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Pavers provide lasting way to honor loved ones

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Ken Roy, 58, has seen a lot of changes in his life.

But he concedes that his mother, Helen, who just celebrated her 92nd birthday, has seen more.

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"When she was interviewed a few years ago about what she thought was the biggest change in Somerset, she said that now people mainly speak English," Roy said. "Back in the '30s and '40s, she said they spoke French."

The Roy family planted its roots in Somerset in 1893 when Isaac Roy, born in 1839, moved from Ephraim, Canada. The family has maintained a farm in the area ever since.

It's fitting then, that the Roy family has their family members' names forever enshined in pavers at the Old Town Hall.

"It just seemed like a good thing to do," Ken said.

Ken is one of three sons born to Henry and Helen Roy, the grandchildren of Isaac. The trio purchased three bricks: one for Henry and Helen; one for the brothers - Tom, Bob and Ken; and one for Tom's family (Tom, Monica and their four kids).

Ken and Bob live in St. Paul, Minn., but Tom, 69, still lives two miles from the home farm in Somerset. Two of his children have also kept Somerset as their home. Tom has served as the Somerset fire chief and now is the chair of the Fire and Rescue Commission for the Town of Somerset.

The bricks will be displayed in the Old Town Hall on Main Street until they can be installed in the walkway this spring.

The family also supplied a family tree and some family photos that will be displayed in the library as part of Somerset history. The Old Town Hall Committee hopes to eventually use the 1886 building for a permanent display of Somerset heritage. The bricks are the primary fundraiser to maintain the building and grounds.

For more information about purchasing a memorial brick, visit www.townofsomerset-wi.org or call 247-3470.

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