Cover photo for Vida Mae Schell's Obituary
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Vida Mae Schell

July 11, 1923 — October 30, 2019

Vida Mae Schell, 96, of Marysville, KS, died October 30, 2019, at Community Memorial Healthcare in Marysville. Visitation was Friday, November 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville.  The family receive relatives and friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Marysville. A rosary service was held at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Marysville, Friday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 2.  Father Nathan Haverland officiated.  The lector was Captain Brian P. Thompson.  The servers were Grant Haefele and Connor Lee.  The eucharistic ministers were Ron Grauer, Bob Voet and Mary Jane Strunk.  The musicians were Cindy Voet, Wayne Kruse, Mary Ann Bower and Cindy Voet.  Music included “Here I Am Lord”, “You Are Mine”, “One Bread, One Body”, “Morning Has Broken”, “Ave Maria” and “Song of Farewell”. The pallbearers were Darrin L. Schell, Ryan W. Kramer, Travis L. Kramer, Todd A. Oehm, Andrew J. Schell, Corey M. Barnes, Justin Schell and Zachary L. Weis. The honorary pallbearers were Captain Brian P. Thompson, Shannon L. Schell, Shawn A. Schell, Hank J. Schell, DJ Remmers, Jason W. Phillips, Dylan D. deKoning and Tyler L. Weis. Burial was in St. Gregory’s Catholic Cemetery. Born Vida Mae Martha Lau in 1923, in Marysville, she was the fourth of Herman and Minnie Lau’s five children.  She attended MacDonald Grade School in rural Marysville for eight years.  She graduated from Marysville High School at age 16 in 1940. Having had Normal Training in high school, Vida Mae taught at Pretty Prairie grade school for two years.  She continued friendships with many of her pupils throughout her life. She met the love of her life, a young, blue-eyed man by the name of Lorane Schell while attending a dance.  Family lore has it that he saw her through the window before approaching her.  “The most beautiful woman I ever saw,” he would recount decades later.  After dating for a time, he proposed to her at Park-Mor, a legendary hamburger place in the 1940’s.  He told the story about how he hardly took one bite out of that hamburger because he was so eager to pop the question. They were joined in Holy Matrimony on June 8, 1942, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.  The newlyweds moved to Wichita where they both worked for Boeing Aircraft.  Vida Mae left Boeing as they welcomed their first child, Paulette, in 1944.  After the war, they moved back to Marysville where they began farming on the Schell family farm.  In 1946, son, David, arrived followed by daughters, Kathy in 1948, Peggy in1950, Jane in 1953, son, Jim, in 1954, daughter, Janet, in 1955, son Jeffrey in 1959, and daughter, Amy in 1966. Along with the family, the farm grew over the years to 1400 acres. Vida Mae’s responsibilities of running a household, rearing children, and bookkeeping for Schell Farm and Construction did not keep her from being a dedicated, faithful community and church member. She was a devout Catholic, converted to the Church through marriage.  She was a member and held offices in St. Gregory’s Altar Society and the Daughters of Isabella.  She was a Kansas delegate to several Catholic women conventions.  She served on numerous committees for church activities. Vida Mae and Lorane loved to dance with each other throughout their dating and married years.  They could be seen at the Moose Lodge, Club 36, the Knights of Columbus Hall, the American Legion, and other venues in Kansas and Nebraska  where they enjoyed the Big Band sound and homegrown musicians. Vida Mae was a volunteer with RSVP, Lee Dam Art Center, and a member of M-ACT, Marysville Area Community Theatre, now Marshall County Arts Cooperative. For many years, Vida Mae volunteered at St. Gregory’s School and had several pen pals from area elementary schools.  She belonged to the former Golden Rule Club, Do Good Club, and Sunflower Extension.  She was on the Marshall County elections board. Along with her husband, Lorane, she attended every convention of the Kansas Conservation Contractors’ Association and Land Improvement Contractors’ Association (LICA) for over 40 years. They also attended national conventions throughout the United States.  In 1989, she had the distinct honor of being named National Contractor’s Wife of the Year by the LICA. An avid reader, Vida Mae read the newspaper and other publications daily and recited poems spontaneously. She read to sight impaired individuals until her own eyesight failed in 2017.  She loved plants and animals—was always admiring birds and flowers through her kitchen window and on drives. Playing cards was a favorite pastime. Vida Mae will always be remembered by family and close friends for her incredible coconut cream and lemon meringue pies, performing the Chicken Dance, being an accurate weather predictor, making her funny “cat face” when it struck her, and stating at the end of phone calls, “I love you all.” When asked what she would like her descendants to learn and take from her long life, she said, “Faith—Life is impossible without it.”  Her community attests to her generosity—contributing to numerous building funds, and artistic and charitable endeavors.  Many persons from acquaintances to local merchants have commented on her classy demeanor, “I never heard her utter a cross word….”  “So many people love this woman.” Survivors include her children, Paulette Oinonen (Dr. Phil) Stoughton, WI, David Schell (Laura Felty) Oketo, Kathy Phillips (Phil) Fresno, CA, Peggy Kramer (Dennis) Marysville, Jane Shirack (Tom) Westmoreland, KS, Jim Schell (Dr. Karen) Frankfort, KS, Janet Barnes, Omaha, NE, Jeffrey Schell (Marsha) Marysville, and Amy Weis (Lee), Falun, KS; grandchildren, Brian Thompson (Michele) Chesapeake, VA, Kelly Harrington (Jon) Scottsdale, AZ, Amy DeBruin (Nate) Minneapolis, MN, Molly Oinonen-Wallwin (Bruce) Peoria, AZ, Darrin Schell (Stacy) Frankfort, KS, Shannon Schell, Frankfort, KS, Shawn Schell (Michelle) Ault, CO, Hank Schell (Dee) Frankfort, KS, DJ Remmers,  Oketo, KS, Jason Phillips (Va) Lacey, WA, Cheyne V Phillips-Lopez (Mario) Fresno, CA, Melanie Ladner (Jeremy) Fulshear, TX, Travis Kramer(Margaret) Platte City, MO, Ryan Kramer (Hui) Olathe, KS, Todd Oehm (Michelle) Marysville, Dylan deKoning (Rachael) Overland Park, KS, Andrew Schell, Kansas City, MO, Elissa Williams, Gladstone, MO, Allison Schell, Beattie, KS, Corey Barnes (Kaitlyn) Omaha, NE, Ashley Begnoche (Clint) Las Vegas, NV, Jocelyn Sharp (Dustin) Merriam, KS, Justin Schell (Micala) Marysville, Zachary Weis, Salina, KS, Tyler Weis (Sarah Crouse), Manhattan, KS, Rachel Weis, Lawrence, KS; great-grandchildren, Emily Thompson, Eric Thompson, Alexandra Thompson, Andrew Thompson, Corynn Colbert, Sierra Peppler, Tyler Thomas, Seth Schell (Tiffany), Blake Schell, Conway Schell, Kenan Phillips, Julia Phillips, Joshua Phillips, Sawyer Lopez, Drew Ladner, Ava Ladner, Bear Ladner, James Kramer, Johanna Mae Kramer, Celes Kramer, Haley Oehm, Catalina Oehm, Gauge Oehm, Quinn deKoning, Lola Williams, Rorric Barnes, Mila Begnoche, Isabel Sharp, Barrett Schell, Gracie Schell, Mack Schell and Roland Schell; and her loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 63 years, Lorane Francis Schell in 2006; grandson, Troy Lee Oehm in 1996; and siblings, Velma Voet, Vera Lau, Vernon Lau and Violet McCoy. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Marshall County Arts Cooperative, Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc., and/or Kansas Land Improvement Contractors Association Scholarship Fund. Contributions may be sent in care of Kinsley Mortuary. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vida Mae Schell, please visit our flower store.

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