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Chapter 13
The Family Today

In ending this book I'm quoting from a page
out of my last updating of the family history. 

November 8,1982 

B. Opal (Kern) Schad 

A summary of the doings of the Erwin and Opal Schad family. Erwin Schad passed away June 28, 1977, a few months before his 80th birthday on February 26. He was granted the privilege of seeing our three sons happily married and established with lovable wives and children. All ten grandchildren were adults, Jeff being the youngest at age 17. 

Our first great grandchild, Jimmy, was born in 1970. Erwin and I have been very proud of each of them. My husband was an avid reader and collector of good books. We both enjoyed books, Thomas Mann being one of our favorites. Galsworthy was another. As Erwin understood German, he sent to Germany for Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks in German, also Little Man. "What Now?" by Hans Fallada. The latter book was written during the upheaval of Germany showing its impact on the lives of people there. 

While our children knew Erwin was well versed in German, the grandchildren didn't. When our grandson Greg was studying German in college and having some trouble in pronunciation, my daughter-in-law Frances, his mother, said, "Why don't you have your grandpa help you ?" Greg didn't even know Grandpa could speak German. As we lived near The University of Tulsa where Greg was studying for his degree, he often stopped in between classes to see if Grandpa could help him. Greg had been advised to take German as there were science books written in German that would be beneficial to his research. He was studying to be a dentist which he now is. 

The two of them had a ball with the German language. Greg told his teacher about my husband and in the conversation Greg mentioned his grandpa was reading Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks in German. The teacher's remark was, "If he can read that in German, he knows German." His books which were written in German and his most complete German-English dictionary I gave to Greg after Erwin's death. And, since he is the only one who has studied German, I also gave Greg the German Bible with a copy of the marriage records, the births, etc. in it. 

This Bible belonged to my husband's grandmother who came to America in 1848. Our sons Harry and Frank chose the business world for their careers and have applied honest efforts in their work which have brought rewarding results in their oil related businesses. Our son Charles chose the research, designing, inventing and consulting engineering of oil related problems. He has inventions and patents in this line. He too put forth honest effort and has received the rewards. Their wives Frances, Patty , and Margaret have been big helps to the boys by encouraging and supporting their efforts. 

Each has a career of her own. Frances and Patty have been in real estate and Margaret is secretary to the President of The University of Tulsa. Their children show the training and guidance they have given them. Their various vocations include dentistry , medicine, nutrition, geology, education, bank work, oil well supply, ball bearing company, oil related seismic data. 

At this writing there are eight great grandchildren and two lovable great grandchildren by former marriages. Erwin and I were fortunate in being able to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on June 14,1973 with our family and friends. We both were in good health and enjoyed the comradeship of all. Our three sons and their families engineered the affair which was held at the home of Harry, our eldest son. 

Scott Taylor Schad, son of Charles A. Schad, wrote this essay about his grandpa Erwin A. Schad for school at the age of 18 years. A few minor things which Scott included in his essay about our history are wrong. These I have listed below. The summer of 1922 I went to Plymouth, Wisconsin, and stayed with Mrs. Franey across the street from the Schad's-Grandma Schad, Erwin, and Nelda. I met Erwin while there. 

I came home that fall and worked that winter in Tulsa. Erwin worked in Plymouth. We both saved our money and the spring of 1923 I returned to Plymouth. We were married June 14, 1923. Harry was born May 12,1924. We moved to Tulsa October 1,1925. Erwin went to work for Mid-continent, now Sun, on October 19, 1925. He retired after 38 years of work on February 1963. 

The Mind of Methuselah

To most people my Grandfather appears to be an average man. He dresses for comfort, not for style, preferring soft suede shoes to the stiffness of polished leather. Only upon closer examination can you begin to see that he is a little different from the norm. He operates an amateur radio transmitter, appreciates classical music, and is an avid reader, having read the works of almost every author of note in any country that you could care to name. 

He possesses an insatiable curiosity about everything, forever studying things that arouse his interest That is why at almost eighty , he is still quick and sharp and constantly trying to better himself when others have fallen into a state of stagnation. He is living proof that if you possess a curiosity you will never stop learning. My Grandfather was born in the latter part of the nineteenth century in the small northern town of Plymouth, Wisconsin. The town was comprised mainly of German immigrants, his parents being full-blooded German. 

His curious nature was predominant even then and manifested itself in a number of ways. He once constructed a bomb and set it off in a vacant lot near his school, knocking the windows out. Yet he was a model student who enjoyed school and had a perfect record. He was interested in the study of radio and built the first ever to exist in Plymouth. He also wrote and edited his high school's first year book. 

The progress he made in school was immeasurable, but he had to take advantage of this free education and learn all he could because he knew that he would never be able to go to college. After graduation he worked at various jobs; teaching, doing research for a radio and phonograph manufacturer, and eventually he came to Tulsa and married, having obtained a job in an oil company destined to become DX. 

This was during the depression and it was hard on his new family as it was everywhere else. There was very little money, but he always managed to find enough to buy books. They were his lifeblood, his food. He burned with the desire to know; he needed to know--he had to read. A devastating war came and went, a cold war flared up and died out, and my Grandfather retired. He retired to his world of books and music, of freedom of thought and contentment. His great yearning to know all he could had made him extremely knowledgeable and even more important, very open-minded. 

Escaping the narrow-minded rut that most people fall into, he had retained the ability to think clearly and objectively about any subject. His philosophies are well-ordered and categorized, and represent a vast amount of time spent in serious contemplation. There aren't many men that sit down and wonder about the basic eternal questions (life after death, meaning of life, etc.) without balking at their proportions. Most will simply dismiss them as something they are not meant to know. 

The only rational way to approach them is to meet them face to face and reach definite conclusions through logical thought. If I feel jealous toward anything that my Grandfather possesses, it is toward his beautiful, simple outlook on life. That kind of perfection can only come through immense knowledge. I wouldn't say that my Grandfather will ever be famous, nor has he led what you would call a great, all-around "perfect" life. He has, however, attained what most men never reach, that state of mind where one is completely honest with one's self and his beliefs. 

He has developed a working code to live by, and while it might not be flawless, it performs for him beautifully. He has attained this state of thought by learning. Great learning. Immense knowledge all acquired because of a fever that afflicted his mind-- curiosity. It drove him forward, leading him to ever-widening paths of thought that modified and re-modified his views to generate more cause for curiosity. He has never stopped thirsting for knowledge, and never will. 

Scott T. Schad 

English 1013 Sec. 7 Sept. 15, 1975 

Tulsa is no longer a very small community. She has grown into full bloom, ever expanding, ever changing, but always growing. She has given her manpower and financial aid to World War I and World War II, the Korean War, and Viet Nam. She has been a party to wars, depressions, inflation, recession, and more inflation and as of this date a depression that had to come as present interest climbed to above 20% making it impossible for the young to buy homes. 

A vicious circle causing loss of jobs, bank failures, etc. Interest rates are down. Tulsa's loss of job rate has been lower than the nation's. Building of condominiums and office buildings have helped to keep many jobs open. Oil business as well as other businesses have the pressure, but this time the government has job loss compensation which has helped and bank accounts are government insured. I think I see the light coming through and this depression too will be weathered and conquered. 

I would like to repeat a remark I've heard my dad make many times. Each generation has to be smarter than the preceding one. We've taught our children all we can that we know and they add to what we have taught them. Another remark of his which ties in with progress is: "Each generation has its own codes of morals and we cannot judge them by our standards." 

In the process of progress our children learn from us, but they lose by not being able to have our experience. This we cannot pass on to them. Susan Jane Schad, 21 years old, daughter of Harry E. Schad, talked with me about her grandpa, Erwin A. Schad, April 13, 1979. She said she felt that when her grandpa died the family would fall apart as she felt he held the family together and she was afraid as Grandpa was one they all could go to and without thought of punishment he would help them to put the pieces together and encourage them. 

She especially worried about the grandsons not yet grown. Who could they go to with Grandpa gone? Would the family get together on Christmas as usual? She said she was greatly relieved to see the family still carried on as before. The one thing she did not realize was Grandpa had passed his strength on to the new generation. 

Blanche O. (Kern) Schad April 14, 1979 

As I mentioned in the preface I was 83 years when I essentially finished writing this book. However, I suffered a stroke on Labor Day of the following year which caused further editing and printing of the book to be delayed. Now it appears that the book will finally be completed on or before my eighty-sixth birthday on October 19,1986. There are additions since I started the book. 

As you can tell from looking at the family trees, all my grandchildren are now married. In addition, I now have a total of sixteen great-grandchildren. More are anticipated which one would--and should--expect. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this book. I hope you have enjoyed it, too. 


Blanche Opal Kern 

Mother Emma Justine Harrison Kern 

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Reproduced by 
Kathie Harrison
Ancestral Whispers
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