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Memorial garden dedicated at KDMC

Under a beautiful sky painted in one of Sue Fenn Minter’s favorite shades of blue, friends and acquaintances gathered Wednesday at King’s Daughters Medical Center for the dedication of the Willing Hearts Memorial.

The garden — filled with fragrant blossoming flower bushes, red brick walkways and wooden benches — was established in Minter’s memory. It’s located at the entrance to the hospital’s emergency department.

On the wall by the garden, under a four-foot Maltese cross — the symbol of the Willing Hearts Circle — is a 40-inch-by-43-inch plaque designed to bear the names of Willing Hearts members after they have passed away. Two names have already been added — Minter and Carolyn Oldham. Both died this year.

The cross was built by Minter’s husband, James, who owns B&O Machine and Welding.

Minter, an artist and volunteer from Brookhaven who died in January, was heavily involved in KDMC and Willing Hearts.

“We really wanted to create a reverent area of reflection and prayer that pays tribute to such a selfless person as Sue,” Wanda Hart, chairman of the Willing Hearts Circle, said earlier this year when the plans for the garden were announced.

Several dozen people, including Hart, attended the dedication ceremony of the living memorial Wednesday morning.

“It just seemed like the perfect tribute for Sue and other Circle members,” Hart said.

Jeff Richardson, director of the KDMC Foundation, said the idea for the memorial came from Mary Lu Redd and Pat Duckworth.

The two women approached KDMC CEO Alvin Hoover about creating a memorial.

“Alvin didn’t just say yes, he said ‘Let’s do more,’” Richardson said.

Hoover’s vision was to expand the memorial to include the garden.

“The concept is this awesome garden that you see today,” Richardson said.

Construction of the garden was made possible through donations from the KDMC Foundation and the Silver Cross Foundation.

Minter, who enjoyed acting at Brookhaven Little Theatre and creating art, would often say no to volunteer opportunities because she was so active with KDMC and Willing Hearts.

As beautiful as the garden is, with flowers chosen in colors and varieties that Minter loved, she would have been too humbled by the dedication to accept it, her husband said.

“Sue would have thought that someone else was more deserving,” James Minter said of his late wife. “Both Mary Lu and Pat think that Sue held more positions in the Circle than any other individual, as well as going on to hold positions for the International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons in state and international service. So we would have had to sit Sue down and sternly tell her that yes, she is the deserving one. Get used to it.”