Virginia Whaley ("Jennie") Schoenbaum died among her family in San Antonio, Texas on February 22, 2021, more than 92 years after her birth on May 26, 1928 in Tifton, Georgia. Her father and mother were Jess and Nell Whaley, and her brothers and sisters were Jimmy L. Whaley, LaDufsie Whaley Neylans, and Elizabeth Whaley Taylor. They are all departed.
Jennie is survived by her husband of 66 years, Stanley Schoenbaum; their children David, Alan (and wife Wendy Davis), Lisa Kerr (and husband Ted) and Ben (and wife Sheri); their grandchildren Alexander Schoenbaum (and wife Lauren), James Schoenbaum (and wife Anna), William Kerr (and fiancé Jenna Beron), Elizabeth Kerr Schmidt (and husband Andrew), Savannah Schoenbaum, Paloma Schoenbaum and Kallie Schoenbaum; and their great-grandchildren Samuel, Avram, Elliott, Olivia and Avery Schoenbaum. Jennie is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and her brother-in-law, Paul Schoenbaum of Richmond, Virginia.
Jennie's beauty was graced by a life filled with many friendships. She loved people—especially children—with passion. She also loved animals of all kinds and doted on her many dogs and cats over the years. A passionate Democrat, and fearless, outspoken advocate for the rights of everyone, she spoke and marched for justice, and equal and civil rights for us all. Hers was a life-long fight.
Jennie was a sixth generation Georgian, with a deep understanding of the South's gems as well its societal flaws. During the 60's and 70's, when her values were at risk, she taught her children the vital importance of racial equality, women's rights, and the power of peaceful protest and political activism.
Jennie was an artist of many talents. Widely known as a creative homemaker, her home and table were enjoyed and respected by her family, friends and many guests. She built and recreated homes that still sparkle the streets of San Antonio. She made them beautiful, inside and out, and they continue to be lasting examples of her artistic touches. Outside, her gardens were English, Texas and Southwestern, marked with colorful and lush year-round foliage and flowers. Inside, Jennie reimagined entertainment for her family and friends. She was a fabulous cook. Her casual and soiree-like dinners were legend among those who supped at her table. A member of Temple Beth El for more than sixty years, Jennie reveled in the Jewish holidays. Her children and friends still salivate at the memory of her Seder dinners, especially her matzoh ball soup.
Jennie was more than an artisan, she was a force of nature. Beyond the kitchen and dining room, Jennie had a gift for caretaking and a reputation for delivering encouragement and inspiration. Her nature became most forceful when Stanley was stricken into paralysis at the still young and active age of 53. Jennie willed him back to health, and he walked again.
Jennie was a beloved and cherished mother and grandmother. She taught her children and grandchildren many of life's joys: how to prepare and serve a delightful meal; how to find and choose the best produce and meats of the season; and how to read a recipe and make it one's own. She was a high-heeled Contessa who made a beautiful table, set with gorgeous flowers, china, ceramics, and silverware appropriate to the occasion.
Jennie was educated at Emory University in Atlanta. In 1954, she met Stanley who was her passion for more than seven decades. Her marriage was a storied love affair. In the same year that they met, Halloween became their wedding day, and they made Washington, D.C. their first home. In 1958, they moved to San Antonio when Stanley joined John Peace's law firm. Jennie loved to tell the story of their drive from Washington to San Antonio with two babies, which was the only time Jennie let Stanley drive on a trip further than half way across town.
Jennie's country roots blossomed on the Texas coast. Before it was populated with condos and Spring Breakers, Jennie and her family summered at South Padre Island, fishing, gigging, sailing and sunning.
Jennie and Stanley were original limited partners of the San Antonio Spurs and attended nearly every game. When not attending in person, they were glued to the television. She knew the name of every Spur who spent more than five minutes on the court.
Jennie's homemaking was not a lone affair. Esperanza Mata was at her side for decades, helping Jennie work her arts and leisures. Esperanza may not be a Schoenbaum but she is a treasured family member who has taken great care of Jennie and Stanley, with pride, affection and dedication.
Services are private for family only at Beth-El Memorial Park. Jeannie's service will be livestreamed on Thursday, February 25. 2021 at 3:00 p.m. You may find a link within her obituary page at www.porterloring.com
Jennie requests that any contributions in her memory or affection be donated to the charity of your choice
You are invited to sign
the Guestbook at