Cynthia Schaller, 66, of Carroll, died Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.
A memorial service will be held on Jan. 11, 2020 at Stanton Evangelical Free Church, 500 8th Street in Stanton. Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. with the service at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow.
Cynthia Schaller was born June 7, 1953 to Mildred and Burton Brush. Cynthia’s passion for people and different cultures began as a small child when her family moved to Nicaragua, Central America where her father worked as a missionary and surveyor for the Pan-American Highway. It was here that she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. At the age of four Cynthia knew without a doubt that she was a “naughty little girl,” and that she needed to be saved from her sins. At the age of twelve, as she studied the scriptures for herself, she solidified her beliefs. The decision she made when she was four to trust Jesus was all she needed. When she studied Ephesians 1:13-14 that gave her a clear understanding.
Once the surveying project in Nicaragua was complete, her family moved back to Riverton, Wyo. While Burton worked with the family business, William Brush and Sons from 1961-1966, Cynthia’s family spent some time living in a camper in Yellowstone National Park while surveying and building roads. Stories about playing with bear cubs, bonding with her cousins and having wonderful adventures together have delighted us over the years. During that time the mountains left a permanent imprint on her heart.
In 1966 her family moved to Newcastle, Neb. where her father pastored a church. Cynthia graduated from Nebraska Christian High School in 1971, then attended Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada. She married her high school sweetheart, Emel Bradford (Brad) Schaller, in 1972. Their 47 years together as closest companions in life brought many joys, especially their 6 children: Stacey, Latisha, Dawn, Julie, Kathryn and Perry.
Throughout her life, Cynthia was a “pioneer” in many ways. Early in her marriage, she started a home Bible study with all of her neighbors. During the course of the Bible Study, every woman became a Christian. She continued her ministry, starting Bible studies in nearly every town in which she lived. This ministry multiplied and grew to include hundreds of women over the years. As a young mother, she went against the cultural tide and became a strong advocate for women and infant centered birth practices as well as breastfeeding education and support, even serving in a chapter of Le Leche League.
Cynthia also became a pioneer in education. After reading Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax, Cynthia’s family became one of the first families in Nebraska to Homeschool in 1986. In 1987, Cynthia was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At that time, this diagnosis was met with little optimism for recovery. Once again she searched the scriptures and spent one whole night wrestling with God. When morning came she had settled it in her heart that God was a good God and she was not a fool for her faith and trust in Him. She “pioneered” again as she researched alternative medicine and health food to combine with her medical treatments, even starting a local Food Coop to bring access to health food to rural parts of Nebraska. Since her youngest child, Perry, was a baby, she prayed that God would give her 16 more years to raise her child. The Lord blessed her with a double portion of 32 years, showing again that God “…who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Eph. 3:20) had showed His love to her personally again.
During those years, along with her husband, Cynthia raised her children, enjoyed the addition of 24 grandchildren, served in her church, and provided hospitality for many through her gift of cooking. She was excited when the mission field came to her and helped to start a ministry for Spanish speaking people in the Norfolk area as well as becoming involved in a ministry to international college students. Her home and her table was always open to everyone and she poured out her “mother’s love” on all who needed it.
Cynthia is survived by her husband, Brad Schaller, of Carroll; her mother, Mildred Brush of St. Louis, Mo.; children, Stacey (Brenda) Schaller of Sidney, Nebraska, Latisha (John) VanderZon of Venice Florida, Dawn (Larry) Christiansen of Hamilton Michigan, Julie (Anthony) Boysen of Cedar Bluffs Nebraska, Kathryn (Tom) Reicks of Bloomfield Nebraska, and Perry (Leah) Schaller of Norfolk; seven siblings and their spouses, 2 sister-in laws and their spouses, 24 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and people everywhere in the world who loved her.
She was preceded in death by her father, Burton Brush.
Memorials may be sent to Ron and Judy Spaulding and their work with International Students Inc. — International Student Ministry, Spaulding #170, PO Box C, Colorado Springs Colo. 80901-3000.