Sunday, March 7, 2004

Homily for Marge Schott

The homily delivered by Father Dennis Jaspers at the funeral of Marge Schott, All Saints Catholic Church, March 6, 2004

They all turned out to hail 'a great lady'
And a red-tailed hawk circled high over her gravesite
Players show up to honor 'a good woman'
Bronson: Marge reflected best and worst of Cincinnati
Radel: Cincinnati can learn a lot listening to Marge Schott

Homily for Marge Schott
Funeral photo gallery
Memorial Section

Last June, less than a year ago, All Saints Parish invited Mrs. Schott to an early morning assembly of students and teachers. We thanked her personally for her generous donation for the new Parish Center, which provides a space for our students to eat their lunches, a new gymnasium and dressing rooms. We also showed her that our Parish Center had been named the "Marge Schott Parish Center" in her honor.

After the grade school principal, Mrs. Stratford, and I made our remarks, Marge came to the microphone, thanked us and then immediately deflected the attention off herself and told the students that All Saints had a good reputation "out in the community" and that they should work and study hard. Then, she said she had a gift for their Pastor. I went to the podium and received a bag containing the Schottzie ball cap. The students clapped and roared. That was a happy day ... that was a fun day.

That was a special occasion for All Saints Parish. I am sure a similar story could be told by the many other people and organizations that she helped.

Today, we gather to bid farewell to Marge -- to extend sympathy to her sisters: Lottie, Bobbie, Caroline and Winnie and to other relatives and friends.

I suggest that we get in touch with our feelings and emotions at this time. There are probably feelings of sadness at the loss of this special lady who was your relative, friend, boss, benefactor, leader, celebrity and owner of the Reds. Hopefully, there are positive good feelings that she is at peace -- no more health issues to deal with...

We are here in this church to celebrate her life and thank God for Marge. First, we thank God for the Gift of Life -- 75 years -- as family and friends, we wish it had been longer, but it was a full life and she accomplished a lot.

Secondly, we thank God for the Gift of Faith -- bestowed on her at her Baptism at the Church of the Annunciation in Clifton, formed by her parents and teachers -- nurtured with the Eucharist and the other sacraments. She was a person of faith.

Another Gift was that of Family: her parents, sisters; her husband, her nieces, nephews and other relatives.

It is hard to stop here because Marge considered her employees at Schott Buick and Schottco Corporation, also, as part of her family. Actually, the list could go on to include every child she met, gave an autograph to, or encountered anywhere. She just loved people.

She also loved her home in Indian Hill, called Ambleside -- where she loved to entertain family and friends, invited the religious sisters to come over and use her swimming pool, where she allowed a young girl to ride her horse and train for the Olympics. The list could go on and on.

These are a few of the facets of her life that I can share; but each of you have your memories -- your favorite "Marge story."

And so, the best news is that we, as believers, know even though her body lies in death, her soul lives on. Death is not the end; it is a door to eternal life. May God bless Marge for her generous, loving heart. One day, we hope to be re-united with all of our deceased relatives and friends. Marge will be missed. But our memories of her will live on. And may her good deeds be an example and a challenge for us to imitate.

By Father Dennis Jaspers
All Saints Church

Bronson: Marge reflected best and worst of Cincinnati
Homily for Marge Schott
They all turned out to hail 'a great lady'
And a red-tailed hawk circled high over her gravesite
Players show up to honor 'a good woman'
Radel: Cincinnati can learn a lot listening to Marge Schott

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