The Endowment, an unexpected opportunity for insight

Submitted by Rita Elliott (

Working on the Society for Georgia Archaeology’s Endowment Fund has been an insightful learning experience. Most recently, it has been both a somber and uplifting one. As many of you know, Mr. Fred Scheidler, a devout SGA member, recently passed away. Our condolences go to his wife, Carol; son, David; and all his family, friends, and fellow SGA members. The outpouring of tributes, letters, and memorials to Fred paint a vivid picture of him. Fred was so committed to SGA that he did not limit himself to participation in one chapter; he actively participated in the Bulloch Hall Archaeological Society, the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society, the Northwest Georgia Archaeological Society chapter, as well as the Georgia Mountains Archaeology Society chapter in Gainesville. Many friends wrote to say that Fred “was a dedicated member of your organization,” and “very much enjoyed the time he spent with your group exploring the history of Georgia and other sites he visited,” and was a “super-member of SGA.” Notes went on to say that Fred freely circulated his own archaeology newsletter, Great Dirt, and encouraged people to attend SGA events. He was enamored with archaeology since the age of 14 when he “found a dugout canoe in the Florida swamps.” Phrases echoed in the endowment contribution letters included, “will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” “beloved friend,” “fellow lover of the study of archaeology,” and “old friend.” Insightful, indeed.

Fred’s very passion for sharing archaeology with others continues even now. The donations in his name will grow the Endowment Fund, allowing the interest to be used for just the kind of research and outreach that Fred enjoyed and shared so generously with others. As one tribute stated, “We wish you success and joy in your future endeavors, as I’m sure Fred will be there with you all in spirit.” Yes, I know he will.

Thank you to all who saw the Endowment as a “meaningful option” to appropriately memorialize Fred, and in thus doing, to continue his work in such an uplifting way. These include: Larry Blair; R.F. (Dick) Brunelle; James Comer and Rachelle McIntosh; the Northwest Georgia Archaeological Society; Jimmy and Ruth Fouche; Laurie Ruhl and Lois Rarick and Ellen Mullinax; Betsy and Michael Shirk; Calvin (Bic) and Jennifer Vogel; Jack Wynn; and members of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society (Elizabeth Allan, Dennis Blanton, Terry Hynes, David Kasriel, Lynn Kirkland, Pat Lorusso, Gordon and Carole Midgette, Thomas Peard, Carol Reed, Allen Vegotsky, and Constance White).

The current total of The Society for Georgia Archaeology Endowment Fund is $21,219.46. If you would like more information about the endowment, please contact Rita Elliott,, (912) 826-5214.