In Memoriam: Winter 2020

John Wayman Norris (1942-2020)

Condolences to the friends and immediate family of our cousin, John Wayman Norris (1942-2020), who passed away on January 27th.

Click here to read John’s obituary

John was a son Harriet (Schmidt) Norris, grandson Herman John “Harry” Schmidt, great grandson of Herman Schmidt, 2xgreat-grandson-in-law of Dietrich Schmidt Sr, 3xgreat-grandson-in-law of Friedrich Schmidt, 4xgreat-grandson-in-law of Johannes Schmidt Jr., 5xgreat-grandson-in-law of Johannes Schmidt Sr., 6xgreat-grandson-in-law of Hans Heinrich Schmidt, and 7xgreat-grandson-in-law of Hans Schmidt.

Wally Schubert (1936-2020)

Condolences to the friends and immediate family of our relative, Walter Alexander “Wally” Schubert (1936-2020), who passed away on February 15th.

Walter was the husband of our late cousin Sandra Schubert, son-in-law of Art Schmidt, grandson-in-law of Fred Schmidt, great-grandson-in-law of Henry Schmidt Sr., 2xgreat-grandson-in-law of Conrad Schmidt, 3xgreat-grandson-in-law of Dietrich Schmidt Sr., 4xgreat-grandson-in-law of Friedrich Schmidt, 5xgreat-grandson-in-law of Johannes Schmidt Jr., 6xgreat-grandson-in-law of Johannes Schmidt Sr., 7xgreat-grandson-in-law of Hans Heinrich Schmidt, and 8xgreat-grandson-in-law of Hans Schmidt.

Below is an obituary written by one of Walter’s sons, Michael Schubert:

On February 10, while walking up the stairs, dad fell backwards. Dad was transported to St Joseph Hospital in Elgin. Doctors stated that at some point it appeared that Dad had a stroke and after spending several days in the hospital, on February 15, dad passed away.

Matthew was able to spend a significant amount of time with him throughout the week. I was able to come in the night before and Keenan was able to come in the day of and we all got to say goodbye.

Dad was loved by many and in the days following his passing, conversations have been filled with stories of a crazy and sometimes wild childhood, memories of first Cubs games or Bulls games that dad had taken family members and friends on, dad’s tremendous work ethic, and his love for his family. Dad was never one to shirk away from speaking what was on his mind. As I sat on the couch at my cousin’s house and listened to family members tell stories of dad, it was evident that he was loved by more people than what I knew. Someone told me this week, “your dad was one of two people in my life that loved me unconditionally from the day he met me.” People were not able to meet dad and walk away without being a changed person.

Over the years, dad has always been a fighter. Whether it was, as an 8 year old, walking his mom to the bus stop at night with a butcher knife in hand to protect her, or whether it was battling one of the many health scares he has had… he fought. I have watched dad battle back from at least one heart attack, different types of cancer on multiple occasions, at least 6 strokes, a loss of hearing and vision, and numerous other injuries. Not until recently did I ever hear dad complain about any of it… and even then, he didn’t complain about the circumstances, only the fact that he wasn’t able to fight and recover like he did when he was 40.

Dad had a love for sports and he loved to work hard. I have watched dad instill both loves into many people. Over the years he has coached youth baseball and influences lives way beyond what I can even begin to imagine. As a child he was an elite speed skater and a baseball player that had the opportunity to play professionally. Beyond the fields and the rinks (or lakes back then) dad was quite possibly the hardest worker I have ever known. Dad graduated high school in 1955 and with nothing more than a high school education he went on to become the President of several different companies and his skills and knowledge in his chosen fields were sought out world wide.

As I have met with people and share this news with people this past week, I have been reminded that our life isn’t made up of one big moment, but of millions of little ones. Moments that change the lives of others, event though we don’t know it in that moment. In dad’s death, I am discovering a legacy that has been made that touches the lives of many. I’m discovering the impact that a simple smile and a genuine “how are you” can have on another person’s life. If there was one thing that I will never forget about dad, it’s that at every opportunity, he would tell me, “Michael, you’ll only get out of life what you put into it.” My prayer is that I will be able to pass that lesson on to Keenan and that as others remember dad, they would remember that piece of advice. We all get on life to live and if we put our best into it, we will get our best out of it.

I hope that as you remember dad, and whatever story you have about him, you smile. Smile because dad would want you to. If you knew dad and have a story, type it out and leave it here so that others can see the impact that being positive and loving people can have. Leave a story so that I can see how many people were impacted by dad. Leave a story so that Keenan can always remember how his Papa changed the lives of those he touched.

But remember, while we are sad that dad is no longer here and while I will greatly miss our daily conversation, I know that dad is where he wanted to be. Dad has been reunited with mom, and today they are having a great day… together.

1 thought on “In Memoriam: Winter 2020”

  1. Wally’s great prowess as a speed skater was a great inspiration to me as I grew up just one block south of the Shuberts. Unfortunately I never achieved his level of capability by a long shot. I late was thrilled to learn Wally and my 2nd cousin once removed were married making us relatives by marriage. It is a great honor!

Leave a Reply

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