Cover photo for Lucienne Schulz's Obituary
Lucienne Schulz Profile Photo

Lucienne Schulz

May 12, 1926 — November 24, 2021

Lucienne Idesheim Schulz (May 12, 1926 – November 24, 2021) Lucienne Jeanne Charlotte Idesheim was born in Speyer, Germany, in 1926 to Frieda Idesheim (Zimmermann) and Charles Idesheim. Her early years in Germany were comfortable. Her military father, a major in the French Army, was stationed in Speyer as a translator. He was fluent in French, German, Russian, and Yiddish. When WW2 broke out her father was soon imprisoned by the Germans. After moving to Nazi occupied France with her German mother while her French father was in a German POW camp, Lucienne would tell compelling and sometimes funny war memories. Suffering from malnutrition as a young teen, Lucienne was sent on errands to bicycle past unsuspecting German soldiers, illegally sneaking food from a nearby farm family to be shared with family and friends. Once a Jew hiding in her home to escape Nazis, accidentlly started a small fire, endangering them all. Germans and the Allies both made bombing runs around her home. She learned to distinguish airplane sounds. She would run into the fields upon hearing German planes, but not bother to leave the house for American planes, knowing the Americans would not bomb civilian targets. In her later teens, Lucienne relocated to Paris to study at La Sorbonne, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. When people commented how impressed they were with her university credentials, she would respond that her studies were not all that impressive since the best professors had fled the Nazi occupation. She would tell a truthful joke that the only meat she ate for months was the worms found in her diet of beans. Before she was 20, Lucienne experienced the liberation of Paris by American forces. After the war Lucienne found employment at the large American Air Force base in Chateauroux, France. One job was in the Base Exchange, the other was teaching French to American GIs for the University of Maryland. There she met Lieutenant Donald Schulz, a prospective French language student she refused to admit to her class because he arrived on base after class had started. Instead, she immediately offered to tutor him at an exorbitant price. Before long she stopped charging him for the lessons. In 1953 Donald and Lucienne were married. Fifteen months later their first son Gerald was born. Nine months later the family went stateside. Lucienne followed Donald throughout the USA, living on or near Air Force bases. In Topeka, Kansas, her second son Gregory was born. There she organized a club for French women, and she became a proud American citizen. Instead of buying costly life insurance for Donald, Lucienne decided to spend what would have been life insurance premiums to procure an American college degree. This way she could teach to support herself and their children should tragedy befall her husband in his dangerous flying career. She also determined it was about time she learned to drive. Taught to drive a stick shift VW Bug, that lowly vehicle was replaced with sports cars that she would energetically run through the gears. At the age of 36 Lucienne had her last child, Veronique, before graduating from Washburn University. Though she never had to rely on her teaching certificate to support her family, Lucienne occasionally substituted in Wheatland California, taught French at Yuba City College, and created a French language program for the Wurtsmith branch of Alpena (Michigan) Community College. At home, finest French cuisine was served at the table, no ketchup allowed. Dinner guests were common. Lucienne often found herself a single mom as Donald regularly had extended temporary duties in places families were not allowed. Typical of a military wife, she devoted most of her energies to raising “military brats.” Lucienne’s favorite phrase when answering her children inquiring why they had to do a task exceedingly well or follow the most moral path was, “It is a matter of principle!” When they heard the dreaded, “It is a matter of principle” response, the children knew there was no getting out of the task at hand. Making her family bilingual, Lucienne also provided a dual cultural perspective on life, all enhanced with many a summer vacation joining family in France and Germany. Starting at Beale Air Force Base, Lucienne became especially active in church. She organized informal services in her home, participated in military chapel and civilian church functions, and started Bible study groups throughout the USA. If you knew Lucienne Schulz and did not know Jesus, it was your fault, not hers. She lived the exemplary life of an enthusiastically positive Christian woman. Lucienne would pray for you, pray with you, and minister to any need you had. She always had a pamphlet or leaflet to go along with her gentle ministry. She loved sending cards to people for any occasion. Lucienne’s long, handwritten Christmas letters were epic. Lucienne was an incredibly fast walker. “Walking” with her sometimes meant you had to jog to keep up. After having her second hip replacement, Lucienne’s walking pace necessarily slowed, so she continued her exercise regimen as a long-distance swimmer. She always created and maintained beautiful flower gardens. Lucienne was a storyteller extraordinaire, luring the listener in with her accent, and holding one’s attention with her unique perspective. After living in the US for so many years, she lamented that she had an accent when speaking English, German, or French. Lucienne moved around extensively in the USA, living in Biloxi, Mississippi; Houston, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Topeka, Kansas; Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert California; Beale AFB and environs in Northern California; and Oscoda, Michigan. Travels increased in retirement, exploring most of the continental USA from an RV. After extensive research Donald and Lucienne opted to settle in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, where she remained active and vibrant. Her whimsical stories and exuberant love of God were exclaimed throughout her adult life, right to the very last conversations. Surviving Lucienne are Donald, her husband of 68 years; children Gerald (Diane) Gregory (Kelley) and Veronique (Dave Kennedy); grandchildren Craig, Jennifer, Theresa, Katherine Arlona, and Jeannine. Preceding her in death is her sister Genevieve. A memorial service will be announced and held spring or summer of 2022. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lucienne Schulz, please visit our flower store.


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