Edith Polston knew the meaning of the word community.
A successful businesswoman for nearly 30 years, she understood the value of education and how it allowed people to turn full circle and become contributing members of society.
Friends and family close to Edith believe that is why she decided to named North Idaho College in her will prior to her death in January 2008. The NIC Foundation used that gift to establish the Edith Polston Memorial endowment fund to support the greatest needs at North Idaho College.
"By simply naming the NIC Foundation as a beneficiary in her will, Edith has left a legacy that will live on forever," said NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson. "The proceeds of her gift will be managed in perpetuity and will generate earnings that will annually be directed to fund student and program needs. What an honorable way to continue to help those in need."
Edith married Charles "Poly" Polson in 1941 and the two left their jobs, Edith an elevator operator and Poly a bus driver, when they came to Post Falls in 1946 and opened Post Falls Hardware.
The Polstons believed in customer service, long before it was a commonly used business tool. The couple operated the hardware store for 27 years on Spokane Street, now a part of the medical complex of Dr. Thomas Detar in Post Falls. The hardware store carried items useful to homeowners and farmers and the Polstons interacted with each of their customers on a personal level, often special ordering items they needed.
To the Polstons, giving back to their customers through customer service and community service was what business was all about.
"Edith and Poly Polston were respected business persons in Post Falls," said former Post Falls Historical Society president and historian Kim Brown. "They served their customers and were respected members of the community. They also primed the community pump with their support and involvement in community activities."
Edith was a member of the charities Royal Neighbors of America and the Order of the Eastern Star for more than 50 years. She also supported organizations such as Shriners of North America and Children's Village. Poly was active in the Post Falls Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce and Sheriff's Posse before his death in 1978.
A savvy businesswoman in a time when women generally were expected to carry out the domestic duties of the home, Edith valued education and friends and family said she believed in supporting organizations that helped people better themselves, such as North Idaho College.
Edith's vision in life will live on even after her death through her contribution to the NIC Foundation. Through her gift, Edith will continue to foster young business professionals and support the community by helping students attain an education.
The Polston's ideals live on in the city of Post Falls as well where the couple left a footprint decades ago. Polston Avenue, located off of Idaho Street north of Interstate 90, is named in the couple's honor and Goude Street off of Polston is named for Edith (Goude) Polston.
"When we lose community members to death, we can be inspired by their actions in life," Brown said. "The Polstons leave their names on the face of Post Falls.
History is a gift of one generation to the next. It teaches. It is very fitting that the Polstons be remembered in Post Falls history and their generous gift of education will benefit a customer base similar to their business. Their actions benefited Post Falls and beyond."
Contributions to the NIC Foundation are tax deductible. Donors can elect to give to the Edith Polston Memorial Fund or designate to other funds. To donate, send contributions to the NIC Foundation, 1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d'Alene, ID, 83814. To learn more about estate planning, contact the NIC Foundation at (208) 769-5978 or www.nic.edu/foundation
Information: NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, 208-769-5978