Hospice of the Foothills commemorative bricks recognize national, community service | TheUnion.com

Hospice of the Foothills commemorative bricks recognize national, community service

Trina Kleist
Special to The Union
Late Alta Sierra residents Gene and Nina Zepp left a bequest to Hospice of the Foothills, leading to the creation of this memorial flagpole and walkway to commemorate those who have served their country and community. An honor guard from the American Legion Frank Gallino Post 130 attended the dedication in June.
Photo courtesy Hospice of the Foothills

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What: Commemorative bricks will line the walkway of the Zepp Memorial at the Hospice of the Foothills campus, 11270 Rough and Ready Highway

Who: Honor loved ones and recognize their service as veterans, educators, health care providers, public safety officers, first responders and volunteers

How many: About 180 bricks will fit into the Zepp Memorial space. The first 72 bricks will encircle the deck surrounding the flagpole

Donation: $150 each

Message length: Up to 48 letters and spaces

More info: Contact Hospice of the Foothills: Kristin Donahue at 530-274-5180 or Mary Anne Davis at 530-274-5161. Or write to Hospice of the Foothills at 11270 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley, CA, 95945; or visit www.HospiceoftheFoothills.org

Donald Hauswirth had a saying about the stars and stripes he set outside his home each morning.

“I fly the flag for those that did not come back.”

Hauswirth would ponder having returned home from a prisoner of war camp after the Korean War, while others had not.

So it seemed appropriate to his wife, Carol Hauswirth of Grass Valley, to reserve an engraved brick commemorating her late husband at Hospice of the Foothills. The nonprofit, end-of-life care organization is using such bricks to build a memorial walkway around a flagpole at its campus just west of Grass Valley.

The flagpole and brick walkway have an additional purpose: They honor the life and philanthropy of Eugene and Nina Zepp, ardent supporters of Hospice of the Foothills, just one of the many organizations where the Zepps left a legacy. The Zepps, who both died in June 2017 in their mid-90s, led a long life of community service and philanthropy. They were active members of their church, Peace Lutheran in Grass Valley, and they supported local development and musical organizations, among other endeavors.

“Their nephew and trustee of the estate requested a memorial on our campus that would encourage the philanthropy of others,” said Hospice Marketing and Events Manager Mary Anne Davis. “Eugene served in the U.S. Naval Air Force during World War II and the Korean War, and Nina was a surgical nurse for many years and was very active… serving the nonprofits within our community. We felt honoring veterans as well as people who have served humankind in other ways was a fitting tribute to both Eugene and Nina.”

Reserving a memorial brick around the flagpole is an opportunity to both commemorate a loved one’s service and support Hospice’s mission of providing compassionate end of life care for patients and their families. All donations help defray the unfunded costs of the care provided and support operations, Davis said.

With a similarly giving spirit, Donald Hauswirth donated platelets to the Blood Source 700 times, Carol Hauswirth said. In addition, to being active in their church, he and Carol volunteered at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Center, picking up food to be cooked for the Comfort Cuisine program. (She still volunteers at the Cancer Center.)

Carol Hauswirth felt drawn to the hospice effort by the American flag flying at the center of the Zepp memorial. In that setting, the national symbol has layered meanings.

“It’s in memory of all who have died in service to our country, and also of all those we have lost and mourn,” Carol Hauswirth said.

“When people like Carol Hauswirth reserve a commemorative brick and are so excited to have their loved one’s memory shared in such a lasting way, it warms my heart,” Davis added.

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