Thursday, July 22, 2021

In remembrance

Library bench honors memory of beloved Sumpter resident

Members of the Belleville Rotary Club, Sumpter Township officials and community residents are all smiles at the dedication of the Peter Quenet memorial bench at the Belleville Library Satellite Media Center. 

Area residents crowded the Belleville Satellite Library Media Center last week to remember a beloved member of the community.

A bench outside the facility, tied with a huge red bow, was officially dedicated to the memory of Peter Quenet, a long time resident of Belleville who died in 2017. The tribute to Mr. Quenet was instigated by members of the Belleville Rotary Club where he had 40 years of perfect attendance.

Belleville Library Director Mary Jo Suchy welcomed the public to the official dedication and urged residents to use the media center where several computer stations are available for use. The bench is outside the front door of the facility, which is located at 23465 Sumpter Road, directly across the street from Sumpter Township Hall, and includes a small brass plaque. Members of Mr. Quenet's family, including his wife of 21 years, Debbie Juchartz, were present for the dedication.

Debbie Juchartz, far right, widow of Peter Quenet,
along with daughter, Kathie, far left, mother,
Dore and son Dave Juchartz, attend the dedication
of the memorial bench at the Belleville Library Satellite
Media Center in Sumpter Township.  Photo by David Willett.

Mr. Quenet, who moved to Sumpter Township in 1971, served on the Sumpter Township Planning Commission and also served in several offices during his four-decades with the Rotary Club. He was born in Bideford, England and spent his first nine years in France. His family moved back to London during World War II and Mr. Quenet was among the  children evacuated to America to avoid the Blitz, and was on the same ship as Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall.  He returned to England where he graduated from the University of London with a Mechanical Engineering degree.  He proudly served a military tour as a lieutenant with the Royal Engineers in Malaya.  Upon discharge from the 17th Gurkha Regiment, he assumed a position with Ford Service Engineering where he developed a lifelong love of motorsports and rugby.  Later he became the service manager for English Ford, which involved training dealers from Maine to North Carolina.

The bench, along with the installation and ongoing maintenance, was funded by the Belleville Rotary Club as a tribute to Mr. Quenet's service and dedication to the community. The Sumpter branch of the library features internet, wireless, printing, scanning, copying and faxing. but no book collection is on site.