West Newbury, MA — Margita G. (Schmidt) Schulz, 80, died peacefully at her home in West Newbury on Nov. 4.
She was born in Lodz, Poland, the daughter of Bruno and Anna Luise Schmidt. During her childhood, her family was uprooted by a war that caused them great hardship, impoverishment and loss. A year after the death of her father, who went missing in action, Margita, her mother, brother and grandmother fled Poland during the Russian occupation to resettle in Germany. At the age of 18, she met her husband, then an apprentice watchmaker, at a jewelry shop in Kappeln, West Germany, where she had been hired as a secretary. He pursued her avidly, and she did not resist, much. They were married in 1953 and emigrated with their newborn son, Michael, to the United States a year later, settling in upstate New York before relocating to Massachusetts in 1960.
Margita’s formal education never extended beyond a German trade school, but she loved to learn, and throughout her life she sought the enrichments of literature, poetry, music and art. She devoted her life to her five children, who could not fully appreciate the sacrifices she made on their behalf until they became adults themselves. Together she and her husband set examples for thrift, discipline and hard work that were as admirable as they were difficult to emulate. Easier to follow were other examples they set: of love, laughter, turning up the music and enjoying the company of family and friends. And at the center of every memorable family gathering, it seems, was another of Margita’s wonderful meals. The woman could cook. To her grandchildren, she was “Omi,” a champion of all their achievements in school, sports, the arts, and life, and a steady source of warmth, encouragement and just-baked cookies or cake.
Margita died while holding her husband’s hand as they slept beside each other. Theirs was a love as constant and complete as any could be.
Margita was predeceased by her beloved daughter, Heidi Schulz, who died in 2007. She leaves her husband of 60 years, Hans Schulz of West Newbury; her children and their spouses, Michael Schulz and Marie Maher of Placitas, N.M., Hans Schulz and Christine Morris of Windham, N.H., Maria Ralston and her husband, Marc Ralston, of Roslindale, Mass., and Julian Schulz of Malden, Mass.; her grandchildren, Jesse Schulz, Kate Schulz, Lindsay Schulz, Emma Azzarello, Iris Schulz, Harper Schulz, Theo Schulz, Tess Matthews, Owen Matthews, Jake Ralston and Isabel Ralston; a great-granddaughter, Piper Schulz; her brother, Dieter Schmidt of Fayetteville, Ga., and his wife, Miriam. In her last months, as her Alzheimer’s disease progressed, a team of compassionate caregivers, including Amy White and Billiejo Buchikos, gave her comfort and treated her with dignity.
ARRANGEMENTS: There are no calling hours. A private burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of America, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030. The Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home of Amesbury is in charge of arrangements.