Remembering Phyllis Schneck, Lost in Tucson Shooting

PHYLLIS SCHNECK2 Remembering Phyllis Schneck, Lost in Tucson Shooting

“Phyllis Schneck, quilter.”

That’s what the TV reporter said as he read a list of those killed in this week’s tragic shootings at an appearance by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.

“Phyllis Schneck, quilter.”

As the reporter read her name, her picture appeared on the screen. It was the smiling face of the 79-year-old-grandmother and great grandmother. Her son said his mother wasn’t particularly political but did want to meet Giffords.

I wanted to know more about Phyllis Schneck. It’s not the norm to hear someone identified on national TV news as a quilter. Here’s what I learned from searching for her on the Internet: Phyllis Schneck spent summers in her native New Jersey and the rest of the year in Tucson, where she and her husband of 56 years, Ernest Schneck Sr., moved in 2000. Ernest died in 2007. In New Jersey and Arizona, Phyllis Schneck was active in church and women’s clubs. Family and friends interviewed in the wake of her death, all noted two things: she was a great cook and a whiz with a needle and thread. Her daughter, B.J. Offutt said her mother was active in quilting, crafting and Bible-study groups at her church. She helped create quilts the church sold two or three times a year to raise money for mission.

A New Jersey friend called Phyllis Schenck “an activist for her community,” and many noted her generosity. A pastor at her Tucson church said: “Phyllis just had this very sweet spirit…She had sort of a quiet way about her, but on the other hand, she just had a poignant sense of humor.”

I never met Phyllis Schneck but feel I know her just a bit. She sounds like so many women in our quilting world who value the art of hand-crafted items and are willing to give many hours to make beautiful things for others –even folks they’ve never met. I hope the quilt world will join me in mourning the loss of one from our community. Please take a moment to think about the void in the lives of all who knew her, those who benefited from her labors of love, and especially her three children–B.J. Orcutt of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Phyllis Rautenberg of Thousand Oaks, California; and Ernest Schneck Jr. of Rutherford, New Jersey–and her grandchildren and great grandchild.

This entry was posted in Dana Jones, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Remembering Phyllis Schneck, Lost in Tucson Shooting

  1. Michelle says:

    I am not an experienced quilter but I enjoy it. When they announced that Mrs. Schneck was a quilter I felt like I had lost my best friend. I think it is the bond the quilters feel. Hugs, Blessings, and Peace Phyllis.

  2. Helen says:

    Phyllis Schneck, Quilter. I hope and pray that her family finds healing while lovingly wrapped in one of her quilts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>