A city park now bears the name of the man who came up with the idea to create it.
On Saturday, May 11, the park which had been called People’s Park was renamed Jim Boyer Park during a dedication ceremony.
“As a tribute to him, the city decided to name it Jim Boyer Park. He would just be so excited about that,” Joyce Boyer said of her late husband.
He passed away on Dec. 5, 2012.
Jim served as Waupaca’s mayor from 1986 to 1994 and also served a total of 16 years on the Common Council.
The lot on the corner of Harrison and Granite streets became a park during his tenure as mayor.
“The house on the corner was a detriment to safety. It was built too close to the street,” Joyce said. “When the people put the house up for sale, Jim suggested the city buy it, tear it down and make it a park.”
With an apartment building in the neighborhood, he thought it would be nice to have a park for the people living in the neighborhood, she said.
“They always called it People’s Park,” Joyce said.
As family and friends of Jim gathered on Saturday for the dedication ceremony, the couple’s daughter, Deb Fenske, joked, “We put Dad in charge of the weather.”
It was a cold, windy day, with a few sprinkles at the start of the ceremony.
Orange was Jim’s favorite color, and grandchildren held orange balloons, on which they wrote messages to their grandfather.
At the end of the dedication, they released the balloons. Some of the balloons became tangled in a nearby tree, while the others floated away.
Joyce once asked her husband what he was most proud of accomplishing during the years he served as mayor.
“It was the little things,” she said. “The park was probably the biggest thing.”
Flowers were beginning to appear in the park, and Joyce said a son and daughter-in-law purchased two rose bushes to be placed by the sign.
The family also bought a picnic table and birdhouse for the park.
“We’d love to do more things,” Joyce said. “I know Jim would have been embarrassed. He never really was in it for the glory.