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. 


  1. Hi, my name is Jessica Anderson and I am Patricia's granddaughter. I absolutely LOVE what you wrote. If you wouldn't mind, could you please email me?

  2. Hey Gerry,

    When you start getting comments from distant family members that you may not know, that is when it starts getting fun! It seems that you have crossed that threshold . . .

  3. Not a distant family member, but a distant heirloom calling...
    I just blogged about the autograph album of Annie (Annetta?) Schanno of St. Paul, Minnesota. Her brother, Herbert John Schanno, signed a page in it. You can see the page here:
    And you might be able to help fill in some of the blanks.