The late John F. MacEachern, a lifelong Arlington resident, left roughly $147,000 for town trees and another $45,000 for Robbins Library in his will.
MacEachern’s best friend, William Reilly, announced the donation at Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting. The two grew up together in East Arlington, Reilly said.
“He was proud to be from Arlington. He loved Arlington,” Reilly said of his friend.
“The thing he cared about most was Arlington,” he added. “He used to give me a hard time because I moved to Winchester.”
Reilly attended the meeting with another one of MacEachern’s friends and a few of his Godchildren, including Reilly’s son, who used to call MacEachern “Uncle Mac.”
Selectmen expressed their gratitude for MacEachern’s gift. “Obviously his life was a tremendous gift to the town of Arlington as well,” Selectman Kevin Greely told Reilly.
According to his will, MacEachern would like the $147,000, 13 percent of his estate, to go toward planting new trees and the maintenance of these trees. He would also like a small portion, less than $10,000, to go toward a nice tree in East Arlington’s Waldo Park next to a bench with the following plaque:
“In loving memory of John F. MacEachern (“Uncle Mac”) for his unending and unsurpassed love of all people, places, and things related to Arlington, Massachusetts.”
At Robbins Library, MacEachern wants the $45,000 solely to go toward making audio books available through online access.
The board referred MacEachern’s requests forward to the town’s Public Memorials Committee with the “strongest recommendation” that MacEachern’s wishes be fulfilled.
We hope to update this post with more information about MacEachern and a photo of him sometime Tuesday.