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A Fitting Memorial

Two families’ efforts to honor loved ones are also bringing comfort to walkers, bicyclists, and others using the Lake Links shared use path in Mahtomedi.

Last week, the City of Mahtomedi installed benches along the path in honor of deceased area residents Griffin Runze and Kent Charpentier. The benches were made possible through the generous donations of the Runze family and Deb Charpentier.

Griffin Runze, the son of Mahtomedi residents Karen and Dan Runze, passed away in 2017 at age 21. The bench dedicated to Griffin overlooks a peaceful scene next to the covered bridge over Depot Creek at Briarwood and Quail that also was installed in his honor.

Kent Charpentier, an avid hiker, cyclist, and skier, passed away four years ago. The bench dedicated to Kent overlooks the Neville park natural space along Locust Street in a developed Mahtomedi neighborhood.

Both installations include concrete pads to accommodate a wheelchair, underscoring Lake Links’ commitment to make the trail accessible to all.

A huge thank you to the City of Mahtomedi workers who braved cold fingers and toes to complete the installations in time for use by community members over the winter holidays.

As you pass – or better yet, relax and reflect on – the benches, we encourage you to keep these generous families and their loved ones in mind. Lake Links is working with all the communities along the trail to find suitable locations for additional memorial benches.

If you’d like to honor someone with a contribution in support of the Lake Links Trail for a bench or bike repair station or other fixture, please visit our donation page or email

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