In a midday ceremony held last Wednesday, the City of Petaluma honored a longtime city engineer who passed away in February after battling cancer for more than a year.

About 30 people showed up on Bassett Street outside City Hall to dedicate a flowering magnolia tree to the memory of Fleming Nguyen, a senior civil who had worked for the city for more than two decades.

Fellow senior civil engineer Erica Ahmann Smithies said that Nguyen loved to walk and would often come to Petaluma on the weekends from his Novato home, to enjoy the trails at Ellis Creek and Shollenberger Park.

"We felt that the tree was perfect because it was something we could walk by and see every day as a reminder of the things Fleming (Nguyen) loved," she said. "The ceremony was also great to have because it gave many of us in the city a chance to mourn his passing."