Cape Gazette
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Mary Lee O'Neill Schab, devoted to family, faith

Sep 23, 2013

Mary Lee O'Neill Schab, 96, died at her home in Annapolis, Md., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, with husband Hank by her side (then and for the past 68 years).

Besides Hank, she leaves behind her six children - Bill (Lewes), Patty (Boston, Mass.), Becky (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Amy (Annapolis), Ray (Kailua, Hawaii), and Jim (Burke, Va.); 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; 51 nephews and nieces; umpteen in-laws; and the hordes of people she and Hank instructed and counseled in their 30-plus years of involvement in Confirmation classes, pre-Cana classes and marriage encounter.

Mary Lee had a busy 96 years. Besides raising six kids and taking care of Hank, she worked (she ran Manresa, the Jesuit retreat house, for many years); she graduated from college magna cum laude in 1986 (50 years after beginning her studies in 1936); she learned several languages and then taught them on the side just for the fun of it; she swam and golfed (with two holes-in-one to her credit); she loved all games and hated to lose ever (a genetic trait apparently); she was an avid reader; and to the end she excelled at crossword puzzles, which she swore allowed her to keep her prodigious memory sharp. She could and would talk forever about any subject in a voice which was known far and wide, but she never said a bad word about anybody, and was able to find something good to say about even the biggest scoundrel.

While her interests and activities kept her plenty busy, her life revolved around her family and her faith. Getting together with her kids and their families - particularly at the beach in Lewes and Hawaii - was what brought her the most happiness. A close second was her and Hank's incredibly strong and unwavering faith and their involvement at St. Mary's Catholic Church, where Mary Lee attended Mass almost daily for all but a few of her 96 years. Her efforts in the furtherance of her religion and her parish were so numerous and extensive that it took six priests to preside at her funeral Mass and to list her contributions to the parish and its thousands of parishioners.

Beating Mary Lee to heaven were her parents; her nine brothers and sisters and their spouses; and her beloved daughter-in-law, Maureen.

Donations in Mary Lee's memory may be made to the Maureen Schab Education Foundation, c/o The Greater Lewes Foundation, P.O. Box 110, Lewes, DE 19958.

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