Carolyn Abigail (Schurtz) Schten

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Feb. 21, 1929-Feb. 11, 2023


It is with great sadness that the family of C. Abigail (Schurtz) Schten announce her passing on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023. Abigail was born on Feb. 21, 1929, in South Bend, Indiana, to Daniel D. and Donna V. (Jones) Schurtz.

Abigail was the Valedictorian of the Marcellus High School class of 1946 and served as class Treasurer. She went on to graduate magna cum laude with distinction in English from Wells College in Aurora, New York, in 1950. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

On Dec. 29, 1950, she married Arnold A. Schten, in her mother’s home at the corner of Main and Jones streets, Marcellus. After a honeymoon to New Orleans, the Schtens moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Arnie was an elementary school teacher. Abby’s banking background propelled her into a position at the Lansing State Bank. In 1953, the Schtens moved to Brightwood Farm at the corner of Dutch Settlement Street and Savage Road. Two years later, their first daughter, Sarah, was born, followed by their youngest, Kay.

Abby continued her education by attending Andrews University and Western Michigan University earning a master’s degree in English and a Michigan Teaching Certificate. She taught in the General Studies Department at Western until her mother’s health deteriorated, which prompted Abby to return to Marcellus to run the family bank — the G. W. Jones Exchange Bank.

Interspersed with teaching English at Southwestern Michigan College, banking, and much volunteer work, she and Arnie traveled extensively including a six-week arts tour of the then Soviet Union and a six weeks tour of Australia, New Zealand Fifi and Tahiti, plus many Smithsonian and History America tours and lectures.

Abby and Arnie took great joy in sharing their love of travel with their grandchildren, Katy and Henry, visiting Washington, DC., the Calgary Stampede, and anywhere a roller coaster could be found.

Abby served for many years on the Cass County Historical Commission, as treasurer of the Hudson Memorial Board, Regent of the Captain Samuel Felt Chapter of the DAR, and member of the United Methodist Church Choir. She used her R.E. Broker’s license until just a few years ago.

As did her mother, Abigail maintained a deep interest in genealogy throughout her life and was proud of being the great granddaughter of Marcellus’ founder, G. W. Jones. She was also the 12th great granddaughter of Elder William Brewster who came to this country in 1620 on the Mayflower.

Her generosity to the community, her friends, family and to those in need, will be greatly missed.

Abigail was preceded in death by her parents, Daniel D. and Donna V. Schurtz, brothers, Charles and James, beloved uncle and aunt, Carroll B. and Mary Jones, and high school sweetheart and husband, Arnold. She is survived by her daughters Sarah (Carmi) Essex and Kay (Ron) McAdam, grandchildren Katy Essex and Henry (Vicki) Essex, great grandchildren Kamden Oomen and Elin Essex, several cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

The family is indebted to the staff at Maple Lake Assisted Living, Paw Paw, and Centrica Care Navigators for their loving kindness and attentiveness during Abby’s final days.

The family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the Marcellus Band Boosters, PO Box 48, Marcellus MI 49067, to help with the purchase of new marching band uniforms. Music was an important part of Abby’s life with Arnie. They began singing together in high school and were prominent performers for many years in the Marcellus Rotary Vaudeville shows. They were known to break into song at any moment no matter the locale.

The family will receive friends Friday, Feb. 17, between 1 and 2 p.m., at Mater-Ralston Funeral Home, 52780 M-40, Marcellus, Michigan. Traditional funeral services will be held immediately following visitation at 2 p.m., Feb. 17. Burial in Bly Cemetery, Marcellus.

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