Irene Sunseri remembers decorating a Christmas tree that her father had planted on their Linwood Avenue property when she was a child.

Walt Burkey, a former borough street commissioner and one of Patton’s oldest active firefighters, died three years ago after living 93 long, memorable years.

But his memory lives on with this year’s 25-foot Christmas tree at Patton’s Fifth and Magee avenues – the same tree he planted and decorated with his kids years ago.

Mary Beth Allenbaugh and her family bought Burkey’s house shortly after he died, inheriting what seemed to be an ordinary fir.

But she and her husband soon realized that the tree had grown too large.

“We finally decided it was getting too big and in danger of growing into the power lines,” Allenbaugh said. “We didn’t want to just throw it away.

“We decided it was the perfect tree and size for uptown, and it just made sense to donate it to the borough.”

For years, Patton has accepted Christmas tree donations from residents whose evergreens have grown too large.

According to Secretary Donna Dunegan, in exchange for the tree, borough crews will cut it down and haul it to the center of town for the holidays.

“It started out as a Christmas tree, so it made sense for it to end as a Christmas tree,” Allenbaugh said.

Dunegan said anyone interested in donating future Christmas trees can call the borough office: 674-3641.

Trending Video

Recommended for you