FERDINAND — Mary Jean (Jeanne) Schurz, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away Jan. 14, 2022. We celebrate Jeanne’s life and love as we remember her. She was a friend and inspiration to many, and filled the hearts of all who knew her with kindness and joy.

Loved ones that will miss Jeanne dearly are her husband, Gary Schurz; her brother, Gary Fritz; her daughter, Heather Schurz Kissling, and son-in-law, Matthew Kissling; her daughter, Taffita (Taffi) Schurz Jaso, and son-in law, Eric Jaso; and her grandchildren Keating and Lyra. Loved ones that preceded Jeannie and welcomed her home were her father and mother, Otto and Mary Lou Fritz.

Born June 18, 1948, Jeanne attended school in Ferdinand, graduating from Ferdinand High School and then Sullivan Business College in Louisville, Kentucky. She wore many hats over the course of her career, including Keller Hospital business administrator in Fayette, Missouri; business administrator at the YMCA resort at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; and office manager at Rend Lake Conservancy District in southern Illinois. She was lauded for her business skills and sound judgement, but loved for her warmth with patients and guests.

Jeanne married her high school sweetheart, Gary Schurz, and they enjoyed 53 years of marriage. Jeanne and Gary spent their retirement living in Ferdinand, being active at the YMCA, Kiwanis Club, and Salem Church. Jeanne loved traveling with Gary, enjoying wineries, and spending time with their many friends.

Jeanne enjoyed cooking, and often baked for her friends and family. Apple rolls and Moravian coffee cake were loved by all. She particularly loved making springerle cookies with her friends.

Jeanne’s love for celebrations was legendary. Holidays were eagerly anticipated every year, as Jeanne celebrated all of them with enthusiasm. She loved helping to plan Keating’s birthday parties. Jeanne was famous at Heather and Matt’s annual pre-holiday party, where Jeanne passed out peppermint schnapps at the door to the guests. She often shared that a highlight of her year was having high tea (with champagne) to celebrate Taffi’s birthday.

Jeanne’s grandchildren were her heart and joy. Nana was Keating’s best friend and playmate, and they spent hours playing with stuffed animals, talking Minecraft, and watching Harry Potter movies. Keating and Nana had a standing Zoom breakfast date when they drank Earl Grey tea together and chatted about Legos and superheroes. Nana was a superhero after all, so she knew her business.

Jeanne’s family would like to thank our friends and family for their support, and share some of Jeanne’s words of wisdom — Be sure to walk in a mud puddle occasionally and splash the water. If you see something sparkly and fun, buy it. Always eat the best chocolate you can find. Pray every day, and appreciate the small things in life.

Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17 at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand. Funeral service is at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, with visitation starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.