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It started as a simple idea: To create a spot in Rosehill Cemetery where visitors could sit and relax.
“Just a place to sit and take a load off for visitors or for people who like to walk through the cemetery,” said Rosehill superintendent Rod Roteliuk. “You know, just a spot to sit and watch the deer or collect your thoughts.”
That simple plan, which began years ago with Cleo Nicolaisen, the former superintendent at Rosehill, became something much bigger.
In 2019, the Weber family made a donation to the cemetery; the funds were provided without a specific designation, Roteliuk said.
“It came to our mind that this would be a great opportunity to create that spot for people to sit and relax,” he said. “That’s how this process started.”
Roteliuk quickly found out that building a quality gazebo and concrete pad that would last a long time would be expensive, costing as much as $10,000.
“We knew it would be hard to find that kind of money in our budget, but this generous gift to the cemetery would allow us to move forward with this project,” he said.
The Weber family’s gift was the catalyst for the gazebo project, but it wasn’t the only act of generosity – not by a long shot.
In the fall of 2019, cemetery officials went looking for a vinyl gazebo that would endure the North Dakota elements. That’s where Minot Lumber came in, and helped the City find a gazebo at a great price.
“Then the weather last fall kind of destroyed everyone’s schedule, so we weren’t able to get the materials ordered and get this project done last year,” Roteliuk said.
Instead, the gazebo was ordered in early 2020. Enter COVID-19, which severely limited products being shipped to North Dakota. It took several months before the necessary materials arrived in Minot, Roteliuk said.
“By then, costs of essentially everything had gone up, so we weren’t sure we had enough money to do the type of project we had in mind,” he said.
But the generosity continued.
Flores Concrete Company donated the materials and labor to complete the concrete work. Souris Valley Ready Mix supplied the necessary concrete at no charge. Workers from the City Street Department helped prep the site for concrete.
“We went about our normal summer routine for a while, then we took a couple days and put the gazebo together,” Roteliuk said. “Then we started looking at finding some good benches in the gazebo that would also stand the test of time.”
More generosity followed.
Craig Monuments in Velva provided two benches, plus engraving, to help complete the project.
“We went from wondering if we had enough money for the project to having money left over thanks to everyone’s generosity,” Roteliuk said. “Cleo started this project, and we were happy to help get it completed. It’s been an amazing project to be part of.”