George D. Gemind
George D. Gemind, 57, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, a recently retired firefighter for the City of Glendale, Calif., responded to his last alarm on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, passing into God’s glory from occupational Stage 4 Lung Cancer.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Mountain Springs Church, 6789 Main St., Bonners Ferry.
George, whose family called him by his middle name “Doug,” married Cathy on Oct. 18, 1986 in Valencia, Calif.
He joined the Glendale Fire Department in March 1986. In addition to his firefighting duties, he spent much of his career designing and fabricating parts to equip the firefighting apparatus, setting high standards for the Department’s equipment. He retired as a Staff Assistant from the Department on Dec. 3, 2013 and, with his wife, Cathy, built their dream home in Bonners Ferry.
George was talented in so many ways. In his younger years, he built and raced his VW Bug the “Red Sled.” He was featured in various drag racing industry magazines, including Hot Rodding and VW Bug in the early 1980s.
He and Cathy ran a small construction company in California for nearly 20 years, where he was regarded as a quality craftsman with a great work ethic. His projects included everything from foundations to finish work, but it was laying tile that he enjoyed the most. After moving to Bonners Ferry, the building bug bit him again, and they formed Omega Builders, Inc. with Brad and Janice Graupner.
Fun-loving and adventurous, he and Cathy enjoyed traveling across the U.S. on road trips without reservations. He was just as comfortable in a 5-star restaurant as he was snorkeling in Rarotonga in the South Pacific. George was an avid dirt bike rider and rode thousands of miles through Baja, and for many years took on the challenging Colorado 1000 dual-sport rides. His love of the natural beauty in both areas prompted him to trade in his XR650 dual-sport motorcycle for a Polaris RZR side-by-side vehicle just so he could take Cathy on rides and show her all that he had seen. George’s absolute favorite vacations were spent with Cathy, her sister, Peggy, and her husband, Bill, off-roading across the highest trails in and around Taylor Park, Colorado.
George was extremely honest, exceedingly generous, exceptionally hard-working, incredibly wise, and tremendously humble. He was always more interested in hearing your stories than he was talking about himself. He turned clients into friends and friends into family. Most remarkable was his extraordinarily loving and selfless devotion to Cathy; he cherished her and always, always, always opened the doors for her.
George once said that he was hesitant to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior because he thought that it meant he’d have to give up too much. Eventually, he realized that he had everything to gain, and he turned his life over to God. He said it was the greatest decision he’d ever made.
During his firefighting career, George responded to countless calls, but the greatest call was from Jesus. The call for him to come home. A call he was willing and eager to answer.