Marlene Schumacher Remembrance


A few thoughts from our blog editor Nell Speerschneider... In flipping through Butterfly Brunch photos, a face comes up again and again, and is seen even more in the history of the CWLC. It's Marlene Schumacher's. Marlene was a founding member and on the board of directors until her departure from our world on March 31st, 2017. A "Proverbs 31 Woman" might be the perfect description for Marlene. She both watched over the affairs of her household and was a woman who considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard! Marlene's major contributions to the CWLC were around strategic planning. Her business savvy propelled us in 10+ years of organization.

For those of you that haven't seen it, here is Marlene Schumacher's Obituary by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Marlene was an inspiration to me. I made the bold move to join as a member of the Christian Women's Leadership Circle because Marlene first invested herself in my organization and then in me personally through coaching. After I recognized her at the Butterfly Brunch and discovered her commitment to the CWLC, I realized this was the type of woman I wanted to be closer to.

Here is an excerpt from a paper written for a Servant Leadership class at WLC by Marlene's granddaughter Petra VonDeylen (pictured above with Marlene). The Biblical Leader being reflected on was Esther. When I read this closing paragraph, my mind immediately jumped to visions of Marlene.

"There is no perfect description for what it means to be a servant leader. However, based on the story of Queen Esther and recent readings, a servant leader’s role is not one easily obtained. A servant leader must put the needs of others before themselves. Just as Queen Esther was willing to sacrifice her own life, a servant leader will do what is needed to help others. A servant leader is also humble and selfless. They do not strive to seek attention for the work they have accomplished, but rather praise others. Just as Proverbs 31: 25-28 describes the actions of a noble women, the same verse can exemplify the definition of servant leadership."

-Petra VonDeylen

Ladies, this is Nell again, please join me in continuing to support the movement! Marlene reminds me of my grandmother and even my own mother who gave hours upon hours of energy in navigating 4-H projects. That was years ago but the investment is still the same. Marlene's business savvy techniques combined with her love of family and community make her a true servant leader. I'm honored to follow behind her.

Considering the many cherished memories of Marlene, the CWLC Board of Directors has renamed the endowed Christian Women's Leadership Circle Scholarship to the Marlene Schumacher CWLC Scholarship. Your gifts toward our goal of $25,000 will enable the CWLC to grant a $1,000 annual scholarship in perpetuity to deserving young female WLC students. Online gifts can be made at by putting the amount of your gift in the 'other' category and noting that it is for the Schumacher CWLC scholarship. If you would like additional assistance, please connect with WLC's donor services directly at 414-443-8823 or



Nell Speer