Madeline Sue Schaefer lived a long and lovely life surrounded by the ones she loved, in places she loved, doing what she loved. Madeline Schaefer (nee Simon), of Swansea, Illinois passed away on May 9th at Mercy Rehab and Care Center knowing she was deeply loved.
She was born February 23, 1939, in Granite City, IL to the late Emil Francis Simon and Garnet Juanita (Nail) Simon. She is survived and eternally loved by her husband of 60 joyful years, Floyd Walter Schaefer and two doting sons, Steve Schaefer (Joyce Cracchiolo-Schaefer) of Kirkwood, MO and Kevin Schaefer (Robert Pasley) of Sacramento, CA; three devoted granddaughters Cameron Elizabeth, Allison Rose, and Jillian Christine; one wonderful sister, Pat Berneuter (Ed); six nieces and nephews, Deb Williams, Tammy (Tony) Frey, Tina (John) Storll, Craig (Julie) Bernreuter, Shari (Rick) Miles and Craig (Cindy) Renth; many great nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
Madeline started her career as a secretary at Brown Shoe Company in St. Louis from 1960 to 1963 and again from 1964 to 1966. The year in-between, she accompanied Floyd to Darmstadt, Germany where both worked for the Army Stars and Stripes newspaper, Floyd as a printer and Madeline as a secretary.
In 1971, Madeline joined the High Mount School District #116 as the front office secretary until she retired in 2001. She was affectionately known as “Mrs. Schaefer” by the staff, students, and families she served. Upon retirement, she received the Educational Service Personnel Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions by the Illinois State Board of Education.
While she was proud of her career, she found utmost joy in the role of Motherhood.
In her later years, Madeline fell in love with her new life’s purpose in being “Nana” to her 3 granddaughters. She lived by the motto, “what happens at nana’s, stays at nana’s.” She spoiled them rotten with her baking, cuddles, time and love. She taught her oldest granddaughter, Cameron, about the passion for the game of baseball and of life. She taught her middle granddaughter, Ally Rose, how to give lasting hugs and master under-the-breath comments – much to her father’s chagrin. She taught her youngest granddaughter, Jillian, how to feel deeply and love so sweetly, that it causes toothaches.
To generations of her family, friends, colleagues, and students Madeline was all things soft and warm, steadfast and supportive, and provided a motherly shoulder on which to laugh, to cry, and to feel love. Madeline had a knack about her that made everyone she knew feel important. Her passing has broken the hearts she helped strengthen with love for 84 years. We will be alright but boy, oh boy will we miss her.
A visitation for Madeline will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023 from 4:00 P.M.- 8:00 P.M. at Lake View Funeral Home, Fairview Heights, IL.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 10:00 A.M. at the funeral home, with Pastor Ron Habermehl officiating. Final interment will be held at Lake View Memorial Gardens.
Memorial donations in Madeline’s name may be made to Mercy Rehab or VITAS Hospice.