CRANBERRY TWP — For a man whose work brought the township its parks, the Jerry Andree Endowment Fund seems an appropriate way to honor the recently retired longtime township manager.
At a board meeting Jan. 4, supervisors and colleagues presented Andree with parting gifts typical of a retirement party, including a photo book, a book of “Jerry memories” and a gift certificate to Bedford Springs.
But they also unveiled three more public-facing monuments to his 30 years of township management: the renaming of a street in his name, a park bench and plaque featuring his likeness in a place of his choosing and a fund dedicated to the upkeep of township parks named in his honor.
Dick Hadley, chairman of the township supervisors, said the endowment idea came to mind when, after learning of Andree's impending retirement, many people reached out to the board asking whether there was a gift to which they could contribute. That sparked the creation of the endowment, which seemed appropriate tribute for his work since 1991, Hadley said.
Andree received his bachelor's degree in parks and recreation management before eventually becoming director of parks and recreation at Bensalem Township in Bucks County.
His work in Cranberry Township led to a thriving parks system, Hadley said.
The fund, which will be administered by Cranberry Township Community Chest, already had contributions from 155 people as of Jan. 4, with its balance sitting at $98,680.
“Your legacy will continue with a dynamic park system and will sustain that system for many years to come,” Hadley said.
Andree also will be remembered in the parks system with a park bench and commemorative plaque that will be in a location of his choosing.
A plaque will read: “Jerry Andree was a champion for the community, helping to build a place were everyone felt at home.” It will include a picture of Andree and read: “His legacy, which includes the park system, had an immeasurable impact on the quality of life in Cranberry Township.”
After seeing the parks that will be sustained by an endowment bearing his name and sitting on a park bench sporting his likeness, Andree will then be able to stroll down Jerry Andree Way, although the location of that street is yet to be decided.
“Jerry, I can't think of a better way for us to remember you,” Supervisor Bruce Hezlep said.
Other township employees extolled Andree's tenure in a video shared during the virtual meeting, and his daughter, Jennifer, read from Santiago, Chile, a statement from the family.
“I'm speechless,” Andree said. “I knew it was going to be emotional, but I'm overwhelmed with this. I'm honored, so honored, to work for such a great board. You guys have practiced good government, and there was no politics. You had a vision for the community, you held me accountable and you practiced good governance. I feel so blessed for my family behind me.”