Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Tree Memorial Ceremony

This is an annual ceremony held in Monterey Park to honor residents who have devoted their lives to improving the quality of life in our hometown.

The event held on June 4 at Garvey Ranch Park was to honor Herb Motonaga and Catherine Wills.


Herb Motonaga’s family, friends and elected officials celebrated his life with a tree dedicated to him in Garvey Ranch Park.  He volunteered at many city events’ including the Cherry Blossom Festival, Easter Egg Hunt and Play Days.



Kathy Wills with her husband Ty, friends and elected official celebrated her many accomplishments and her volunteering to the city with a tree dedicated to her in Garvey Ranch Park.

Dan Costly from the Parks and Recreation Department introduced Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Wong, Councilmember Hans Liang, City Clerk Vince Chang, City Treasurer Joseph Leon, former Councilmember Francisco Alonso, Trustee of the Los Angeles Community College Mike Eng, former City Clerk Dave Barron, Tommy Tseng who represented Congressmember Judy Chu and members of the Historical Heritage Commission Jim Iwaki, Erlinda Ortega and Vickie Le.

Mayor Pro Tem Wong welcomed all to this event to honor these great volunteers to the city. It is because of you they have served the community and at all of the events. Monterey Park residents are from all over the world. We work as a family and a term. He said the parks are to be upgraded to enjoy life in Monterey Park.  He thanked Herb Motonaga and Kathy Wills for what they have done in Monterey Park. We enjoy a peaceful life in the city.

Councilmember Liang thanked all of guest for being here today. He thanked Mr. Costly and the staff. He met Kathy Wills several years ago. She is a strong support of Monterey Park. She wants to keep our fire department. He congratulated her for all of her accomplishments. He said the Herb Motonaga died this year. He met Herb who served with him on the Park and Recreation Commission. As a member of the Eastside Optimist Club Herb helped him in the club. He thanked Herb and is happy to see the trees are at the entry of the park.

City Treasurer Leon thanked Herb Motonaga’s family for his service to the community. He thanked Kathy Wills for her service to the community.

Trustee of the Los Angeles Community College Mike Eng stated that it is a great afternoon to celebrate. Why a tree? It is a gift from heaven. It starts in the dirt and its roots are buried deep in the ground. He remarked that Kathy Wills and Herb Motonaga are sturdy in the city. They have helped the city grow. They are the protectors of Monterey Park. He joked that his wife, Judy Chu likes to eat Hawaiian food and often visited Herb at his restaurant. He called Kathy an exceptional person who cares for everyone. He reminded her husband Ty that Kathy is an incredible woman. It is wonderful that Kathy and Herb get this remembrance. We have 13 parks in Monterey Park. Thank you all for caring.

City Clerk Chang joked that he thought that Kathy Wills would have gotten a tree a long time ago. She supports the community and keeps involved in the city. She has many friends. He congratulated her. Herb Motonaga was a great guy who was interested in all of the city parks. He belonged to the community.

Dave Barron thanked everyone.  He is proud to be here today. He nominated Herb Motonaga who was the heart, soul and conscience of the Eastside Optimist Club. They discussed issues at City Hall.  Herb would be proud of the revamping of the parks and the 110 cherry trees planted at this park. He congratulated the Motonaga family.

Nancy Arcuri thanked Herb Motonaga for helping her at the Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Eastside Optimist Club. He gave her tips on taking great pictures. When he retired he advised her that the camera is now hers. She asked God’s blessing on Herb and his family.

Delario Robinson said Kathy Wills is a delight to know. They are members of the Monterey Park Democratic Club along with his wife, Diana and Joan Merino. She is beautiful and graceful with style. She puts her husband Ty before the city. She is one of the finest people that will ever walk the earth.  A tree is a great symbol that she walked the earth.


Tommy Tseng presented a proclamation to Kathy Wills from Congressmember Judy Chu. He thanked the City Council and the Park and Recreation Department for honoring and memorializing Herb Motonaga and Kathy Wills.

Terry De Wolfe recalled that Herb Motonaga received the “People Who Make A Difference Award” in 2009 for his service to the community. Kathy Wills is a long time friend. She wrote up her memories in “The Citizen’s Voice” newspaper when it was in newsprint. He gave a list of highlights of her life from moving to Egypt, being a stand in the “10 Commandments” and her career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff for 24 years. She is dedicated to the city and a gift giver a Christmas. Kathy honors her husband every year at his birthday. She is dedicated to Monterey Park.


Kathy Wills proudly displays a picture of her dancing with a “NO on FF” sign during one of the many rallies to keep our hometown fire department in the city.

Emma Lemus has worked for Kathy Wills for the last 18 years. She is happy that she met Kathy who has added her and her daughters to her family.

Nancy Arcuri thanked her long time friend Kathy Wills for her friendship and love. She joked that Kathy should still continue to write for the electronic version of “The Citizen’s Voice” newspaper as the readership is still interested in her remarkable life. She asked God’s blessing on Kathy and her family.

These trees stand at the main walkway in Garvey Ranch Park to all to walk under and enjoy their shade on a warm summer day.

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