Don Schuele – In Memorium

Link to live stream: (link should appear on Jan. 6)

DONALD EDWARD SCHUELE, age 86, passed away on December 19, 2020. In this most unfathomable year, after losing our mother, Clare, to a long-term illness in July, we lost our father, Don, to complications from COVID-19 just before Christmas. Married for nearly 64 years, our parents were inseparable, in life and death. Their relationship began in true “Back to the Future” fashion; our mother’s best friend (and Don’s cousin) set her up with Don, who had recently moved to town, for a high school dance. Our father, a nerdy freshman at John Carroll, called the morning of the dance to cancel. But, as the story goes, Clare was rushing out the door to school and immediately asked when he planned to pick her up. He lost his resolve, gave in, and took her to the dance. The rest is history. Dad received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from John Carroll University. Graduation pictures included Mom, pregnant with one of six girls to follow. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Case Institute of Technology in 1963, with four daughters (at the time) in tow for that graduation. He joined the faculty there and enjoyed maintaining a lab on campus and working with students well into his retirement years. Our dad was, first and foremost, a teacher – countless physics students at CWRU benefitted from his talents and devotion in the classroom. Less than ten years after receiving his Ph.D., our dad joined the CWRU administration, eventually serving as a Vice President. He was a prolific fundraiser, with a reputation for insisting that donations support undergraduate education. But some of our dad’s students also knew him from hard-fought pickup games on the basketball court, where he even went up against Manute Bol. While recognized with many awards and an endowed chair, our dad’s greatest professional accomplishments can be summed up when a former student shared, “your father was the reason that I had a very good life.” Our mother returned to college after Dad completed his Ph.D., after having four daughters, and added two more in the process. She graduated from Frances Payne Bolton, and realized her dream of becoming a public health nurse. She worked for the county for decades in various Cleveland area schools. Inheriting her father’s green thumb, our mother tended to her roses and dahlias religiously (although she left the vegetable garden to our father, who approached his tomatoes with equal religiosity). When she was in high school, Clare took up sewing. Her mother was a master baker, but our mother thought it wiser to put her efforts into creations that could not be gobbled up by her four voracious brothers. She won a Singer Sewing Machine in a sewing contest, and while that prize was eventually replaced by a souped-up model, the set of scissors she was also awarded remained one of her most guarded possessions (and woe to anyone who used them to cut paper!). Clare used her talents to sew beautiful wedding dresses for two of her daughters and passed along her sewing talents to us. While we learned to appreciate bound buttonholes and plaids that matched at the seams, our skills came in handy when we sewed many creative Halloween costumes for her grandchildren, and a baptismal gown for the youngest grandchild. We couldn’t have done that without her. Before our mother’s illness intruded, our parents enjoyed years of travel, hours of ballroom dancing and ice skating, and many good times with their grandchildren. The older grandchildren enjoyed camping trips, with phone calls home to report their naughtiness. The younger grandchildren’s memories include riding and learning to drive the tractor lawnmower with grandpa, and eating ice cream cones galore. The Cleveland Skating Club was a favorite hangout. Three grandsons took to the ice, and our parents were very proud of their accomplishments in pairs and ice dance. Legendary family trips included summers at Cedar Point, an RV jaunt out west, and an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary. The Wilds in Ohio became a favorite with the grandchildren. Our parents ventured out alone to more exotic locales, including Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe for a river cruise. In addition, our dad was a devoted fan of all the Cleveland teams. Turns out he and our mom attended the same World Series game in 1948, a few years before they met. In his later 60s, he won a contest to kick a field goal at halftime of a Browns game. The ball, on a path to bisect the uprights, fell a few yards short, but our dad swore he would have made it if not for the required helmet placed on his head, impeding his sightline. He had hoped to return to the Indians’ Fantasy Camp at 87 years old in 2021, along with several nephews and grandsons, and a son-in-law. No doubt “Uncle Don” would have remained a fierce competitor on the field. Our father cared for our mother tirelessly as her disease progressed, and he grieved mightily when she passed away. Their faith sustained them in those dark days as well as in earlier, better times. We wish that we would have had many more years with our father, when he could reap the benefits of six daughters ready to spoil him. We are comforted by the thought of our dad being welcomed into heaven by our mom, Clare; his parents, Mildred and Edward; his three brothers, John, David, and Tom; and two grandchildren, Joe-Tony and Ellen. He is survived by his six daughters, Donna (Chuck Valdez), Karen (David Jarus), Clare Melanie (Marvin Lee), Judy (Michael Civiello), Rachel (Lowell Verderber), and Ruthie; grandchildren, Melissa (Chris Laco), Jessica, Elizabeth, Adam, Austin, Chip, Andrew, Michael, Michelle, Maddie, Annie, Daniel, and Matthew; great-grandchildren, Sophia and Noah; sister, Barbara (John Schubert); brother, Robert (Kay); and many nieces and nephews who will miss him dearly. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in memory of Don to the John Schuele ’48 Endowed Scholarship at St. Charles Preparatory School, 2010 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43209 or St. Dominic Catholic School, 3455 Norwood Rd., Shaker Hts., OH 44122. Funeral Mass Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Dominic Church, 19000 Van Aken Blvd., Shaker Hts., OH 44122. The Mass will be live streamed (access link on the St. Dominic Church website or the funeral home website). A private visitation will be held. Interment All Saints Cemetery. Masks are required at church and cemetery. Please sign Tribute Wall at: