Remembering Anne St. John and a legacy of Quincy Trees for Tomorrow

Anne St. John 1

Anne St. John, left, and Tom Friye. | Photo from Quincy Trees for Tomorrow

Anne M. St. John died on July 29.

It’s unlikely there will be named legacies honoring Anne.  She is among the many self-effacing folks who made a true difference in our community, unconcerned about personal recognition.

A quote from Timothy (1 Timothy 6:7) welcomed Anne to her celebration of life held Saturday, August 20: “For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain we carry nothing out.”  

True enough.  

But what have we left behind?

Legacy of Trees for Tomorrow

Among Anne’s legacies for this community is the work of Quincy Trees for Tomorrow. There were other legacies, of course, many personal and thoughtful.

A decade and half ago, Anne was concerned about gaps in Quincy’s tree canopy.  Along with Tom Friye and a few friends, Anne spearheaded the founding of Quincy Trees for Tomorrow.  

Anne’s foresight became even more imperative as the community sought to address the devastation caused by a July 2015 storm. Straight line winds damaged or uprooted many of our grandest trees along streets, in parks and in neighborhoods.  Quincy Trees for Tomorrow led an effort to fund the planting of nearly 500 trees. 

A tree that was uprooted during a windstorm in Quincy in 2015. | Photo by Jim Rapp

Anne’s efforts brought recognition to Quincy. Quincy Trees for Tomorrow was acknowledged with a Governor’s Hometown Award and has been largely responsible for Quincy’s frequent recognition as a Tree City USA. 

A key to the organization’s success was Anne’s ability to involve and excite public officials, donors and volunteers, all looking to tomorrow.  

Let’s not overlook how important that is and, quite often, challenging to achieve in our community. We frequently contend we can’t or shouldn’t or simply give up with a “but this in Quincy,” rather than pitching in and making an idea a reality. Anne beamed her infectious smile and encouraging chat to make things happen.

Our Giving Tree?

Most of us have read Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.”  Is it a story of unconditional love, or a tale of outright selfishness?  Either way, there had to be a tree to give or from which to take.

What Anne has given us are trees for tomorrow.   

There’s something special thinking that generations in the future will see and admire what one person and few who joined her effort started for our community.  A person and folks who will likely be unknown and forgotten.  

Timothy was correct. “We carry nothing out.”  

But what will or can others say we will have left behind?

Thank you, Anne.

Jim Rapp has been practicing law for nearly 50 years and has been published and speaks extensively on estate planning, business, education lawcivil rights and other legal matters. He is a founding partner of Muddy River News LLC. 

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Muddy River TV+

Current Weather

Trending Stories