Bill Imbriale

La Cañada resident Bill Imbriale stands next to a memorial drinking fountain dedicated Saturday to his wife, Carol Imbriale, by the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses. For more than 30 years, Carol Imbriale built and decorated floats and was often seen wearing welding gear, as depicted in the fountain's plaque. (Courtesy of the LCF Tournament of Roses) (La Canada Valley Sun / April 2, 2014)

Members of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. memorialized one of their own Saturday morning in a ceremony behind the Foothill Municipal Water District, where they dedicated an inscribed drinking fountain to longtime “floater” Carol Imbriale.

Imbriale joined the Tournament of Roses Assn. after moving to La Cañada in 1983. She tirelessly built and decorated the city’s annual entries in the Rose Parade, serving as chair of the decorating committee for a time and co-driving the float twice in her long tenure.

Often seen at the float-building site wearing welding gear, Imbriale helped out with more intricate welding on several of the mammoth creations.

“She always was willing to help out, and she didn’t mind getting dirty,” recalled friend and past president Ann Neilson. “She was just a very cheerful person.”

Imbriale died Oct. 13 at age 71, after a battle with lung cancer. Her husband, Bill, said she didn’t want a big memorial service, but rather a party.

He came up with the idea for a memorial fountain after seeing one erected in his neighborhood. He had a bronze plaque made and shipped to the fountain maker in Lake Tahoe, where it was set into the stonework.

“Everyone agreed this was the perfect thing to do for her,” he said.

Neilson agreed, saying Carol often took exception to the lack of fresh drinking water available behind the Water District building, where the floats are constructed.

“If she could improve the float site, that’s what she’d do,” she said.

Bill Imbriale said Tuesday the dedication was just the party his wife had wanted.

“It will be there for a long, long time, so the next generation of floaters will say, ‘Who’s that?’” he said.

And when they read the plaque’s inscription, they will see Carol Imbriale’s rich life summed up in a few well-chosen words: “Wonderful Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend — Float Construction and Decorator for 30 years.”

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Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.

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