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Remembering Robert E. Naughton

A Civic Square dedication in Honor of Robert E. Naughton was held Saturday at the intersection of Causeway Street and Claypit Road.

The dreary and overcast weather on Saturday morning, Sept. 29, did not dampen the spirits of those who came to honor the memory of Bob Naughton. 

Political dignitaries, family members, fellow police officers, loyal friends and many members of the community gathered at the "Robert E. Naughton Civic Square" dedication ceremony to pay tribute to the kind and courageous man who always had a twinkle in his eye.

Robert Naughton had been a member of the Medfield Police Department. He was a caring and devoted public servant, a loving husband and father, a beloved friend to many, and had a special connection to nature and the outdoors. 

Naughton died in 2002 but a decade later, because of the works done by the Committee to Study Memorials and Eagle Scout candidate Peter Whelan, his memory lives on at the Robert Naughton Civic Square.

The ceremony began with Richard DeSorgher, Chairman of the Committee to Study Memorials, addressing  the crowd that gathered around the newly
designed civic square.  The National Anthem was sung by Medfield High School student Cara Daybre, and a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Proclamation of Honor was read by State Representative Denise Garlick (D-MA 13th Norfolk District, including Medfield).

Former Police Chief Bill Mann told memorable stories from the time he and Naughton were on the police force together. 

“I couldn’t find a person I loved more than Bob Naughton,” Mann said.

Town Administrator Michael Sullivan spoke next mentioning Eagle Scout candidate Peter Whelan and his involvement in this project. 

“He (Naughton) would be proud of Peter Whelan.  He (Naughton) was about
nature and this is the perfect spot,” Sullivan said.  Summing up the sentiment of all there, Sullivan added, “Thank you for sharing him with us!”

Whelan’s Eagle Scout project was to develop a landscape design of the Civic Square and then supervise the completion of that design. 

“I never knew him (Naughton),” Whelan said.  “I think I’m the only person in the entire town that didn’t know him.”  Whelan went on to say that he was very thankful for all the help he received from the Highway Department, Sonja Johanson, and the Medfield Historical Society.

Todd Ferris, Naughton’s son, represented the family and recalled planting two saplings with his Dad on that very spot when he was a young boy. The two saplings have since grown into 30 foot large pine trees and are now the backdrop of the civic square.  As these trees hold a special memory for Ferris he said this location was “very fitting”.

Veteran’s Agent and committee member Ron Griffin presented the Naughton family with an United States flag which had been flown over the United States Capitol on Sept. 11, 2012.  Griffin explained that they chose that particular day because Sept. 11th has become symbolic in honoring policeman and firefighters.

The dedication concluded when Ferris and his mother, Karen Naughton, unveiled the civic square sign and then the granite bench bearing Robert Naughton’s name. 

Both Ferris and Naughton said they were thankful to all the people on the committee (Richard DeSorgher, Ron Griffin, Frank Iafolla, Jane Lomax, David Temple), all involved with the creation of the civic square, and all those who loved Bob and came out to take part in the dedication.

After seeing the beautifully-designed and decorated civic square honoring her late husband (across the street from where they had lived), Karen Naughton said, “It’s got Bob Naughton written all over it.  He loved the town and the people in it.” 

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