On June 13, the Palos Heights Art Garden was named for the late Ed Dombrowski. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

On June 13, the Palos Heights Art Garden was named for the late Ed Dombrowski. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

‘There is a piece of Ed all over this city,’ Dombrowski honored with art garden

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MARY

Mary Dombrowski gets ready to put a pinwheel near a rock honoring her late husband Ed as the Palos Heights Art Garden is named in his honor.

By Jeff Vorva

Ed Dombrowski weaved his way into the fabric of Palos Heights.

“There is a piece of Ed all over this city,” said Denise Hyker, a member of several city organizations said. “There is a piece of him here, there is a piece of him in Adopt a Pots, the Car Classic we have every year…everywhere you look there is a piece of him.”

Dombrowski, who died in 2020 at age 63, was a key in creating and building the city’s art garden at 72nd Court and 123rd Street. On a rainy late afternoon on June 13, the city’s Beautification Committee dedicated the garden in Dombrowski’s honor.

PRESTO

Former Palos Heights Alderman Jeff Prestinario had stories and memories of Ed Dombrowski.

“This is the proudest thing he has done for Palos Heights,” Mary Dombrowski, Ed’s wife, said. “Thank you for honoring him.”

More than 50 people were on hand under a tent during the ceremony and considering the lack of rain the area has seen, committee chairman John Hanley credited Dombrowski for the downpour and that Dombrowski would have thought the wet, dark and dreary day would have been a great day.

“Ed was in charge of the rain,” Hanley said. “Everybody in Palos Heights has been praying for rain so Ed delivered.”

Former Palos Heights Alderman Jeff Prestinario said that Dombrowski, a landscaper who was good with his hands, volunteered to be a part of various Palos Heights event including tying ribbons around trees on Harlem Avenue in 2003, Adopt a Tree and Adopt a Pot initiatives, the Classic Car Show and the now-defunct half marathon.

“Ed was always willing to volunteer to do whatever he could,” Prestinario said. “We have so many giving people here in Palos Heights. I’m so happy to be a resident and live here in Palos Heights. It’s been a blessing.”

Although Prestinario was good friends with Dombrowski, and the two took trips together, the former alderman needed a spelling lesson on Dombrowski’s name.

When the half marathon had its committee meetings, Prestinario provided detailed agendas to the committee members. For a while, the name “Ed Dumbrowski” appeared on the agendas until another committee member, Lois Duran, pointed out the error.

Prestinario was able to laugh at the gaffe many years later.

“Ed was far from dumb,” Prestanario said. “He was quirky. He was just the nicest guy and a beautiful man. He made life interesting and fun and was always so positive.”

HYKER scaled

Palos Heights Denise Hyker talks about the late Ed Dombrowski at a dedication of the art garden.

1 Comment

  1. Brian Bohne on June 23, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    Ed planted the seed of volunteers in our community. Let’s hope it grows in our city to be the best town around.



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