CLASS OF 1930
Nadine Weber Schwartz, 82, who died Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, 1995, at her Paola home, lived a life full of books, travel, and especially family.
She was born Oct. 29, 1913, in her parents' rural home near DeSoto, the third of a family of five. Her parents William Henry and Margarent Rohrer Weber, were descendants of pioneers who settled in Dickinson County, Kan., in the middle of the 19th century.
Within a year or two, the family moved to Lawrence and later to Ottawa, where her father owned and operated a grocery store.
The family moved to Osawatomie in 1923, where her father organized and managed American State Bank. It was family owned and managed for more than 50 years
She graduated from Osawatomie High School with honors with the Class of 1930. She attended the University of Kansas, where she studied Latin and psychology. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She graduated at age 20 in 1934 with a bachelor of arts degree.
During her last year at KU, she was chosen Jayhawker Queen, the best of the five most beautiful senior girls as picked in the annual yearbook contest. The sole judge, journalist Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., of the famous Vanderbilt family back East, sealed his choice with a note about her: "This is one of the loveliest girls I've seen in years."
After graduation, she worked as a welfare social worker in Miami County and as a teller in the family bank in Osawatomie.
She attended the 1936 summer session at the University of Heidelberg in Germany to study German.
She was married in Jan. 2, 1937, to Lawrence M. Schwartz. They celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary this year.
Mrs. Schwartz was an avid reader and took great interest in the Paola Free Library. While her husband was mayor of the city of Paola, he appointed her to the library board. Later, she became president and was instrumental in the planning, design, and fundraising for the library's expansion in the mid-1980s.
Her testimony before a state funding group is credited with securing the $45,000 grant that was see money for the new library addition. It was her objective to complete the $179,000 addition without any debt, a goal that was achieved within two years.
Mrs. Schwartz had a great interest in overseas travel, which she viewed as highly educational. Starting with her trip to Germany after college, she visited Europe a number of times. She also traveled to Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Russia, Australia, Egypt, Israel, and India.
She was among the few Americans in the Soviet Union to witness the May Day celebration on the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in the late 1960s. She and a daughter, Renee, had a hotel room overlooking Red Square.
Those who knew Mrs. Schwartz closely appreciated her intelligence, humor, kindness, understanding, and common sense.
She was known as a sophisticated, worldly woman, who dedicated her life to nuturing her large family of children and grandchildren.
Her greatest love was her family. Just keeping up with six children and 15 grandchildren kept her quite busy.
Family members said a grand daughter's comment on the importance of Mrs. Schwartz coming to her high school basketball games best summed up Mrs. Schwartz's impact on them all: "Grandma, I play better when you're there."
She loved to swim in the summer for exercise and fun. Until she was 75 years old, Mrs. Schwartz could be seen cycling around Paola on a single-speed bike with a handlebar basket for carrying things. It was her transportation of choice.
She was a member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and its Altar Society. She was a member of the Friends of the Library and the Chancellor Club of the University of Kansas. She was a member of the former Coterie Club.
Preceding her in death were her parents and two brothers, Alden O. Weber and Leland W. Weber.
Surviving are her husband, L.M. "Mike" Schwartz of the home; four sons, Lawerence M. Schwartz Jr. of Kansas City, Mo., William T. Schwartz of Birmingham, Ala., Richard G. Schwartz of Fairhope, Ala., and David J. Schwartz of Paola; two daughters Jan Michele Peakes of Leawood and Jean Renee Barlow of Little Rock, Ark.; a sister, Velma Huddleston of Santa Rosa, Calif.; a brother, Wayne W. Weber of Albuquerque, N.M.; 15 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A visittation will be after 7 pm Thursday at the Wilson and Son Chapel in Paola, with a prayer service at 8 pm. The funeral Mass will be at 10 am Friday at the church. The Rev. Earl Dekat will officiate. Judy Jeck will be the organist and the Ursuline nuns will sing.
Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemtery, rural Paola. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
The family requests that contributions be made in her name to the Paola Free Library.