New cemetery fountain honors volunteers

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LOREN BENOIT/Press A fountain featuring an angel and made with granite from Montana will be dedicated in Gladys Schneidmiller’s memory on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls.

POST FALLS — Gladys Schneidmiller showed how volunteerism is the heart of a community.

A fountain featuring an angel and made with granite from Montana, where Schneidmiller was born, will be dedicated at Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls in her memory at 11 a.m. Sunday. The public is invited.

"It honors the volunteers who make a community work," said Gary Schneidmiller, Gladys' son and a local Realtor. "She was one of them."

Gladys, who served on the Post Falls School Board, Idaho Parent-Teacher Association, 4-H, Royal Neighbors of America, Kootenai Medical Center Foundation and other organizations, died at 97 in 2015.

The 20-foot fountain was funded by Gary and the Schneidmiller Foundation and will be dedicated to the city. The plaza features seating, a walkway and landscaping. Before Gladys died, she selected the black granite with white veins for the stone in the fountain.

It has taken more than a year to build the fountain.

"It is another feature that sets us apart and makes us unique," said Dave Fair, Post Falls parks and recreation director.

The Gladys Schneid-miller Celebration of Life Fountain is next to the military monument that Gary had built and dedicated to the city in memory of his father, Manny, a World War II veteran.

Gladys was inducted to the Post Falls Chamber Heritage Hall of Fame in 2013. The Schneidmiller family was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame in 2016.

Gary said the idea for the fountain began about three years ago when he spoke with Fair about what the cemetery needed. Fair said a fountain with an angel would be nice.

"I said, 'Why don't we figure out a way to fix that?'" Gary said.

Gary said he mentioned the idea to his mother and that he said he'd like to build the gift to the city in her memory for her steadfast volunteerism.

"She said, 'I like all parts of it except my name,'" he said. "She didn't think that she needed to be involved."

However, he said his mother came around when she was able to pick the Montana granite.

"She didn't get to see the actual end product, but she did see what was coming," Gary said.

Fountain project committee members include Gary, Post Falls City Council Member Linda Wilhelm, Fair and Landscape architect Fred Ogram.

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