Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 4, 2013

Tears of love flow for PV, roses

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Traces of Pauls Valley’s past flowed with vivid memories thanks to a recent visit from a family with deep roots here.

There were more than just a few tears of happiness shed from remembering days gone by when the visit was from the Moesel family.

A handful of family members, many who called Pauls Valley home in the 1950s and early ‘60s, stopped by for some reminiscing with the local Rotary Club.

The Moesel family is known by many in PV, especially since Marjorie and her late husband Dick Moesel was the couple that once decided to pay back the community for its kindness with a gift that lives on to this very day.

That gift is now known as the Wacker Park Rose Garden.

It was Marjorie who gave the Rotary Club members, many from the past and present so instrumental in keeping the rose garden idea alive all these years, a few glimpses into her many fond memories of living in Pauls Valley all those decades ago.

After Dick had moved from the New York area because of his instant love of Oklahoma and its people, he and Marjorie met, got married and eventually settled in PV.

For them the soul of the town was revealed in the way community members rallied to help after a terrible tractor accident in December 1958 that nearly claimed Dick’s life.

Emotions ran a little high as Marjorie described how the love of Pauls Valley residents in the time afterward showed them they were blessed to live here.

“We were blessed, and one of the ways we were blessed was by the people of Pauls Valley,” she said.

“It’s been a blessing to us that’s changed our lives. We appreciated it so much. We wanted so much to pay back Pauls Valley for all the blessings we had.

“A way to say that was in flowers.”

The couple did say thank by coming up with the idea of establishing a rose garden, something that still graces the community in the middle of the local Wacker Park.

“It was in 1960 or 1961 that we actually planted the roses,” Marjorie said.

They continued to care for the garden until the summer of 1963 when they moved to Oklahoma City to work in the horticulture industry.

That wasn’t the end of the garden as members of the local Rotary Club stepped in to keep the legacy going, which continues to this day.

“One of the reasons we hated leaving Pauls Valley was the rose garden,” she said.

“Who’s going to take care of the roses? The Rotary Club stepped in to take over. Keep up the good work and continue the good things you’re doing. I want to thank the Rotary Club with the opportunity to start the rose garden and then taking it over when we left.

“It is a blessing to have people so kind and so thoughtful. I think you should be very proud.”

Even the late Dick Moesel got in on the act as his daughter, Eva Juliuson, read a few words that he once wrote.

“We planted the garden and took care of it for the first years,” she said from her father’s words.

“I think it’s a really big attraction.”

One Moesel son, Rodd, stressed Pauls Valley remains close to his heart even though the family moved away after he had just finished the third grade at the local Jefferson School.

“We moved 50 years ago this month to Oklahoma City,” Rodd said.

“I still consider Pauls Valley my hometown. Pauls Valley is special to us in so many ways.”

Another Moesel son, Doug, along with a few other family members, also attended the Rotary reunion.