Victoria Margaret Schull
Victoria Margaret Schull, beloved wife of William J. Schull, died on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at the age of 87 (born March 11, 1922) after a prolonged illness. Vicki, as she was affectionately known, was the oldest of three children, all girls, born to Frances Yausovec and Martin Novak of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Educated in diocesan elementary and middle schools she graduated with honors from Mercy High School of Milwaukee in June 1940. Throughout World War II she worked in a secretarial capacity for communication and health related companies. A physically small person, less than five feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, her size never dampened her love of her family and others, her participation in community affairs, or her involvement in volunteer activities.
She met William, known to most of their friends as Jack, through a mutual acquaintance shortly after her graduation. They maintained a steady correspondence throughout his service in the war and were married at Saint John the Divine Catholic Church in Milwaukee on September 7, 1946. They recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. Slightly less than a year after their marriage, Vicki and Jack were off to Ohio State University where he was to complete his professional training. Soon after the award of his doctoral degree Jack accepted a position with the National Research Council in Japan to participate in the health studies of the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Vicki was unable to accompany him because of the limited housing available for foreign personnel during the Occupation, and was obliged to make the trip alone some two months later when housing became available in the Hiroshima area. In 1949, a trip of this nature was a formidable challenge then than now for a young woman who had never flown before nor been more distant from Milwaukee than Columbus, Ohio. Once in Japan, she relished the opportunity to study and participate in a different culture. Her enjoyment of this experience was the beginning of a lifetime of international travel and involvement. At various times in her married life she lived in Australia (Canberra), Germany (Heidelberg), and Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and traveled widely in Europe, the Far East and South America. These travels awakened a latent interest in other peoples and their languages. To prepare herself better for future travels in the 1960s she enrolled as a degree student at the University of Michigan where her husband was a faculty member. She chose the University’s recently established Program in General Studies which offered the enrollee enormous flexibility in the choice of study subjects. She chose to focus on languages. Through her studies she became proficient in German, Japanese, and Spanish. However, her life was not limited to study and travel; she enjoyed winter sports, tennis, and was sufficiently accomplished in yoga to be asked to teach while residing in Ann Arbor.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Frances and Martin, and a sister, Jeanne Sullivan. She is survived by her husband, Jack, a sister, Mary Jane, and her husband James Mintner, and thirteen nieces and nephews. No memorial services are planned in Houston. A funeral mass will be said at the Moses Chapel in Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee on November 7 at 10:30 AM. Friends of Victoria’s who wish to honor her are encouraged to contribute to one or more of their favorite charities in her name.
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