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How do you want to be sent off?
March 8, 2019

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It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to another village leader as Lake Placid Community Beautification Association co-founder Conni Cross died on Sunday, March 3.

As we were gathering comments from the community about Conni's life and legacy, we learned that board members and staff from Lake Placid Beautification were spending two days at the M. B. Clark Funeral Home building a garden inside the parlor where Conni's casket was placed during the March 6 calling hours. It was the brainchild of funeral home director Mark Clark.

A wake was turned into an event, complete with planters, benches, topsoil, mulch, an indoor water fountain and tons of flowers.

"There's even a grapefruit tree here," said Lake Placid Beautification director Cherise Bixler, who took over the position from Conni in 2016.

A month ago, retired Olympic Center general manager Denny Allen was given a funeral on the ice of the 1980 Rink in the Herb Brooks Arena, where the U.S. hockey team won gold during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. His casket was draped with an Olympic flag, and two Zambonis joined him on the ice along with pallbearers and the Rev. John Yonkovig, the pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church who officiated the Mass.

The settings for Denny's funeral and Conni's wake were appropriate for the work they did and the legacies they left Lake Placid. We're sure they would have been pleased with these events.

This is how it should be. While we are saddened by these losses, it's healthy to celebrate the lives of our dearly departed friends, neighbors and loved ones. Among the many flowers, there were dozens of photographs showing milestones in their lives and happy memories through the years.

It gets us wondering, how do we want to be sent off when our day finally comes?

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