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Citizen of the Year Linda Pease and First Responder of the Year John French will be honored at a reception from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20th, at City Hall, hosted by the Friends of the Wynne.
Citizen of the Year Linda Pease and First Responder of the Year John French will be honored at a reception from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20th, at City Hall, hosted by the Friends of the Wynne. Pease and French were recognized by the Huntsville Item in February.The City will formally thank them at the beginning of the City Council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers.Pease is the Cultural Services Coordinator for the City and Director of the Wynne Home Arts & Visitors Center. She has been instrumental in the Wynne Home’s success and was a key player in the establishment of the Cultural District, designated by the Texas Commission of the Arts in 2009.Sam Houston State University professor Mike Yawn said Pease has numerous attributes that make her a worthy Citizen of the Year. He says he knows of the long hours she works in devotion to her job. He noted that Pease lends her talent, energy, and time to numerous good causes across the community, including volunteering at the COME Center in the past, serving through the First United Methodist Church, and being involved in various endeavors with SHSU.Pease said she has enjoyed every minute of working for the City of Huntsville over the past 42 years.“I started at the Public Library doing outreach programs, especially for children. I am very happy with my time spent with the Huntsville Enrichment Activity Program (HEAP), that hosted over 1,000 kids each summer,” Pease said. “It has been gratifying to be part of the downtown revitalization and coordinating with the artists and architects.”It was the development and eventual establishment of the Wynne Home that Pease said has been marvelous.“My initial reaction was shock at being named Citizen of the Year. There are so many people that are deserving,” Pease said. “I love this community and am very grateful.”Pease is active in efforts to add historical markers locally, with the State recently approving a marker for the Bishop Ward Industrial Training Institute.“It is that she is being recognized for all the love and hard work she has given the city and its citizens,” said Nancy Gaertner, President of the Friends of the Wynne. “It has been a great pleasure to work with her. We couldn’t be happier to host this reception for the recipients.”French is currently serving as City Marshal with the Huntsville Police Department.“This is a humbling experience for me. I love working for the City and the people. You get to see people at their best times and their worst times. Sometimes a citizen just needs a comforting shoulder to cry on, a hug, and good advice,” French said. “I look forward to working many more years with the City.”He has held various positions, including Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Corporal, and Senior Officer, according to his wife, Kari French, who nominated John through the Item.“First responders serve their community with passion and dedication. Those who have the courage and honor to put others before themselves possess a rare and unique trait. It takes leadership, commitment and sacrifice to be a firefighter, police officer, volunteer, husband and father all in one. John French is a man with compassion and integrity, who takes pride in his family and career. John helps others with a giving spirit and a big heart. He has an unwavering commitment to the values of service with dependability and a professional attitude,” Mrs. French wrote.French serves as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Huntsville Fire Department, is currently serving as 2nd Assistant Fire Chief, and with the Crabbs Prairie VFD, serves as the Assistant Fire Chief and Treasurer. French is also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B).For more information about the reception, call the City Secretary’s office at 936-291-5403.