KENNEWICK -- Pat Monteith had a dream: to pay tribute to a community leader who was like a father to her.
She wanted to honor Ed Gilbert, the former owner of Hubby's Pizza in Kennewick who died in a boat accident more than two years ago.
Today her project, which involved installing a bronze plaque with a safe boating message in Gilbert's honor in Lighthouse Plaza on Clover Island, will be officially unveiled at a private ceremony.
It's a fitting tribute, said Tana Bader Inglima, the port's director of governmental relations and marketing.
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The plaque will be a gentle reminder "not to boat under the influence," she said.
Gilbert was killed on the Columbia River on June 14, 2008, when Michael J. Nethercutt, then 52, rammed his boat into Gilbert's while Nethercutt was drunk. Nethercutt later pleaded guilty to homicide by watercraft and was sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Port commissioners made the location on Clover Island available after Monteith approached them.
It was a labor of love for Monteith, said Bader Inglima, who helped design the plaque. Monteith got approval from the Kennewick Planning Commission for the project and help from Jeff and Gaylene Lipke, owners of Fast Signs in Kennewick, who made the plaque.
The Lipkes also donated their service for installing the plaque, said Monteith, co-owner of Harvey-Monteith Insurance.
She said she originally wanted to install a plaque by the bike path near the accident site close to Two Rivers Park in Finley, but she changed her mind when she learned about the port's lighthouse project on the island.
Ed Gilbert was a member of Clover Island Yacht Club and a supporter of plans to develop Clover Island, she said.
The port was generous in its support, Monteith said. Port Commissioner Gene Wagner will unveil the plaque at 1 p.m.
-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; firstname.lastname@example.org; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com