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In memory of Monte Outdoor sculpture at Detroit Lakes church

The Old Rugged Cross sculpture will be dedicated this Sunday, Oct. 11.

When Detroit Lakes resident Monte Jones was diagnosed with cancer almost five years ago, in November 2004, he had already begun working on plans for a cross sculpture on the grounds of Grace Lutheran Church, where he and wife Karen were members.

"He dreamed of something in the courtyard that everyone could enjoy," said Karen, who will be on hand for the sculpture dedication this coming Sunday, Oct. 11.

When Jones passed away almost two years later, Karen took up the project -- and this past July, the sculpture known as "The Old Rugged Cross" was completed.

The sculpture was modeled on a wall hanging owned by Monte's longtime friend, Gina Blake.

"I went with what he (Monte) had planned out -- it was going to be quite a lot smaller (than the finished sculpture)," Karen Jones said.

But as planning progressed, both the size and location of the sculpture were changed, to make it easier to view from the road.

"It's in the corner of our back parking lot -- very visible from both Roosevelt (Avenue) and Highway 34," said Rev. Eric Lemonholm, pastor of Grace Lutheran.

The cross structure was designed with the assistance of Norm Danielson, who helped plan out what would be needed to anchor it in place, Jones said. Mike Sandberg did the welding on the sculpture, and a group of volunteers helped put it into place.

Then, it was time to begin landscaping. With the help of landscape designer Blair Westrum and Anderson Gravel -- which donated the large boulders for the landscaping -- the project was finally completed by the end of August.

Sunday's dedication will take place at the conclusion of Grace Lutheran's Sunday morning worship service, which starts at 9 a.m.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454