game. I spent a lot of time learning how to use power tools and helping him make updates to the buildings and grounds. But the one thing I remember most is we would fish a lot, it was his favorite thing, and he would always tell me about how he helped build this bridge and he was so proud of it. I just want to say that he’s missed every day. I think he is looking down, and he is so happy right now that this is going to be his bridge.”
Garman’s brother, Wayne Garman, said the bridge is actually part of a tractor-trailer.
“They just took the wheels off of it and had a crane come in and set it,” he said. “But Ken would have been humbled by this dedication for him.”
Alleman’s sister-in-law, Crystal Alleman, is the club’s new president.
Crystal noted the club is always accepting new members who would like to serve the community.
“You can never have too many active hands,” she said.
For more information, search for the club on Facebook.