Family and friends honor late Mon Health patient with memorial garden


KINGWOOD, W.Va. – Family and friends are honoring a former Mon Health patient with a memorial garden.  

Mildred Thornton Lindley was a patient at Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital during her battle with cancer. After she passed away in 2019, her family wanted to do something in her honor. Mildred always had a passion for gardening, so her family decided to build one along the walking path of the hospital.  

“As someone with a deep appreciation for nature and a love of gardening, this garden serves as a lasting reminder of Mom’s life-long passion for gardening,” Mildred’s son, Garth Lindley explained. “I work for the University of California, Davis’ Arboretum and Public Garden because of my mother’s influence. In everything we do at the Arboretum, we try to find as many ‘wins’ as possible, and so my vision is that this garden is just the beginning. 

On Tuesday, the family spread some of her ashes in the garden and planted a tree in her honor.

“We have a walking path that goes right by this, Melissa Lockwood, Mon Health’s chief administrative officer, said. ” So, it’s a great, beautiful spot for people to get that healing power from it.”

Family and friends spreading ashes in the garden

Lockwood provided financial and administrative support for the project and worked with several other people, businesses, and organizations to build the garden. Sara Saurino, of Studio on Stony Run, designed the garden, and Modern Homestead provided the plantings. 

“It would’ve meant a lot to her because that was her lifelong passion of gardening,” Garth said. “She grew up in Ohio on a farm and gardened there and was a master gardener and was part of the garden club. That was always just her passion. She instilled that passion in me, obviously, and so it would have meant a lot to see this happen.” 

Garth hopes that this garden will inspire other families and community members to surround the entire PMH facility with beautiful gardens so that patients and family members can enjoy a beautiful landscape while facing some of the most stressful times of their lives. 

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