Marie Schickel Rottschaefer died October 28, 2021.
She composed her own obituary (final version, February 29, 2021.)
Here is her story in her own words:
Marie Therese Schickel Rottschaefer RN BSN MSN Ed. was born in Ithaca New York June 14, 1929. My parents, of happy memory, were Norbert H. Schickel of German heritage, PhD Cornell University Mechanical Engineering, and noted motorcycle engineer in the early days of motorcycle manufacturing.
Recently his grandson Kenneth Anderson presented his work for which Norbert Sr. was admitted to the applicable Hall of Fame. In later years my father built an apartment house for faculty, staff and students nearby Cornell. His focus became more as a builder than an engineer.
My mother, Marie J. Schickel RN of Irish, Canadian heritage raised two families in the era of the 1918 great flu epidemic. Each of my parents lost a first spouse because of the fragile state of medicine that burst into modern medicine later in those years.
My brothers, Gerald Schickel, Louis Schickel, Hubert Schickel, Jack Schickel, William Schickel, Norbert Schickel Jr, sisters, Agnes S. Anderson, mother of 11 children and Ruth Schickel, RSCJ make up my generation although it was a generation of distinct parts, some of these people being half-siblings. But we, each of us, played the hand that was given to us. Like all of humanity, we had our challenges and our achievements. An extended family on my mother and father’s side of the family, before and after these siblings, comprises my genealogy. My brothers were diverse in their interests and work accomplishments given the academic and work freedom they were allowed.
My husband, William A. Rottschaefer is an emeritus professor of philosophy of science and numerous other philosophical areas at Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. Bill and I married in our forties. We have no children. But my husband and I count many youth in our life as a significant part of our life.
I had a diverse work-life in the nursing / health and social service sector both as a paid worker and volunteer. My role was as a generalist in that era rather than a specialist that is the zeitgeist of today’s world of medicine, nursing, health promotion and related fields. Several years of service with an international Catholic lay women’s’ group also shaped my living and service to people and planet. But it was by no means an exclusive influence. Good parents and many other opportunities in my world of work had the greatest power to affect my development as a person. I am grateful.
In retirement I took up the theme of people and planet by reading and writing in varied ways and promoted this project by the accomplishment of small to large-scale work globally. Large-scale work globally evolved because when I was a young girl, I made the decision that if I received an inheritance from my relatives, I wanted the major part of it to go to people in dire need and our planet in a similar state. My dream became a reality. With the assistance of experts in socially responsible investing and the required integrity my small inheritance became a manyfold reality. I developed a small competence and became qualified to join with other similar groups and to help rebuild our people and planet joining with masses to ready us for a unique transformation of our world in the twenty-first century. This is an evolutionary requirement not a vague desire. We are accomplishing much but have far to go.
My religious-ethical ideology has grown and changed over the years along with many others of my associates. Major attention to both people and planet is my primary occupation, preoccupation and quest for the ultimate meaning of life. The evolutionary journey itself is the key to this discovery. No matter what one’s ethics, moral accomplishment, religion, belief and conduct is, we all participate positively or negatively in this journey that is the only way to reach our destination. A journey is of course a goal-directed movement. The universe holds the set of instructions. In my humble opinion religion must move from doctrine and dogma to science and ‘philosophical reach’. Even history’s beginners had a sense of forward and backward, -- a sense of direction, and a basic human instinct that promotes movement. Movement implies correct steps or correction.
I am grateful where I was placed in this great reality. While still a part of present earth life I will try with genuine effort to continue the positive steps on this exciting journey. I send much gratitude to the many people and situations that influenced me to being a better person. Yes, dear people and positive situations we did it together! We brought people and planet beautiful steps forward. Let us just keep going.
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