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July 29, 2009 > Larry Milnes honored

Larry Milnes honored

By Mary Wolfe
Photos By Connie Chew

Larry Milnes, retired City of Fremont employee, was honored by the Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) for his many outstanding contributions to the arts in Fremont at the annual member dinner at Saki's Spin-A-Yarn restaurant this past June 22nd. In addition to the installation of FCAC officers and reports from member arts organizations, the highlight of the evening was a 'This is Your Life, Larry Milnes' program presented by Mary Wolfe.

During Larry's 29 years with the city he has been responsible for design and/or development of much that makes Fremont an outstanding community today. Larry started working for Fremont in 1959, shortly after the 1956 city charter was granted, and was able to take advantage of the unique opportunity to raise his family in the same city he was helping to plan and develop. Larry and his wife Elinor have four children, all of whom grew up and attended school in Fremont, as well as seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Between the day he was hired as City Engineer and Public Works Director and his retirement in 1988, Larry oversaw the design or redesign and construction of almost every street, road and highway interchange in the city, the Police and Fire 911 Dispatch and Records Management System, the development of Central Park and project management for construction of the Fremont Main Library and much, much more. His work as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for East Bay Regional Park District during development of the EBRPD Master Plan resulted in Ardenwood Historic Farm Park, Mission Peak, Quarry Lakes, Niles Canyon Trail, Vargas Plateau and more--some say that he has positively impacted the development of Fremont more than any other single person.

A hallmark of Larry's career has been his emphasis on helping people and solving problems. Larry is active in civic affairs, having served as a former board member of the FCAC, founded both the Pathfinders Toastmasters and the South Bay Engineer's Club, and is a 38 year member of Niles Rotary. He was instrumental securing the city owned Matsumoto house near Tak Fudenna stadium as a home for the Fremont Cultural Arts Council, which administers the facility as a home for local non-profit and arts related organizations.

In recognition of this and other contributions he has made to support the arts in Fremont, Margaret Thornberry, FCAC President, concluded the program by presenting Mr. Milnes with a framed certificate of recognition, followed by a formal resolution honoring Larry for his many accomplishments from the City of Fremont, presented by former City of Fremont Mayor Don Dillon and signed by current Mayor Bob Wasserman and the City Council.

Many family members, associates, friends and neighbors attended, enjoyed the dinner, and added their reminiscences. The evening closed with comments by Larry himself.

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