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Maryann Schembs Aftowicz

Maryann Schembs Aftowicz Nov. 14,1939 ~ Feb. 3, 2009 We are all so deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend Maryann after a long and courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma. She was greatly loved by so many, especially her husband Frank, her children: Becky, Wendy, Tom and Nick, her sister Eleanor and brother John, and of course by all of those fortunate enough to be called her friends . Maryann was born in San Francisco to John and Hanna Schembs and moved to Kentfield at age four. She graduated from Saint Anselm's Grammar School, Marin Catholic High School, St. Joseph's College of Nursing and Cal State University in Sacramento. Maryann loved her nursing profession and was an outstanding labor and delivery nurse for 42 years. She began work at Marin General then worked for Alexian Brothers, later known as Regional Medical Center of San Jose and at Santa Teresa Kaiser in San Jose. She also taught nursing to students at several colleges. She lived in San Francisco for many years before moving to Novato in 1978. Her marriage to Frank in 1979 took her to San Jose. In 2004, Maryann and Frank took up residence in Novato. She was overjoyed with having been blessed with such a wonderful husband for more than 29 years. Three of her children, Wendy, Tom and Nick continue to reside in San Jose and Becky lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Maryann's brother, John (Karen) lives in Los Gatos. Her sister, Eleanor Thiel (Bob), lives in Novato and their two children Michele Carlson (Brad) in Alaska and Christopher in San Rafael. She has one sister-in-law, Joan Blum who lives in New Jersey. Maryann was a Campfire leader, a Religion teacher and a very active parishioner at St. Julie's Parish in San Jose before moving back to Marin in 2004. She remained as active as she could at St. Anthony of Padua in Novato. She had many interests. Among them were hiking, rafting, travel, movies, camping, reading, cooking, the 49'ers and visiting with friends. She remained close to her many friends from grammar school, high school and college days, and also kept close contact with many of her nursing colleagues from the various hospitals at which she had worked. She survived breast cancer only to be diagnosed in 2002 with Multiple Myeloma and she valiantly fought that disease as well. In January 2008, she began dialysis for kidney failure which is associated with the cancer and continued to form new friendships along the way. She truly lived her life to the fullest, full of love, caring, joy and laughter and great courage...As one classmate wrote: "She is an example to all of us. If all of us could follow her example and be the gift that she is, we would all waltz into heaven." In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the International Myeloma Foundation, St. Vincent De Paul Society or the St. Julie's Youth Club in San Jose. Friends are invited to a visitation on Friday, February 6th, at 12 Noon - 4:00 PM, at Adobe Creek Funeral Home, 331 Lakeview Street, Petaluma and St. Anthony's Catholic Church Friday, February 6th, 5:00-6:00 PM. Evening Vigil Service, Friday February 6th 6:00 PM St. Anthony's Catholic Church 1000 Cambridge Ave., Novato. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday February 7th , at 10:30 AM at St. Anthony's Catholic Church.

Published in Marin Independent Journal on Feb. 5, 2009
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