Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Charlie Deutsch, Pat Schotl's Memorial Service, Calvary Cemetery

This blog results from the trip that Shan and I made to the memorial service for Aunt Patricia Schanno Schotl on September 14th, 2013.  We had planned to meet with Pat sometime in October to learn more of her history and continue filling out the Schanno family tree.  Unfortunately, before we could meet again, she passed on and left a void for all who knew and loved her.  We wanted to share in the remembrance and celebration of this woman so we decided to make the trip and attend the service. 

As stated in the Memoriam blog I had just renewed a contact with Pat that had been lost many years before.  I knew a little about her but less about her children and their lives.  I remember meeting Sandi, her oldest daughter, and the two older boys Craig and David.   Jean and Dianne, the two youngest girls and Rob, the youngest son, were all born after I left St. Paul.  I wondered if I would recognize anyone at the service and what kind of reception we would receive, based on the fact their father, my uncle, Herbert James Schotl, had not been there for them for most of their growing up years.  After the separation and divorce from Pat, he remarried and had little or nothing to do with his children.  He died December 31 of 1997 and was buried in Fort Snelling Military Cemetery.

We had little opportunity to meet or talk to anyone before the service with the exception of Pat's brother Dell Schanno and his wife Janet.  They live in Wirt, Minnesota and had made the 4 hour trip to St. Paul in the morning and planned to return after the service was over.
Janet had her own story to tell as a couple of months before she had become disoriented while picking blue berries and spent the night in the woods with the whole county looking for her.

We introduced ourselves after the service to Jean and her brother David.  I don't think it registered at the time that we were first cousins.  We did talk to some of the women from Aunt Pat's apartment building and met two ladies, the Benton sisters, who were related to Pat, and grew up on Western Avenue just off Front Street.  While we wished we could have met more of the family, we were happy we went and paid our respects. 

St. Paul is about a four hour trip from Mount Horeb, so when we make the trek we usually try to combine a number of visits with genealogy research. We had been in contact with a Mr. Charlie Deutsch through the Burgenland Bunch site and had been wanting to meet and talk to him about some of  my relatives and their neighbors who were from Northern Burgenland.  These people emigrated to the Midwest from a small area surrounding the town of Monchhof.  They came as farmers and tradesmen.  Some bought farms while many took up residence in St. Paul's Rice Street Neighborhood and nearby "Frogtown".   

                                                  Map is from the Burgenland Bunch site

Shan had sent Charlie some family names we were researching and he told her he would do some checking.  He agreed to meet with us on that Friday and we set the time and place at the Barnes and Nobles on Snelling Avenue.  After swapping some St. Paul stories and  learning about each other, he brought out his lap-top.  Most of the records we were interested in he personally entered into a spread-sheet from the Saint Bernard Church and School records.  "The Church of Saint Bernard's Baptism, Marriage, and Death records have been digitized for the years from 1890 - 1940.  The Grade School records have been digitized for the years 1890 - 1955."  He encourages a contact and his information is  available here.

As it turned out on Sunday morning, we had some time before heading down to Onalaska to visit with my sister Kayleen and Larry White, her husband.  We made a quick visit to Calvary Cemetery on Front Street in St. Paul.  My Grandfather Frank Schotl, his son Lawrence, and my Great Aunt's husband John Handler Jr. are all buried there. We had never visited their graves.  Shan had obtained a cemetery map from the office so we knew where to look.  Calvary is a huge cemetery located on Front Street, West of Dale Street, serving  St. Paul's Catholic community with over 100,00 burials. 

                           We were able to clean off the stones and take the marker photos.

After our time in the cemetery, and as we headed out of town, we drove down Front Street through the Rice Street area.  We wanted to see if we could locate the building or buildings that are in photos we have of Herb and Len Schotl. 

The photo on the left was taken ca. 1945.  As we drove up Geranium to Rice Street we realized we had found the same spot.  The photo on the right was taken Sept. 2013.  The building across the street, behind the men, is now the DeLisle Co. Realty.  The building now on the left is used by The International School of Excellence, a Hmong School which is located in what was formerly a Saint Bernard's School building.  Saint Bernard's Grade School closed in 2009 and the High School closed in 2010.   

The photo on the left was taken ca. 1945  from behind the bar on the corner.  The photo on the right was taken Sept. 2013 from about the same spot.  The distinctive black lines can be seen on the brick on both photos.


The last photo is of the back of the bar, again ca. 1945 with both Herb and Len Schotl and unknown 3rd person.  The place matching photo is again from September, 2013.  Note the vents, grated window and electrical connections look very much the same.  We are hoping Charlie can help ID some of the other men in the older photos. 

                Shan took a couple of other photos in the Rice Street Neighborhood.

"Old" Firehouse 22, at the corner of Front and Matilda

My father and mother lived briefly at 1001      Matilda Street.  Old Fire Engine House 22 was located down the block at the corner of Front and Matilda.  After Dad was employed by the St. Paul Fire Department he spoke with fondness of being able to renew his acquaintance at that location.  In his job as Superintendent of Apparatus, he was in charge of keeping the equipment and vehicles in good running order and frequently did testing at that station.

Originally built in 1887, this was a single-bay, two-story house.  It first housed Supply Hose Number 5.   On October 8, 1912, Hose 5 was replaced by Engine 22.  A 1940 report stated that it had been "completely rebuilt and modernized into a bungalow-type station with sleeping quarters in the rear."  In 1958, the new [present] station was built at Front and Marion, housing Engine 22 and Ladder 3.  The old fire house building still stands and is used for storage by Viking Sign Supplies.

corner of Front St. and N. Albemarle

Shan also took a photo of an interesting brick building a few blocks down Front Street on the corner of North Albemarle.  It was a corner grocery as the beginning of the name is visible at the top of the structure.  It was nice to see the old sign painted on the side so nicely preserved.  I hope we can find out more of the store's history.  The building now serves as a residence.

As a very nice conclusion to this blog, I am pleased to say that Pat's daughter Jean called and we talked for quite a while putting together some of the family puzzle .  She appears as happy as I am to have found a new cousin.  She knows very little about her Father's side of the family and seems interested in learning about him.  Also later in the
week there was an email contact from Jessica Good Anderson, a daughter of Pat's daughter Dianne.   She also is interested in working on her family tree.  I told her I would help as I could. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

In Memorium: Patricia Anne Schanno Schotl, 1928-2013

In Memorium: Patricia Anne Schanno Schotl, 1928-2013
Patricia Schanno, n.d.

Much of this blog was written before we learned of Aunt Pat's passing.  We were aware of some of the health problems she dealt with daily, but when we saw her she was cheerful, happy for the visit, moving about preparing lunch and all the while chatting away about the kids and the neighbors, her card games and trips to the casino.  We spoke to her after our visit and planned to see her in October.  We were very surprised and saddened when a family member sent us the obituary from the Sunday paper of September 7.
We concluded our July 2013 Minnesota trip with a  visit with Aunt Patricia Schanno Schotl at her residence, in a senior apartment building on Larpenteur Avenue, in Roseville.  

Earlier in the summer, Shan and I composed a letter to her and two of her children.  We found addresses through Internet searches and sent a letter that detailed our forthcoming visit and our wish to meet and share experiences with them.   A  few weeks later there was a phone call from Aunt Pat.

She had just returned from a "grandchild wedding up north" and found our letter.  "When can you come?... can you stay for lunch?  I'll make Fajitas. Do you like Fajitas?"

Herbert J. Schanno, Roselawn Cemetery,
Roseville MN

Mollie Dieters Schanno Roselawn Cemetery,
 Roseville MN

Pat's paternal grandfather, Herbert John Schanno, was born on December 28, 1880 in Minnesota. He married Molly Deiters.   Their son Clinton and daughter Iona were adopted.

According to Pat, Herbert owned a dairy farm near the Pearson Candy factory along West 7th Street near downtown St. Paul.  He also worked as a milk tester.  He  died at the age of 46 on December 17, 1926 and is buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Roseville, Minnesota.  Molly was born on Nov. 1, 1882, and died on June 20 1974. She is also buried in Roselawn Cemetery.                                              



Helen Schanno, Calvary Cemetery,
St. Paul MN

Pat's father, Clinton/Clifton Schanno  married Pat's mother Helen A. Love.  They had three sons and one daughter.

Clinton was born April 5th , 1906 in West Saint Paul and died in Wirt Minnesota on his birthday in 1964. He is buried in Acacia Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota.  Her mother, Helen, was born on October 8, 1907, in Wisconsin.  She died on July 27, 1945 at the age of 37, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St Paul.

Washington High School, St. Paul

Smith School at Geranium and Sylvan

Patricia was the first born of the four, the only sister to Don, Del and Thomas.  She grew up in the Rice Street area of Saint Paul and went to Smith Elementary School and then to Washington High School where she graduated in 1946.  

She recalled the hard times of the Depression when she put cardboard in her shoes and her Dad had earned money by "dare boxing."  "He used to come home with black eyes."   She said he also talked about his cooking for the railroad guys but didn't know if it was a job with the railroad or if he had cooked for some of the hobos down by the railroad yards.  Her father's given name was Clinton, but somehow or for some reason, it had been changed to Clifton.  "It may have been to avoid the bill collectors."  A photo she seems to especially treasure is one of her father with her brother Donald and his first deer.

According to the 1931 and 1932 St. Paul City Directories, Clinton was living with wife Helen and young family at 1034 Crowell Ave, St. Paul.  Patricia was aged 6.  He was employed as a driver for St. Paul Milk Company. The family then moved to 63 Jessamine Ave. and he was working as a truck driver for Baldwin Transfer Co.  His wife, Helen Love Schanno died on July 27 of 1945.   Her Father remarried in 1946 to Helen M Kuebelbeck and continued to live in the  house on Jessamine.  After her Mother's death Pat moved out and lived with a neighbor.  In 1948 Clinton was employed as the "Recording Secretary for St. Paul General Drivers, Union Local 120".

Enter the scene, a dashing young soldier, my Uncle Herbert James Schotl, the youngest sibling of my mother, Bernice Schotl Glaeve.  He was discharged from the Army in January of 1946, and  returned to St. Paul.  He was living with his mother on Jackson Street and was hanging around the Rice Street area with a few army buddies and neighborhood chums. According to Aunt Pat, "It was a rough group and they were and up to no good." 

One evening, as Pat was on the way to dinner at the home of one of her friends, she chanced upon Herb and he asked her to a movie.  She knew who he was and because of his reputation, she wanted nothing to do with him.   She declined the invitation but he later showed up at the friend's house and the rest is mushy history.  They were married in March of 1948.

As a young pre-teen boy I had known her as Aunt Pat.  My only lasting memory is of a visit with her in an upstairs apartment somewhere in the Rice Street area.  I don't think Herb was there and if there was a child, it was of the wee size.  She sat on a large over-stuffed green chair and smoked a cigarette.  When I showed her the photo she said, "Well I haven't smoked for 45 years". 


Pat with daughter

Herb and Pat were parents to 5 children.  They were Sandi (1948), Craig (1954), David (1958), Jean (1960) and Dianne (1963). 
Schotl house at 1123 Albemarle St.
They were living at 1123 Albemarle Street, about a block from St. Bernard Catholic Church where the children were baptized.  The children attended St. Bernard Elementary School and at least some attended St. Bernard High School.


St. Catherine University sits on 110 wooded acres in the
Highland Village neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota

Ultimately the marriage ended in separation and divorce.   Pat went back to school and
earned a nursing degree at the College of St. Catherine (St. Kate's).  She said the kids were
a great help as she was getting her education.

Sandi married James Koktavy in 1967 and was living in Arizona when she was diagnosed with cancer.  She died on May 21 of 1999 in a hospice care facility in Coon Rapids Minnesota.  The other children, including Pat's last son Rob, are alive and were very much a part of her life.

Children of Herb and Patricia Schotl with Grandma Rose, ca. 1964


Pat's photo of Craig and little one

In her apartment there were child and grand-child pictures everywhere. 

Photo in Pat's apartment of daughters Dianne and Jean




"I have so many pictures I have to change them according to who is coming for a visit" she commented.   When Shan asked her how she kept them all straight she said "Oh I just call them all honey".

Her brother Donald became very interested in "where everybody was buried".  He spent time at the Courthouse inquiring about records and traveling to cemeteries.  "He always wanted me to go along but I never did... He kept notes and drew small maps on 4" x 6" index cards of the cemeteries with burial locations." 

Pat showed us some of these cards.  I took some photos of them and include a sample which is the one for her brother Thomas Schanno. Thomas was disabled from birth and was institutionalized for most of his life.  Pat made time to visit and make sure he was getting good care.  "Of course I always took candy for his friends so they were always happy when I came to see him."
 Shan and I hope to expand Pat's story to share with family and friends.  We would like to hear from any one who has corrections or additions to what we have written so far, or would like to share their memories of this wonderful, courageous woman.  You may use the "Post a comment" section below to make a contact or to share your memory.
Rest in Peace Aunt Pat.  You have been an inspiration.   Gerry Glaeve and Shan Thomas, September 11, 2013.