Arlene Marie Schumacher
November 2, 1929-May 9, 2019
Arlene Marie Schumacher, 89, passed away on May 9, 2019, surrounded by cherished family and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at St. Isidore Catholic Church. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, May 13, at St. Isidore Catholic Church. There will be a 7 p.m. vigil service Monday, also at the church. Visitation will continue from 10:30 a.m. until service time on Tuesday morning at the church. Interment will be in the Holy Family Cemetery in Lindsay, following the lunch.
Arlene, the eighth child of Mathew J. and Nellie (Bender), was born on Nov. 2, 1929, at the family farm near Cornlea. Arlene was baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Cornlea, thus beginning her life as a devoted child of God. Although she was born just four days after Black Tuesday and the onset of the Great Depression, Arlene's childhood on the farm was a happy one, filled with countless joys and adventures with her parents and nine beloved siblings. Throughout her life, she would tell vivid stories of her youth and the happy times she shared surrounded by the enduring love of her family.
She grew in the knowledge of her faith under the tutelage of the Franciscan Sisters at Sacred Heart School in Cornlea, and later attended Humphrey High School, graduating in 1948. Arlene's keen intellect and love of learning took her to St. Joseph's College in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for her undergraduate degree, and later to the University of Nebraska where she earned her doctorate degree. She was a life-long learner with an inquisitive mind.
She devoted her career to teaching children, and did so with passion and dedication, shaping the lives of countless students who remember her to this day. She began teaching at Sacred Heart School in Cornlea, and also taught in Madison and Banner counties. She spent most of her teaching career in Columbus at St. Anthony's and West Park School. After her retirement, she selflessly cared for her mother, Nellie, and later her sister, Marlyn, both of whom she loved dearly with unfailing compassion.
The hallmark of Arlene's life was her unwavering faith. She had a deep love for Christ and his Blessed Mother, and she readily shared that faith with her family and friends. She was constantly sharing prayers, novenas and sacramentals with others, bringing everyone she encountered closer to God. You never left her company without a holy card, a medal or a photocopied or handwritten prayer. For years in her retirement, she shared her faith with the young students at St. Isidore's School, telling beautiful stories of angels and saints.
St. Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words.” Arlene took this to heart and throughout her life, spread her faith with her actions and deeds. If someone needed help, she was there without hesitation. She devoted countless hours to the Simon House in service to the underprivileged in her community. She lovingly brought food to those in hospitals and nursing homes. She gave resources to those in need – in her community and across the globe. If she heard a story of a village in Africa with no running water, a disabled veteran without health care, or a struggling single parent, she immediately sent funds for their assistance. Like Saint Francis, she had a great love and awe for God's creatures and His creation; feeding stray animals, relishing the nighttime sky, and nurturing her garden. Arlene had a beaming smile, an infectious laugh and a big heart.
Arlene was an active member of St. Isidore's parish, helping in every ministry she could. She ran the gift shop, ensuring that religious objects were accessible and affordable. She was a daily communicant and routinely brought Communion to those unable to make it to Mass. She belonged to a “Sistas in Christ” Bible Study, Christians Encounter Christ, Servants of the Heart of the Father, a Charismatic Prayer Group and Christian Mothers.
Joyfully greeting Arlene in heaven are her parents, Mathew and Nellie Schumacher; her siblings: Sylvester (Alice) Schumacher, Harold (Alvina) Schumacher, Gerald Schumacher, Mildred (Clem) Gronenthal, Maynard Schumacher, Alvin Schumacher, Dale Schumacher, Bunny (Mark) Noonan, and her beloved sister, Marlyn Schumacher. Also awaiting her in heaven are her nephew, Glen Schumacher; her niece, Gail Morton; her great-niece, Kristy Morton; and her great-great-nephew, little Meyer Urban.
Arlene will be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by her sisters-in-law, Ruth Schumacher, Rita Schumacher, Mary Schumacher and Nell Schumacher; and her many nieces, nephews and special friends, all of whom will carry on her faith in her memory and in her honor.
Arlene was the last surviving sibling in her family, and her death brings to a close the final chapter of a generation marked by unwavering faith, selfless service and everlasting love.
The work of Arlene's gentle hands and tender heart is not done. We know that, like St. Therese of Lisieux, Arlene will “spend her Heaven doing good upon Earth.” Please pray to and for her.