Winifred Schooley Shortz, formerly of Dallas and Kingston, passed away Thursday, July 18, 2013, at the Pennwood Village Retirement Community, Newtown, Pa.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Winifred was the daughter of the late Harry B. and Winifred Griffith Schooley. She received her early education at the Wilkes-Barre Institute from 1927-1938 and finished her remaining two years at boarding school at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., graduating in 1940. Winifred earned a B.A. degree in psychology from Smith College, Northampton, Mass., in 1944. After graduation from college, Winifred was the Head of Sales Promotion with New York's former Blue Cross Plan, Associated Hospital Service, from 1944 until 1947.
Winifred married Robert Edwin Shortz in 1947 and traveled with him to Germany, where she was a liaison between German and American women in Division Headquarters in Goppingen, Germany, during the occupation in the 1950s. Winifred returned to the Wyoming Valley to raise their children: daughter, Winifred, and sons, Robert E. Jr., Edwin Shortz III and Frederick M., all of whom would attend her alma mater, the former Wilkes-Barre Institute by then known as Wyoming Seminary Day School.
In 1957, Mrs. Shortz began her teaching career, starting as a substitute eighth-grade teacher at the Wyoming Seminary Day School. She went on to teach full-time, seventh-grade French, eighth-grade American history and seventh- and eighth-grade English classes. In addition, Mrs. Shortz served as a faculty advisor of the yearbook for five years; she was in charge of eighth-grade assembly speeches, supervised the testing program for grades one through eight and would eventually become head of the English department.
Mrs. Shortz retired in 1974 and at the time of her retirement was awarded faculty emeritus status. Mrs. Shortz's involvement with the school did not end with her retirement, however. After the Agnes flood of 1972, Mrs. Shortz, who had always been concerned with compiling and preserving the history of her alma mater, began to gather and organize the various material and memorabilia associated with the school and its predecessors. In 1976, with the board's approval, Mrs. Shortz agreed to assemble and write the history of the Wyoming Seminary Lower School from its beginnings to the retirement of Bessie G. Atwood in 1962. At that time, the school's history dated back 176 years. She dedicated more than 30 years of her life to this endeavor, as for her it was a labor of love. The manuscript is now with Wyoming Seminary, pending updating by other authors covering the periods following 1962. Mrs. Shortz was the recipient of Wyoming Seminary's Distinguished Service Award in 1997. She served on the boards of Luzerne County SPCA, Home for Homeless Women, a life member of the advisory board of Wyoming Commemorative Association as well as chair of its annual commemorative service at the Wyoming Monument, July 4, 1984.
Mrs. Shortz also held life memberships with the Wyoming History and Geological Society, now called the Luzerne County Historical Society, the National Council of Teachers of English and Smith College Alumnae Association. She was a member of the Junior League of Wilkes-Barre, an associate member of the Westmoreland Club and former member of Newberry Estate Country Club. Mrs. Shortz enjoyed tennis and was a former charter member of Valley Tennis and Swim Club and also played at the Kingston Indoor Tennis Courts. She was also an avid gardener. She was a former member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre.
Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents, were her husband, Robert Edwin Shortz; son, Edwin Shortz III; and brother, Harry B. Schooley Jr., Esq.
Surviving are her children: daughter, Winifred (Wendy) Shortz of Edwardsville; sons, Robert E. Shortz Jr. of Wilkes-Barre, and Frederick M. Shortz, Esq, of Chester, Conn.; and grandchildren, Stephen, Alan and Imani.
A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Harold C. Snowdon Home for Funerals Inc., 420 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 10 a.m. until time of service. There will then be a memorial service of perhaps 45 to 60 minutes, depending on who wishes to speak. The Rev. Brian A. Pavlac, Ph.D., will officiate. A reception will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the home of Ruth Schooley, 574 Charles Ave., Kingston. The family welcomes former students of Mrs. Shortz to the memorial service and/or to the reception. Persons wishing to say a few words about Mrs. Shortz will be invited to do so.
Interment will be made in Denison Cemetery, Swoyersville, in a private ceremony at a date to be determined by the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Luzerne County S.P.C.A., 524 E. Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, the Luzerne County Historical Society, 49 S. Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, or the Wyoming Seminary Lower School, 1560 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort, PA 18704.