Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roger Epperson Ridge Dedicated

Roger Epperson was an amazing person. Besides his lifetime of dedication, as Park Supervisor, to increasing, preserving and improving the East Bay Regional Parks (San Francisco Bay Area), he was an accomplished jeweler, musician, camper and great friend and husband. When he died in a rafting accident in December of 2008 it was a shock to everyone.

Today, I attended the dedication of Roger Epperson Ridge, one scenic part in the center of the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, a place that he transformed, with his crew, into a beautiful natural vista with a stunning view of Mount Diablo. And this place, where he also enjoyed hiking and camping when he wasn't working, contains his ashes, buried beneath a special rock that he declared his burial stone during his lifetime.

Some said that the icy winds and overcast were part of the "Roger weather" (he was rugged and fearless in all conditions), but it made no difference to the dozens of relatives, friends and longtime colleagues who gathered to celebrate his life.

Bob Doyle, Roger's longtime friend and also the General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, spoke, as did Beverly Lane, President of the Board of Directors of the district, Doug Fowler, a ranger who worked with and learned much from Roger over 25 years, and Carol Alderdice, Roger's widow--who is also a park ranger. All of the speeches were heartfelt and brought out the essence of this amazing man we lost too soon.

A catered lunch and a guitar and violin duet provided a very pleasant event in an area more sheltered from the wind.

The stone in the photo contains this dedication text:


This ridge is named in memory of Roger Epperson (1954-2008)
in recognition of his significant and lasting contributions
to the East Bay Regional Park District and
the landscape he loved.

On the back of the rock were words made famous by George Harrison: "All Things Must Pass."

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