Idamae Miles (Schenkeir) Schack
1918 - 2021
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Idamae was born August 13, 1918 in Cameron, Colorado. She was the second daughter of Leo William and Anne (Lasnik) Schenkeir.


Her father was a coal mining engineer and Idamae grew up in the coal mining camps in the Southern Colorado highlands. These places have long passed into memory - Berwind, Tioga, Cameron, Canon City. She loved to be outside and learned at an early age to wear boots to avoid snakes in the rocks and trees that surrounded her home. Hiking and playing with her sister Ruth and her brother Bill filled her days. She was a good student and loved books. She could often be found sitting in a tree reading to her heart's content.


Her father died in a mining accident when Idamae was 9. To keep the family together, her mother ran boarding houses for the miners and even ran a camp called Duling Lodge in the mountains for one summer. One of Idamae's most vivid childhood memories is of Duling Lodge and the fun that she had there. She learned to love the outdoors and skiing became one of her passions.


As the three siblings grew older, the family moved to Denver to be near good schools and a larger town. Idamae concentrated on business classes and graduated from high school at 16 and then started taking business law and accounting courses at Denver University. Soon she met Walter Frank Miles, a Civil Engineer from Tacoma WA, and they were married December 26, 1936. They had four children, Frank, Edith, Alice, and Patricia.


In the next ten years Walt had many engineering jobs, including Galloping Gertie (Tacoma Narrows Bridge), Grand Coulee Dam, The Bay Bridge (Oakland, CA), and other projects. In 1946 he and his father bought a gravel pit in Auburn, WA, where the family settled down to establish Miles Sand and Gravel Company. Idamae put her business skills to work billing customers, doing the accounting, and helping out as needed. One of her many tasks included finding equipment parts. She would bundle her youngest baby in the car and run to Seattle for what was needed. Soon all the suppliers and customers knew who she was and the important part she played in the success of the business. When Walter Miles died in 1964, Idamae took over management of the business and ran it until their son Frank assumed that responsibility.


Later Idamae met Auburn resident John Bellows Schack and they married July 6, 1966. Three more children were added to her family, John's daughters Margaret Schack Davis and Ellen Schack Harley, and son James Schack. Idamae and John lived on the Miles Sand and Gravel property in Auburn until 1978 when they moved to Everett, WA. She and John travelled extensively for both business and pleasure. They pursued new business and philanthropic ventures and enjoyed the company of a wide range of associates and friends.


Idamae was known for her grace and dignity. She had a quiet presence that left no doubt that she was listening, and the twinkle in her eye let you know that she really cared about what you were saying. Her gentle spirit, quick wit and calming presence were treasured by all who knew and loved her.


She has been an integral part of every community in which she has lived. In Auburn she was a Soroptimist, worked on the City of Auburn Beautification Committee, was president of the PTA. For many years she chaperoned the Auburn High School Ski bus, taking hundreds of teenagers to Snoqualmie pass. She became involved with the Seattle Symphony and Opera.

When she moved to Everett, she was welcomed into the Woman's Book Club, and participated in many local arts organizations. She and John supported many local organizations that focus on making Everett a better place for children and the arts.


One of Idamae's greatest joys was watching her family grow. She followed with interest and pride as her grandchildren went to college, married, and had children of their own. She reveled in their successes as they embraced life fully and comforted them through setbacks.


Idamae was a great friend to all she met. She was strong in her Catholic faith. She cherished life in every aspect, and shared that joy with everyone. Her quiet presence, good counsel and warm heart will be missed.


She was preceded in death by her sister Ruth Zangar, brother William Schenkeir, husbands John Schack and Walter Miles, son Frank (Jean) Miles, and granddaughter Anne Woll (Daniel) Roberts.


She is survived by her children Edith (Paul) Woll, Alice Miles Erickson, Patricia (Bill) DeGroodt and John Schack's children Margaret Schack (Bruce Ennis) Davis, Ellen Schack (Charles) Harley and James (Jackie) Schack; grandchildren Lisa Miles (Tim) Kittilsby, Walter (Julie) Miles, Ida Woll, Miles (Savannah) Erickson, Margaret E. Davis, Kenneth (Louise Chandler) Davis, Lilas (Peter Cook) Harley, James Harley, John (Denise) Schack, Jacob (Danelle Cater) Schack, 15 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held at time when we can gather together.


The family would like to thank caregivers Kathy, Julie and Alice Ann for their love and devotion in caring for Idamae during her final years. They created a warm, safe and comfortable environment for Idamae every day. Thanks also to Providence Hospice and the Personalized Care Team at the Everett Clinic for the medical excellence and support they provided.


Donations in Idamae's memory may be made to Providence General Foundation, The Schack Art Center, Imagine Children's Museum, or a charity of one's choice.

August 13, 1918 - January 7, 2021

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Published in The Herald (Everett) from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
February 2, 2021
I met Idamae in 1993 when John had his hip surgery. John was on the Transitional Care Unit. I was just starting my career as a nurse. Idamae was the most gracious and kindest lady I had ever met. She would often bring John burnt cream from Anthony's Restaurant. When she found out I had never tried Anthony's burnt cream, she brought one to me. She would often call John and ask if I was working and bring two. I would take my lunch and visit with John and Idamae. After John's release from Providence she extended an invitation for me and my two young girls over for lunch. Idamae was so sweet and so kind to me and my girls. What a Beautiful Lasting Impression she has left.
♡Rebecca DeMessemaker♡
Rebecca DeMessemaker
January 19, 2021
There’s one more star in the sky. Idamae was an ardent supporter of the arts - every student of Immaculate Conception school from at least 1998-2006 wrote a thank you note to her and her husband at least once a year, as they sponsored arts enrichment through NOISE (Northwest Opera In Schools Etc), trips to the symphony, and much more. May her family find joy in the memories they treasure most, and peace in her enduring legacy. The Schack center in Everett is an outstanding achievement and testament to the Schack family’s lifelong dedication to the arts. As a child of the artist movement in Everett, I am profoundly grateful for her influence on my life. Thank you, Idamae. Rest In Peace.
Alexis Arrabito
January 16, 2021
I don’t even know Idamae personally but I loved your obit and she sounds like a lovely person who made many great contributions to the world and had a lot of fun. I am sure you will have grand memories to hold dear.
Madison Thomas
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