Frances Schochenmaier, PierreFrances Mauree Schochenmaier, 87, Pierre, formerly of Bonesteel, died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre, from complications of leukemia.
Frances Mauree Schochenmaier, 87, Pierre, formerly of Bonesteel, died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre, from complications of leukemia.
She was born on Sept. 21, 1924.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Bonesteel. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Bonesteel. There will be a 4 p.m. rosary Sunday at the church. Visitation will be one hour prior to both services at the church.
Born to Albin and Rose (Sedivy) Kalkowski in Lynch, Neb., Frances was raised on the family farm near Lynch. Frances was very active in her family, church and community as she grew up. This foundation of family, faith and service to others shaped her entire life.
After high school, she went on to Teacher’s College in Wayne, Neb., and then began teaching at a country school near Naper, Neb. While living in Naper, Frances met the love of her life. As the young school teacher, she was invited to a party for Herman Schochenmaier, who was home on a 10 day leave from the Army. Five days later there was a dance.
She recalled vividly what Herman was wearing that night; apparently they made quite an impression on each other. Frances said goodbye to Herman shortly thereafter and she did not see him again for nearly three years. She wrote him a letter every day.
They must have gotten to know each other quite well with those letters because Herman proposed the day he got home from his service in WWII and they were married on July 30, 1945.
As a new couple, they started farming and raising a family. Together they faced the challenges of starting a farm in the 1940s. Challenges were many; rewards often were few and far between. However as a couple that was dedicated to each other, they faced each event with the strength that was only available to a couple and not to individuals.
In 1948, their first child was born, Carol Ann, followed in subsequent years with four sons, Leon, Kevin, Marti, and Gregg.
With her strength, faith, and service, Frances was the glue that held the family together throughout many challenges. She pushed her children to do things that they were not used to doing, from athletics, to band, to debate, to school plays and to helping others. The lessons of hard work were taught early and often. Good grades were not an option and a college education was something that Frances promoted early and often.
As in her childhood, extended family and friends were very important. She often talked about her extended family in and around Lynch. Her aunts, uncles, and cousins meant a great deal to her and the many family events were very special to her.
Frances never forgot a graduation, wedding, funeral or a friend in need. The family unit was very important and being there for family was the highest priority for Frances.
Frances also went back to teaching, where she spent 33 years in various school systems including Naper and Butte, Neb., and Bonesteel and Fairfax. Her many students were special to her and she received many compliments and thank-yous over the years from former students.
She was acknowledged by Gov. George Mickelson for her service when she retired.
Frances was a very active member of the Catholic Church. She attended weekly mass, she was a longtime organist for the church, she served many years in the Altar Society, and a church meal always had a creation from her kitchen.
In later years, the love of her life Herman started suffering from health-related issues. Frances never left his side through many days in the hospital and months recuperating at home. Herman left this earth on March 27, 1995, just a few months short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Frances then increased her caring for family members and friends. She left an inspiring record of caring for others, she loved to express herself though her cooking, embroidery, quilting, music, but mostly always checking on family to see how they were doing. She never lost her drive to help in our homes, especially the kitchen. Her recipes for food were recipes for love. She never lost that and she never lost her drive, ambition or tough spirit even to her last breath.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents, Albin and Rose Kalkowski; her brother Lawrence; and her husband Herman.
She is survived by her daughter Carol Ann and husband Jose; and her four sons: Leon and friend Kim; Kevin and wife Kris; Marti; Gregg and wife Janine; sisters: Irene Burback; and Marian Jo Barta; 14 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a large and well-loved extended family, and many friends.
We will all miss her and the example and gifts that she gave to all of us.
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