Family, friends frustrated by vandalism at George Schmeider Memorial Park

Schmeider was a teacher and wrestling coach at Warwick Vets. He passed away eight years ago from an unknown illness at the young age of 37.

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – It’s back to business as usual at the George Schmeider Memorial Park in Oakland Beach after Schmeider’s widow discovered the park was vandalized Friday morning.

“It was kind of a slap in the face waking up this morning to my sister in law saying, ‘hey how do you get spray paint off your brother’s park?’ I’m like huh? What is going on here?” said Schmeider’s sister Kelly Roberts.

“I don’t appreciate people coming here and dumping on our neighborhood,” added Warwick Councilor Donna Travis.

Schmeider was a teacher and wrestling coach at Warwick Vets. He passed away eight years ago from an unknown illness at the young age of 37.

A year after his death, friends and family built the park to memorialize him.

“This is like in his memory, and yet somebody does this to it,” said Travis.

But Schmeider’s friends say though it was frustrating to see the park vandalized Friday morning, it was also heartwarming to see how the community came together.

“Whoever did it, I’d like to thank them, because it re-lit the fire inside me,” said Schmeider’s friend Gary Costantino, who also built the park seven years ago.

Friends, family, even the Warwick Fire Department immediately came down to clean it up on Friday morning.

Costantino says he’s using it as motivation to maintain the park and make sure people can continue to enjoy it.

“This is more than just a regular park,” said Costantino. “Families are involved and a lot of time and hard work from the community were involved in this. So just go somewhere else and do it. Not here.”

Categories: News, Rhode Island, Warwick