A long good life for Jennie Schober

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Jennie Schober (r) with daughter Nelma and family dog Toby on Jennie’s 107th birthday celebration at her Tecumeh Place residence; Jennie with her first car, a 1927 Roadster; and Jennie with a new top-of-the-line Buick she bought for herself on her 90th birthday in 1995. Photo submitted

One of Tecumseh’s most senior residents, Jennie Schober, passed away earlier this week, on Saturday, Sept. 7. Jennie celebrated her 108th birthday on July 18 this year, having been born in Macon Township in 1905. She was a 1924 graduate of Tecumseh High School.

For the past several years, Jennie resided at Tecumseh Place and has been one of its most senior residents.

“Jennie was so kind and loving, and she loved children and animals,” said Jill Kiesow, Activities Director at Tecumseh Place. “Her love of animals was just something else.”

Kiesow said different people will often bring animals in to visit the seniors, and Jennie was all for that. Her grandson, Martin Korth, also brought his dog, Toby, from the family farm in Clinton to visit her as well, which she immensely enjoyed, said her daughter, Nelma Korth.

Jennie was featured in the Fall 2012 issue of Homefront magazine, produced by Herald Publishing. The article, entitled, “Taking the Scenic Route,” chronicled her 107-year journey through life, noting many of her adventures. Nelma said that her mother has always been a traveler and an adventurer, and in 1933 she traveled to the World’s Fair in Chicago. She also visited the Panama Canal on a cruise when she was 91, a goal since she was a student at the Mills-Macon Country School.

For more than three decades, she also spent part of the year in “The Valley,” a motor home community in Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

“She kept a car there and flew down for many years, but when I retired in 1992, my son Marty and I drove her down in our motor home,” said Nelma. “What’s been so nice is that we are getting condolences from people from all over. She knew so many people in her travels.

Jennie was also present for a good deal of Michigan and Tecumseh history, as she was employed for several local companies after attending Cleary College. Korth said her mother witnessed the rise of manufacturing in Tecumseh when Tecumseh Products was founded in 1934 and worked for some of the subsidiary companies in the area. Early in her life, when Henry Ford’s Model T came out, Jennie was one of the first women to learn to drive. There is also a family story of how Jennie bought herself a top-of-the-line Buick in 1995 for her 90th birthday.

Korth said her mother most enjoyed being known for her gardening skills and was especially proud of her roses and irises. She even made reports to growers Jackson and Perkins, keeping a growing journal and sharing information with the company.

“She loved to garden,” said Kiesow. “When I first came to Tecumseh Place almost seven years ago, we had a garden area that had waist high beds. Jennie would come over and help weed the garden. She was 102 at the time.”

Nelma said attributes she will remember about her mother include her passion for the things she enjoyed, especially her gardening and travel.

“She was always traveling somewhere,” she said.

In recent years as Nelma spent time with her mother, she learned of some encounters she hadn’t heard before.

“My mother wasn’t one to carry tales. She just enjoyed people so much, and she was always traveling or was constructively busy in some way,” said Nelma. “I just hope I can be as kind a person as mom was. She always had a positive attitude and was nice to everybody.”




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