In Opinion

By Joe Melroy, Commissioner

Joe Melroy Commissioner – Port District #3Ridgefield lost one of the people most influential in creating
this special place we call home with the recent passing of our
longest living resident John Burrow, just a month or so ahead of
his 105th birthday.

If you didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him, its important
to understand that if you appreciate this community, you were
touched by this man’s love of, and commitment to Ridgefield.
Like a few others of his generation, he sensed Ridgefield’s
destiny was to become a special place, so he worked to protect
its future. He did this through many years of public involvement,
including as the Mayor of Ridgefield in the 1960s and for many
years before and after with a quiet determination to make
Ridgefield the best it could be.

John didn’t shy away from change; moving Ridgefield forward
was in his DNA. If he thought change would make things better,
he fought for it. Five years ago, he said he could see why a new
I-5 bridge across the Columbia was necessary. “To build our
economy we need to be able to connect.” At 100 years old he
was still thinking about improving things!

John believed this community was capable of anything; if we
could think it we could dream it, if we could dream it we do it,
and if we worked on it we could make it happen. Ridgefield has
proved that to be true time and time again. It’s folks like John
Burrow who shaped our past and our present, defining what’s
become a core value of our community.

With John’s passing, Ridgefield’s future is entrusted to us. As
we dedicate this issue of PortWorks to him, I know at the Port
his memory will live on as the embodiment of the “can-do” spirit
of Ridgefield in shaping its destiny. The best way we can honor
him is by following his lead. John, we won’t forget you. R.I.P.

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