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Former Bluebird owner honored with bench plaque

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The Tracy family pose on the bench that honors David Tracy’s life. Sitting is his wife, Marjorie, and standing are his two children, Donna and Larry.
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The Tracy family looks over the bench with David Tracy’s plaque on it for the first time.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

A former longtime Morristown resident was honored for his dedication to the community with a plaque on a bench next to the Bluebird on Tuesday.

The family of David Tracy, former owner of the restaurant, joined Debbie Tracy for a celebration in front of the bench, which sits just feet from the restaurant.

“I think it’s pretty great,” Donna Tracy said. “(It’s) just a nice honor for Dad.”

Debbie Tracy, the wife of Neil, who is a cousin in the family, decided a year ago that David should be honored with the plaque. Due to a busy schedule including moving into a new home, Debbie was unable to reveal the plaque to the family until recently.

Larry Tracy, David’s son, said he was “overwhelmed” that the time was taken to put it together.

“He’s missed by us terribly and seeing this done by the town, it’s pretty fabulous,” he said. “We thought a lot of Dad. It sure seems the town did too.”

After the Bluebird suffered damage in a fire in 2013, particularly in the bar, David Tracy asked his family what they wanted to do. They left it up to him.

“He said he wasn’t done yet,” Donna Tracy said.

The restaurant re-opened 41/2 months later, and the bar followed suit the following New Year’s celebration.

Debbie Tracy said she wanted to find a way to honor Larry’s memory. She reached out to Elaine Wilhelm, who jumped on board and helped make it happen.

“This is a small town, a small community,” Debbie Tracy said. “Everybody knows everyone. So David was important in the community and I wanted to acknowledge that.”

Donna Tracy said David wouldn’t have liked the plaque because he didn’t do things for the recognition.

But the gesture was appreciated by the family nonetheless.

“I know they miss their dad,” Debbie Tracy said. “It’s just a gesture that I wanted to do.”