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Veronica Mary

July 25, 1922 – June 7, 2020

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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Mueller Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services
"Will be in my mind, my heart, will miss you every single day."
— Maria
"I will always have you in my heart. "
— Aynalem
"love in memory of an amazing woman"
— Claire
"To Veronica, my sister and alternate mother... "And He will raise you up on eagle's wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make ..."
— Kenneth ("Kenny") Schammel, your little brother
"I miss Grandma so much already, but I'm grateful she's not suffering anymore. I learned so much from her and deeply treasure my memories..."
— Sarah Branigan

Obituary for Veronica Mary Schober

Veronica M Schober
Beloved Mother, Wife, Sister, Aunt and Grandmother, Age 97
Died peacefully on June 7, 2020.
Preceded in death by parents, William and Teresa, husband Bernard and brothers Clem, John, Jerome and Ralph Schammel.
Mother of Terry Hawkins (Steve), Pat Schober-Branigan (Patrick), Rose Latawiec (Chet) and Doug Schober (fiancée Maria). Sister of Madaline Burzinski and brothers Joe (Irene), and Ken (Marilyn) Schammel. Sisters-in-law Virginia Schober, Marge Schammel and June Schammel. Grandchildren Erica (John), Jeremy (Rebecca), Ben, Katelyn (Michael), Claire (Steve), Nathan, Sarah (fiancée Dustin), Emily (Jesse), Alex, Cece and great grandchildren Henry, Abigail, Natalie, Wyatt, Alexis and Faith. Many nieces and nephews.
A private Mass of Christian Burial was held at Blessed Sacrament Church on Friday, June 12.
Burial at Union Cemetery in Maplewood.
Special Thank You to the Caring Staffs of Woodbury Senior Living and Our Lady of Peace Hospice.

Veronica Schammel Schober
A Life Well Lived

Veronica Mary Schammel, born in 1922, was the second child of 1st and 2nd generation German and Luxembourg parents who lived on a farm near Austin Minnesota. She could understand the German that was spoken at home. She was the second child and oldest daughter of eight children including 6 brothers and 1 sister.

A hard-working, no nonsense family, they grew almost all of their food; at first, using horse-drawn plows and wagons and milking the cows by hand. Veronica was an important helper, learning at an early age how to cook, do laundry, care for babies, sew, garden and can. Treats were homemade ice cream, jams, and always home baked bread. The family was devoted to the Catholic Church and especially to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Everyone worked hard because the Great Depression occurred when Veronica was school age. Sometimes she couldn't attend school because she was needed to help at home. Always a dependable worker for her mother; always conscientious. There was no electricity or indoor plumbing for many years, so all of the usual daily activities took considerable effort.

At the age of 17, Veronica moved to St Paul where arrangements had been made for her to go to business school to learn bookkeeping, while living with a family and caring for their children in the evenings. At school she made friends with other young women. She had her first job as a bookkeeper at a furniture store/business. During World War II, she lived with new girlfriends in apartments in St Paul. She loved shopping for fashionable clothes, including hats and high heels, going to parties, taking lots of pictures and crocheting intricate doilies and pillow cases for her hope chest.

She and future husband, Bernard Schober, had friends in common who introduced them. Bernie was from Wisconsin and he worked at the Waldorf paper factory in St Paul. They married in 1949, eventually bought a small home on the East Side of Saint Paul, and started their family in 1952, when daughter Terry was born. Later in the 1950's, Pat was born, then Rosy and finally, son Doug in 1964.

Veronica left her bookkeeping job and was happy to be a homemaker. She did it very well. Always resourceful, she was an excellent cook, kept the cleanest house, a perfectly balanced checkbook, and fruitful gardens. She and Bernie brought grapes from her parents' farm and corn from Bernie's sister Adeline and husband Frank's farm so Veronica could can or freeze food for the winters.

Veronica sewed most clothing for herself and the girls, and was a wizard at living on a tight budget. She and Bernie enjoyed doing a multitude of house projects to stretch living space for their growing family. She also loved planning picnics with neighbors and yearly hosted a strawberry mini-festival in the backyard, serving her legendary shortcake, which was Bernie's favorite, on his birthday.

Though she loved visiting and reading, she especially loved being busy, always enjoying working with her hands, feeling competent and like she accomplished something. Not usually one to sit down to read a book or watch TV! She loved a good visit with friends or relatives, and especially admired others who were as hard working as she was.

Veronica and Bernie were committed to sending their children to Blessed Sacrament Grade School and eventually, to St Joseph's Academy and Hill-Murray High Schools. Veronica was an active member of the Blessed Sacrament Home and School Association and also the Altar and Rosary Society (eventually renamed the Women's Group). At bake sales, when she walked into the church basement with her homemade caramel and pecan rolls, other parishioners bought them before she could set them on the tables! Veronica was also a Campfire Girl leader.

Veronica liked to try new things, especially new recipes, though her family especially liked her perfectly smooth gravy and crisp pie crust. She and Bernie planned family car trips to visit relatives in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kansas. She also liked curling her daughters' hair each weekend so they would look nice at church on Sunday. She wrote letters each week to her parents in southern Minnesota.

Veronica went back to work doing temporary jobs as a bookkeeper when Doug started grade school. However, it was also at that time that she suffered with the first bouts of Meniere’s Disease and a devastating loss of hearing. The piano that she was so proud to have purchased for her children sounded like tin when they practiced. There was a deep sense of loss when while only in her forties, she had trouble following conversation with groups of friends and family, despite having high powered hearing aids.

Veronica and Bernie were quietly happy and proud when her children all graduated from college. They were also pleased when daughters married fine young men; Steve, Patrick and Chet. Always one who loved babies, Veronica was thrilled when grandchildren were born. Erica, Jeremy, Ben. Then, Katelyn, Claire, Nathan, Sarah, Emily, Alex, Cece.

Veronica continued to be active after she and Bernie retired and moved from Saint Paul to a townhouse in Woodbury. Though Bernie's health was worsening with his COPD, Veronica had lots of energy for volunteering in the library to help individuals with income taxes, continuing to volunteer at church, walking each day or going on her treadmill, gardening, helping with her grandchildren, and learning how to use her new computer.

Despite some back and leg pain and breast cancer, Veronica took responsibility to be the driver and homemaker for herself and Bernie. When Bernie had to move to the nursing home in 2006, Veronica even toted his laundry back and forth for a period of time, although she was over the age of 82. It was hard for her to watch Bernie’s decline as he struggled with COPD.

Veronica moved to a beautiful new senior housing complex in 2006. There she lived by herself, for the first time in her life. In some ways, it was exciting, making new friends. Gradually, however, chronic pain and frequent trips to the doctor were becoming more and more a part of her life.

Several years after Bernie's death in 2006, things began to get harder for a Veronica. The checkbook didn't balance anymore. Veronica stopped driving after her car was vandalized and began to depend more heavily on family members for many things. Harrowing infections and hospitalizations with delirium, and several mini strokes were followed by transitional care and rehabilitation.

After a hospitalization, Veronica decided she wanted to move into senior living with services available. It was nice to have served meals, house cleaning services, along with in-house activities, including both Catholic and ecumenical church services. There was a rosary group! Family began visiting and helping 5 days a week for assistance with finances, laundry, purchases, driving to appointments, and church.

It was also a time of joy. Great grandchildren, twins Abigail and Henry were born. Family still gathered for holidays, graduations, and Doug moved to became engaged to lovely Maria!

After more hospitalization, Veronica moved to memory care at the Estates in Woodbury. She gradually became dependent on staff for essentially all care. Simple pleasures continued as ice cream treats in the afternoons, prayer services, visits from Deacon Jerry and Pastor Basil and continued visits and cards from family. Veronica was frequently content to quietly sit in the memory care Town Square, watching the other residents and staff. She partook in activities as her hearing allowed. She was attended by aides and professionals from all over the world, including Ethiopia, Columbia, Laos, and Somalia. Hugs and hand-holding became easier than talking and listening. Veronica smiled the most when grandchildren came to visit and also great-grandchildren, including baby Natalie and baby Wyatt. Veronica was also blest with a step-great-grand daughter, Alexis, daughter of Jeremy and Rebecca, and infant Faith, Katelyn and Michael’s second daughter.

In her last six months, Veronica experienced much decline. She was placed on hospice status and she sustained several more strokes. Numerous times, when everyone thought that Veronica’s time was near, she surprised everyone with repeated "comebacks ", though never quite to her previous level of function. Nursing assistants were devoted to Veronica and cared for her tenderly. Tears were shed when it was clear that she couldn’t bounce back one more time.

In nearly 98 years, Veronica lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, 911 and in 2020, the Global Pandemic. Because of the pandemic, family was not allowed to visit, unless it appeared that Veronica was close to death. After having another stroke and being on bed rest for several weeks, Veronica gradually declined and took her last breaths with daughters present on June 7th, 2020. Memories of Veronica’s well lived life will be treasured forever by those who loved her and cared for her.

Pat Schober-Branigan
June 10, 2020
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