Perry Public Library dedicates Wilford Roberts Memorial

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
Members of the Wilford Roberts family, including Kyle Baxter, Mindy Baxter, Cash Baxter, Reese Baxter, Rhonda Olson and Bill Olson, pose for a photo with the table and chairs placed in his memory in front of the Perry Public Library during a dedication on April 7.

The newest memorial at the Perry Public Library was dedicated during a ceremony on Wednesday.

The library held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 7 with the Perry Chamber of Commerce to celebrate its reopening after a recent renovation. Library Director Mary Murphy also helped dedicate a new table and chairs.

More:Perry Chamber holds ribbon cutting at Perry Public Library

Murphy said they were approached by Wilford Roberts’ family to put up a table and chairs outside of the library, near where the popcorn stand sits during the warm months. 

Rhonda Olson, daughter of Wilford Roberts, was on hand for the dedication ceremony along with her husband, Bill, and other family members.

“There were always chairs out here when the popcorn stand was up. He always sat up here because he was so proud of the popcorn stand,” Bill Olson said. 

Wilford built a replica of Mrs. Council's original stand, which still serves popcorn today outside of the Perry Public Library. The newly dedicated table and chairs are located near where the stand will sit with a plaque in memory of Wilford H. Roberts. 

A plaque on the table and chairs recently placed in front of the Perry Public Library. A dedication was held on Wednesday, April 7.

“He’d always sit in one of the chairs and eat popcorn while (the stand) was open and visit with all the people,” Bill Olson added. “That’s why we figured the chairs would be a good memory for people to sit at and eat popcorn or with their computers."

Murphy thanked the Wilford family for the library’s most recent memorial.

"We’re honored to have this memorial and it’ll be a fixture for everybody who comes and gets popcorn, who comes and wants to hang out at the library," she said.

She added after the dedication ceremony that the library has received multiple memorials over the years, including books, artwork, benches and more.

“We’re honored to receive memorials,” Murphy said. “The library is blessed to have this position in the community that people think of us for memorials.”

Library Director Mary Murphy helps dedicate the Wilford Roberts Memorial table and chairs with members of his family during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 7.