PLYMOUTH — Services were held for Jean Schmell, formerly of Plymouth, Vermont who passed away on March 3, 2012.
She was born on December 30, 1922, the oldest of four children born to Blanche Nase and William Anglemoyer Moyer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
She attended Blooming Glen grammar school, and graduated from Souderton High School in 1940, with awards for her seamstress and other homemaking skills. Jean joined the Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, and had a busy social life while working a few years before marrying Wilmer Landis Schmell of Dublin, Pennsylvania, in 1944. The couple resided in Souderton, Penn., until they moved to Bridgewater Corners, Vermont in 1952 to help start a new Mennonite Church with three other families. Jean became very active in the community, leading girls sewing and craft groups at the church and establishing a hot lunch program for children in the local school, by obtaining government subsidies and instructing other local mothers on ways to use these subsidies. Jean obtained and distributed needed clothing for poor families in the area, and became an avid recycler long before recycling was mainstream.
She and her husband Wilmer, entertained many weekend relatives and friends from back home in Pennsylvania, and eventually built the Farmbrook Motel across the street. They lived on the road leading to the the Calvin Coolidge Birthplace and were active in preserving land and local historic buildings. Jean was a active member of the King’s Daughters in Woodstock, participating in outreach to needy families, and collaborating with the women of other community churches, such Ladies Aid in Tyson.
Jean befriended many older widows and widowers at the Homestead in Woodstock where she worked for a time. She would take them out to lunch, or help with errands until left she geographic area. She and her husband Wilmer lived a full & adventurous life, while supporting their family and community. They loved to visit historic sites around New England, as well as travel throughout the United States and Europe.
Jean and Wilmer moved back to Souderton, Pennsylvania in 2000, to reside in a Souderton Mennonite retirement community where many of their friends also retired.
Jean is survived by her oldest daughter, Judith, and husband John of Burlington, Vt, and Judith’s daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, as well as three step children, Jean Paul, Emma, and Liam; her second daughter, Mary Jane, and husband Richard of Lancaster, Pennsylvania with sons Michael and Joshua; and son Michael Han, and wife, Emma, of Woodstock, with sons Nicholas and Hunter. In addition to her six grandchildren she has eight great grandchildren. Jean’s younger siblings survive her. Doris Good and husband Harold live in Harrisonburg, Virginia; Mary Freeman lives in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and William C. Moyer and wife Eleanor live in Blooming Glen. In addition, she has nine nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband, Wilmer L. Schmell in 2005.
Jean will be remembered for her ability to help others; for her capable hostessing skills, and for her love of her family and church.
This obituary first appeared in the March 29, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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