Anna Lee Schifeling, April 8, 1921 - July 24, 2018

Anna Lee Schifeling
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Anna Lee Schifeling died Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in her home with family.  She was born April 8, 1921. Following the early deaths of both of her parents, she was raised by her aunt, Juanita Tower Leech and her husband, Albertus Leech in Highland Park, Illinois. 

After completing high school, she worked to send herself to college at the University of Illinois where she met Daniel Schifeling.  Soon he left college, enlisted in the Army Air Force and trained to be a bomber pilot. They continued their romance by letter and married May 21, 1944 “between Sunday school and church” after she got up the courage to apply for the marriage license herself “because it was a leap year and women could do things like that in a leap year.”  After their marriage she followed him to several bases so they could be together. They were married almost 70 years before his death in 2013.

After the war ended, they returned to Illinois, where Dan completed college and law school. They settled in St. Charles, IL where Dan opened a solo law practice.  There, Anna Lee devoted her energies to raising three sons, supporting her husband’s practice, and taking leadership in community organizations from Cub Scouts to Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters.  She was the volunteer Director of Christian Education at her church and in May of 1975 she graduated from Elmhurst College with a degree in religious education with her husband and three sons in attendance, yelling “Yay, Mom!” 

After their children were grown and her husband retired, Anna Lee and Dan moved to Brevard, NC where they hosted children and grandchildren, hiked and wildflowered for three decades.  In Brevard, Anna Lee’s community engagement continued. She continued to serve her church in a variety of capacities, was a regular volunteer and supporter of Rise and Shine, became a founding member of Kids in Camp, joined a peace group supporting an end to nuclear weapons, led a very effective program to increase interracial dialogue in the area, and wrote letters to prisoners. She also became a family historian, writing a beautiful memoir of her parents and an extensive genealogy of the Tower family.   

Dan and Anna Lee moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 2011.  She cared for Dan until his death in 2013, was active in the First Congregational United Church of Christ, enjoyed wildflowering in the summer and watching wild turkeys out her window, as well as visits and letters from family at all times.  During their time in Eau Claire both Dan and Anna Lee received devoted love and support from David and Joan for which she and the whole family were grateful. In the spring of 2018, her health finally began to decline, and she entered hospice a few months before her death. 

She will be remembered for the love and care she gave to her family, her ability to see the good in everyone, her desire to make the world a better place and her work for the progressive causes she believed in. She also delighted in helping children appreciate the wonders of nature, teaching them how to find salamanders (“effies”), raise caterpillars and tadpoles, and catch (and eventually release) snakes and turtles. Her grandchildren will remember her unfailing interest in their lives, endless craft supplies, dependable letters, the best chocolate chip cookies, and homemade applesauce. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Schifeling, her mother, Juanita Tower Leech, her father, Albertus Leech; her biological parents Gladys Tower Fellmy and George Fellmy; her sister Juanita Marie Roush and her brother-in-law, Maurice Roush; and her brothers James Leech, and George and Eugene Fellmy. 

She is survived by her sons Daniel, Richard and David; daughters-in-law Barbara, Iris and Joan Hamblin; grandchildren Deirdre (Peter Colavito), Dietrich (partner Galia Binder), Jeremy (Rachel Burstein), Todd (Catherine Emery), Erin, Christopher (Tracy), and William; and great-grandchildren, Sela, Madalena and Luca Colavito, Ruby and Hannah, and Henry; and her sister-in-law, Peggy Leech. 

The family appreciates the care provided by the Oakwood Hills Senior Living Community; Rev. Dr. Mark Pirazzini and Mary Barnes of First Congregational UCC Church; Dr. Thomas Sandager; Kris, Anna and others at St. Joseph’s Hospice; and Julie Hayden and her caregivers, including her daughter, Megan Svee. 

A Memorial service to celebrate her life will take place at 4 pm on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 Broadway Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703 with The Rev. Dr. Mark X. Pirazzini officiating.  Memorial visitation will take place at the church Saturday August 25, 2018 from 3 pm until the time of service.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given to the First Congregational Church UCC of Eau Claire. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com

Hulke Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Condolences

  1. John Nelson August 24, 2018

    Thinking of all the family during this time.

  2. Michael Linder August 10, 2018

    Anna Lee and Dan Schifeling were fixtures in our church, The Congregational UCC of St. Charles, and in the Saint Charles community at large. Service to others was a huge part of their lifestyle and in the raising of three sons. Their presence in our community has been missed for many years and I’m certain Anna Lee will be missed in her current church community. My sincere condolences to her sons and family.

  3. Patricia G (Pat) Kitner August 10, 2018

    Anna Lee was an absolute jewel of an individual, and I dearly loved her. She was the Christian Ed Director at The Congregational Church in St. Charles Il for a number of years. Her commitment, love of the Lord, devotion to children - she was just such an inspiration to everyone. She always had a lovely garden and generously shared produce. Anna Lee is remembered so fondly - a gracious, lovely lady, a real blessing.

  4. Carolyn Mills August 2, 2018

    Schifeling family: Anna Lee and Dan were our neighbors in Sherwood Forest. Rick and I lived in the house down below them by the lake. They were always friendly and kind to us through the years, and we enjoyed our little dinner group (Hathaways, Andersons, and Blanchards) which got together every time we came here until we moved here permanently in 1992. I always consulted with them about wildflowers. After my husband died in 2009, Anna Lee wrote me thoughtful letters, and when I put up a Christmas tree, she called to tell me that she could see it through my skylights and was happy to see that I was carrying on. Now I am the inly one left of the group. I am thinking of you. Carolyn Mills

  5. Sue Haake July 30, 2018

    Anna Lee was such an inspiration to all of us at the Tuesday morning Bible study. She always came to our group having done so much preparation and had great insights to offer. I enjoyed hearing about how she lived her life following the principles that we studied. She was a great example to all of us. On a personal level I enjoyed sharing her love of wildflowers. During the spring time we would discuss what we were each seeing. I always tried to bring pictures of my flowers to share with her. She will be missed!