Edna Phyllis Schuetz, a lifelong zealot for the elderly, led a pioneering life that one needs only to cross the threshold barrier of aging to match resources with needs, most notably in furthering ones education and health care, died on Aug. 20, 2013, in Farmington. She was 92.
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She was raised in Rockville and graduated from Rockville High School. In 1944, she moved to Manchester, the same year her son John Schuetz was born, where she lived with her husband, the former Henry Schuetz, who passed away in 1999. John is now a resident in Berlin, Germany, where he works and teaches in the visual arts. Edna began her professional career working with the Aetna Insurance Co. in Hartford, becoming one of its selling agents. She moved on to work for Gorman's Insurance Co. and later the Urbanetti Insurance Agency, both of Manchester, selling insurance for 30 years. At the same time, she became an earnst volunteer working in the intensive care unit at Manchester Memorial Hospital. Her interest in helping the elderly took shape here. Later in 1980, she became a student at Manchester Community College, where she took courses in the humanities. In 1982, she became the assistant president of the Manchester Community College Older Adult Association, a development program for older adults with the concept of promoting the enjoyment of learning at a later age. With these credits behind her, she found a vast well for the elderly in learning and expanding into the themes of physical fitness and recreational wellness and went on to develop with Court House Plus in Vernon a program known as Silver Sneakers, and served as its director for the next 16 years. She traveled widely throughout the State of Connecticut, speaking about what the individual elderly person could do for their own wellness. She was herself an avid sports woman, hiker, and swimmer. Thereafter Edna remained active joining the Manchester Senior Center as its spirited director of activities and entertainment. She kept up a busy schedule of guest appearances within and in her surrounding communities, spreading a personal philosophy for senior citizens to remain physically and mentally diligent. During this time, she traveled to Europe visiting family and friends and investing time at culturally historical sites and the world of theater and music. As well, Edna was an active member of St. Bartholomew Church, Manchester, a contributing editor to the parish newspaper and other services within the congregation. She devoted herself to writing about whatever intrigued her with a commitment of getting it right. Her views focused on elderly living, convinced that growing older can be attractive and heroic with conviction and a pool of new energy placed into ones individual existence.
Edna is survived by her son, John of Berlin, Germany; her two grandchildren, Ella Katherine Schuetz and John Julian Schuetz, and their mother, Christiane Patitz; two sisters, Sister Angela of the Sisters Of Charity, Bellmore, Long Island, and Eleanor Krowka, and her husband, Walter Krowka, of Ocala, Fla.; a nephew, Thomas Krowka, and his wife, Susan, of Pawleys Island, S.C.; a niece, Denise Kickham, and her husband, Thomas Kickham, District of Columbia; niece, Noreen Wallace, and her husband, Michael Wallace, and their daughter and son, Kristine Wallace and Jeffery Wallace of Woodstock.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, from the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center St., Manchester, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Bartholomew Church, 45 Ludlow Road, Manchester. Burial will be in East Cemetery, Manchester.
Family and friends may call from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorial donations made be made to the
For online condolences please visit
John F. Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040-4857
Published in Journal Inquirer from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, 2013