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‘The roots are in your heart’

Interagency Council honors Marketti’s memory by planting tree at courthouse

The Turf Team owner Ben Price (left) and worker Ray Guerrero plant the Terry Marketti memorial tree Tuesday morning before a small ceremony was held for the dedication of the tree. A plaque (belows) denotes the honor.
The Turf Team owner Ben Price (left) and worker Ray Guerrero plant the Terry Marketti memorial tree Tuesday morning before a small ceremony was held for the dedication of the tree. A plaque (belows) denotes the honor.

With a newly planted tree as a reminder, the Grundy County Interagency Council hopes the late Sheriff Terry Marketti’s dedication to the community will be carried on in everyone who knew him.

The council had a sugar maple tree planted on the Grundy County Courthouse lawn Tuesday, just east of the courthouse entrance, in memory of Marketti.

Marketti was a member of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department for 34 years. He served as sheriff for about 8 years. He died in his sleep this past December. The chief deputy, Kevin Callahan, was appointed by the county board to take Marketti’s place.

Interagency President Christine Sparks of Easter Seals told the crowd gathered for the tree planting that, like the roots of the tree that will be in the ground for years and years to come, “the roots are in your heart” of Marketti’s generous nature. She said she hoped they would carry on Marketti’s dedication to the community and spread it to others.

The plaque displayed near the tree reads: “In memory of Sheriff Terry Marketti with thanks for his many years of friendship, support, partnership and guidance. Grundy County Interagency Council May 21, 2013. “

Sparks invited anyone present to say a few words about the late sheriff.

“His smile and laugh will be remembered forever,” said Jennifer Price, president of Special Connections of Grundy County. “He would give without even being asked.”

Marketti purchased new uniforms and equipment for the Special Connections’ Special Olympics Team.

Other organizations represented mirrored Price’s comments reiterating his generosity both financially and with his time sitting on numerous non-profit and organization’s boards.

Denise Gaska, executive director of We Care of Grundy County, said Marketti was one of her first generous donors when she started with We Care. After running her first 50-50 raffle for We Care during a Morris Cruise Night, Marketti was the winner and donated the majority of his winnings back to help get her started with her new job.

“He was such a sweetheart and a good friend,” she said.

Marketti was a previous board member for We Care.

The kind words were concluded by the new sheriff, Marketti’s deputy sheriff and friend Callahan.

“I knew Terry for 30 years. He was a very good friend of mine, very community-minded and a very generous man,” said Callahan. “I will continue to be as good a sheriff as he was and be as generous as I possibly can for all the different organizations he supported.”

The Grundy County Interagency Council is made up of area social service agencies and non-profits to keep each other updated on programs, staff, funding, collaborations, and events.

The council purchased the plaque for the tree, The Turf Team donated the tree, and Sheriff Callahan arranged for the space at the courthouse for the tree.

For more information on the council visit the Community Foundation of Grundy County’s website,

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