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Memorial fitness trail under construction at Shawano area church

Hope Community Church east of Shawano, August 11, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

SHAWANO COUNTY (WLUK) -- Construction on a memorial project, and fitness trail at a Shawano area church, is starting to take shape.

The initiative is to honor Four-Star General Robert Cone.

Cone lost his battle with cancer last year, after retiring to Shawano with his wife Jill.

At Hope Community Church east of Shawano, construction crews were hard at work. The General Cone Memorial Fitness Trail was shaping up.

"I just got goose bumps. I just can't believe this is coming to be. All these great hearts that have been a part of this. It's bee a blessing to me through my grief," said Jill Cone, Shawano.

Jill Cone is Robert Cone's widow. The couple attended Hope Community Church. She says her husband's funeral created a wave of donations from all across the country.

"I came up with a very large idea, and that was a one mile paved fitness trail with fitness stations, like pull-ups, sit-ups, balance beam," said Cone.

"This is just a gift to the community to honor Bob, and what he stood for. His faith, his attitude, the fitness," said Pastor John Anderson, Hope Community Church.

About 35 Bayland Buildings team leaders volunteered their time on Friday. While coping with cancer, Cone was scheduled to speak to the Bayland group, but passed away before the meeting took place.

"One of his biggest things was leadership is a privilege. And I think that says a lot for who he was as a general, and I kind of want to bring that into our company, and let everybody know, that leadership is a privilege," said Shawn Mueller, Bayland Buildings Vice President of Sales.

Cone served 35 years in the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of both Gulf Wars, and Afghanistan too. Cone was commander at Fort Hood, Texas, during the 2009 shooting rampage which killed 13 people.

"So here at the trail, we're going to put in 13 trees, to represent the 13 that were massacred there," said Cone.

Cone says the memorial trail will give people a chance to run, reflect, and remember. She says her General would approve.

"He'd grab my hand and squeeze it, and say oh my God hon, I can't believe you did this. This is such an incredible thing," she said.

A dedication ceremony will be held for the Memorial Trail on September First.

The park will be free and open to the public.

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