A good friend of the late Dan Barile, prominent Farragut businessman Phil Dangel, took up the torch to honor the long-time farragutpress editor/publisher and Vietnam combat veteran.
A tree planted in McFee Park Friday morning, Dec. 15, along
with a plaque culminating that effort — which included a brief ceremony — came almost one year after Dan’s sudden death Dec. 21, 2016.
“Phil Dangel asked me what I wanted and what I thought that the Town should do for Dan, because he put his life out for this Town,” Terry Barile, Dan’s widow, said.
“I said ‘plant a tree’ and Phil took care of it,” she added about the owner of The Shrimp Dock chain of stores in Farragut and surrounding areas.
Terry Barile was joined at the ceremony by family members Danielle Barile Presnell, Dan’s and Terry’s daughter; their grandson, Bryson Presnell, and their son-in-law, Zac Presnell.
There was nothing random about a shummard oak being the tree of choice, planted just a few feet from a walking/bike trail stretching along the southern border of the park.
“I picked it because the tree, when it gets bigger, is going to be very, very colorful, which was Dan: very colorful,” Terry Barile said. “And it’s an oak: he was very strong.”
“Dan was a devoted family man, he was a strong oak for his family,” said Tony Cox, Dan’s former boss as president of Republic Newspaper, Inc., who fought back tears during the ceremony. “I can’t think of a better tree to plant here for him.
“He meant a lot to this community, he meant a lot to our [newspaper] family. He was a great teacher — and a great photographer,”
added Cox, who also serves as farragutpress publisher and Chief Manager of Horne Radio, LLC.
“I think there are better journalists out there today because of him.”
Cox joined farragutpress department heads and other newspaper employees along with other friends and citizens at the ceremony.
Those included Louise Povlin, alderman with Farragut Board of Mayor and Alderman, and David Purvis, a member of Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance.
“Thank you, Phil for having the generosity to memorialize Dan this way,” Cox said.
“Dan, thank you for everything. We miss you.”