Photo courtesy of Tecumseh.ca.

Walk Honours Tecumseh Councillor’s Legacy

Walkers will honour the memory of a local town councillor at a weekend event.

The Michael C. Rohrer Heart and Soul Walk will take place in Tecumseh Saturday morning, in memory of Mike Rohrer, the Ward 2 councillor who died suddenly of a heart attack on May 28, 2016 at age 45.

Rohrer is still being remembered as a family man who put the interests of the town of Tecumseh first.  His sister Jennifer says he always wanted to help people.

“He was someone who always gave, always wanted to right a wrong,” says Jennifer.

Almost a year has passed since Rohrer’s death and Jennifer says she still hears about the work her brother had done for the community.

“Every day someone will come up to me and say ‘I knew your brother’ and share a story with me.  The outpouring is humbling to see,” says Jennifer.

The walk on Saturday will benefit the Hotel-Dieu Grace Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program in an effort to call attention to the heart condition that ended Rohrer’s life prematurely.  A point of interest on the walk will be the intersection of Riverside Dr East and Kensington Blvd, which has been renamed Michael Rohrer Blvd.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara recalled a story on how a constituent took walks in that area and had approached Rohrer soon after he was elected about putting a bench at that location.

“Michael called me and he said, ‘You know, this elderly gentleman makes a good point.  We should have a bench there, it’s part of the trail system.  What do you think?'” says McNamara.  “I said ‘Well, why don’t you come in and we’ll have a chat with the parks department’, and that’s exactly what occurred.”

McNamara says the bench was built at the corner within a few days and Rohrer himself would often sit on that bench waiting for his young children to get off the school bus each day.  Beach Grove Golf and Country Club, where Rohrer was a member, is nearby.

Additional improvements to that area include a low-maintenance garden.  This project was one of a number that was approved by town council in December 2016 as part of Tecumseh Parks and Recreation’s Five Year Capital Plan.

The Ward 2 council seat was vacant until Bill Altenhof was elected to fill it in a special election last fall.  Nevertheless, McNamara says Rohrer is still sorely missed around town hall.

“Michael was a strong community activist going way back,” says McNamara.  “Politically he was certainly well-engaged in the community… a very strong family man, not only with his immediate family but also his own siblings.  Michael was the go-to guy for everything.”

The walk on Saturday begins with registration at Lakewood Park at 9am.  Walking begins at 10am.  Registration is $30 per walker including refreshments, and pledges are welcome.  For complete information on the walk, click here.