First Trail Bench dedicated to Richard Tietjen, Jr.

July 13, 2012

Family and friends at dedication of Richard Tietjen’s Shoreline Greenway Trail bench

On a beautiful summer day in June on a promontory overlooking the Stony Creek Trolley Trail’s eastern entrance, Shoreline Greenway Trail Board members and the family and friends of Richard Tietjen Jr. gathered to celebrate his life with the dedication of our first SGT trailside bench in his honor.

A Guilford resident, Richard was a dedicated founding member of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.  He used his computer expertise to establish and manage our organization’s first website and web communication systems for several years.  He advised  other Board members with many computer issues, always encouraging, always with his calm and wry humor.

Richard died in 2009 at the age of 57 after his courageous 14-year battle with lymphoma.  Undaunted, Richard, a passionate outdoorsman, continued to lead a full life, working, writing poetry, and riding his recumbent bike along the Stony Creek Trolley Trail, which inspired many of his poems.  We plan to display some of his poems near his bench and nearby in the SGT Trailhead kiosk at the entrance to the Stony Creek Trolley Trail off Tilcon Drive in Pine Orchard, Branford.

Richards’ parents, Louise and Richard Tietjen Sr.

Richard’s parents, Richard and Louise Tietjen, Sr. of Old Saybrook, generously established a Shoreline Greenway Trail bench fund for their son, to which many of their family and friends contributed. Through a family member, their contribution was enhanced with matching funds from the Doris Duke Foundation.

The wooden bench was designed and built by retired Branford builder and SGT Board member Pete Peterson.  It will be the prototype for future benches to be installed at vista points along the Trail.

We are grateful for Richard’s significant contribution to the Shoreline community though his invaluable volunteer work with Shoreline Greenway Trail.