Public ceremony set to honor Tom Heap Oct. 16

Mark Wilson
Tom Heap

Following the recent death of city building official Tom Heap, two redwood trees will be planted near the river walk alongside the Paluxy River in Glen Rose to honor his memory during a public ceremony starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.

Glen Rose City Administrator Michael Leamons said that Heap’s family, in Erath County, has had a private memorial service for him, but noted, “This is something we felt like we could do” in his memory.

Leamons said that the significance of the dawn redwoods stemmed from the fact Heap had planted some redwoods several years ago when lived in California.

“He was a developer at that point (in California), and they had not had redwoods (in that city),” Leamons said.

After moving to Texas, Heap was a building inspector for the city of Stephenville, before taking a job as building inspector and code compliance officer for the city of Glen Rose in 2016.

Leamons said that he along with Mayor Pam Miller and Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers are planning to attend, and the members of the City Council are invited as well.

The city of Glen Rose offices will be closed during the ceremony so that employees will be able to attend as well.

Those attending will be able to speak at the memorial if they wish to do so, Leamons said.

Glen Rose City Secretary Stephanie Ritchie said that the memorial will be near the east end of the boardwalk, between the walkway and the river.

The two trees being planted will be dawn redwoods (aka metasequoias), which are a fast-growing type that typically grow to at least 165 feet in height. They will be planted at least 25 feet apart, Ritchie noted.

“We’ll all be there. Everybody’s invited,” Ritchie said, noting that the city has also reached out to invite Heap’s family members in Erath County.

“It’s a time to remember Tom, and people will have an opportunity to say something,” Leamons added.