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Holiday treesJoe Dercher holds a photo of his late wife, Ann Dercher, and the holiday tree in her honor. The tree pays tribute to Ann, founder of the St. Joseph Watchdogs neighborhood group, and it won first place in the holiday tree competition at City Hall this year. (Staff photo)
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Holiday treesAnn Dercher decorated a holiday tree at City Hall in 2011. (File photo)
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Holiday treesDenise Bell of Neighbors Who Care community group on Nov. 21 placed a decoration on the group’s holiday tree in the lobby of City Hall. The tree won grand prize. (Staff photo)
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Holiday treesThe top of a holiday tree that won the grand prize this year at City Hall is a tribute to those who perished in fires. It was from the Neighbors Who Care neighborhood group. (Staff photo)
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Holiday treesThe second-place winner in the holiday tree contest this year at City Hall was from the Parkwood Colony neighborhood group. (Staff photo)
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Holiday treesSeveral neighborhood groups have decorated holiday trees on display in the lobby of City Hall.
Two years ago, I took a photo and wrote a column about the holiday trees at City Hall and the neighborhood groups that decorated them.
A photo of Ann Dercher of the St. Joseph Neighborhood Watchdogs was included with the story. She climbed a ladder two years ago to decorate her group’s tree.
This year, the St. Joseph Neighborhood Watchdogs holiday tree is a tribute to Ann Dercher, who died in September of this year.
Her husband, Joe Dercher, was standing by the holiday tree during the holiday lighting ceremony this year to tell people about it. The tree was decorated with various ornaments, photos, items and objects that Ann made over the years or that spoke of her achievements.
Ann and Joe Dercher founded the neighborhood group, the St. Joseph Watchdogs, and worked with it for many years. Ann was the president of the group, and they both participated in many activities, including fundraisers and patrols, to improve their neighborhood.
Last year at this time, Ann received a Neighborhood Leadership Award at the Community Policing luncheon. She also previously won a state award.
Ann served 12 years on the City Planning Commission and received a proclamation from that board for her service. The proclamation says she consistently demonstrated, through words and actions, a deep passion and love for her community. The proclamation also says she will be remembered as a “small but mighty” city planning commissioner and her “never give up” personality.
“She deserves it because she was good with people,” Joe said. “She ought to get the citizen of the year because of what she did.”
Married to Ann for 53 years, Joe Dercher said he definitely misses her.
To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.