Harlan and Mae Niedermyer - Faith, Family, and Friends
Harlan and Mae Niedermyer lived frugal and faithful lives. They felt it was more important to be generous with the gifts they'd received in life than live in excess. When the couple bought groceries, an advisor remembers Harlan, a WWII veteran, insisting on buying one box of cereal at a time, joking he wasn't sure if they would be alive to eat the next box. The Niedermyer family saved, and their careful planning allowed them to craft a legacy of giving back in their community.
Harlan spent his professional years as an X-ray technician, and Mae was a registered nurse, both working at the Hot Springs VA Medical Center for the last 33 years of their careers. Harlan and Mae built their careers caring for those who'd served our country, and their generosity was guided by their faith. The couple were members of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Hot Springs, where they took part in all aspects of church life.
Connie Benson, a 45-year friend of Harlan and Mae, helped the couple in their final years of life. Connie remembers Harlan and Mae as "the kindest couple you could ever meet. Both had gentle spirits and loved and cared for everyone over themselves." Connie has heard stories of area residents that were hard up at times, and after Harlan or Mae learned of their struggles, a check would show up for the families. Harlan passed away in 2020 at the age of 101, and Mae passed in 2021 at the age of 105.
The day-to-day kindness and generosity the Niedermyers were known for was set into their legacy with the help of their financial advisor, Barb Miller of Ameriprise. Through many years of carefully working with Barb, the couple left over $800,000 to the First Interstate Fall River Area Fund (FIFRAF), a fund within the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). The focus of this perpetual fund is to supply grant funding to nonprofit organizations for charitable projects in Fall River County. This very generous gift more than doubled the value of the FIFRAF and will provide remarkable impact for nonprofits in and around the Hot Springs area.
Their estate also added over $300,000 to the Harlan & Mae Niedermyer Scholarship Fund. Harlan and Mae established this fund in the SDCF during their later years in life to help students from the area pursue degrees in healthcare. Their gift will provide individuals the opportunity to further their education, particularly the non-traditional students that often do not have scholarship options. It was the couple's desire to involve congregation members from Bethesda Lutheran to promote the scholarship and select recipients from the area.
Due to their careful planning, the generosity of Harlan and Mae Niedermyer will continue to help organizations and students from Fall River County for years to come.