Schoemehl, Barbara Ann, of Laguna Woods, died Nov. 29 following a lengthy illness. She was 86.
Born in Bedford, Ind., Barbara grew up in nearby Shelbyville, where her high school education coincided with employment at Camp Atterbury, a U. S. Army base that served as a discharge center at the end of World War II. Her father ran the PX. She often laughed over being taunted by German prisoners of war who were held at the camp until the war’s end.
Relocating to Indianapolis in the late 1940s, Barbara was a telephone company operator and an office worker before taking a secretarial position at the Radio Corporation of America. There, she met a young electrical engineer, Henry Fredrick Schoemehl. Following their marriage, the couple moved to the Chicago area, where they remained until 1961, when Henry, a sales manager for Hoffman Electronics, was transferred to Los Angeles.
Thus began 52 years of residence in several communities in Los Angeles, Orange and Kern counties. Meanwhile, Barbara and her husband completed a vacation home in the San Bernardino Mountains, managed rental property in Nevada, and enjoyed camping trips at the Kern River, Mammoth, Death Valley and Mineral King.
As her three children grew older, Barbara returned to the work force. As a nurse, she was employed at hospitals in Glendale and Long Beach. Her last and longest nursing position was with Kaiser Permanente in Bellflower. After retiring from Kaiser, Barbara and her husband moved to Tehachapi where they enjoyed time with friends and family, trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin, excursions to Alaska and several European countries, and a long-remembered houseboat adventure on Lake Powell.
In 2003, the Schoemehls continued their retirement at Laguna Woods. After Henry’s death in 2010, Barbara joined a group of women who met weekly to see a film and enjoy dinner. Meanwhile, she remained an active member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Sundays always meant 9 a.m. Mass followed by Eggs Benedict at the Snooty Fox Restaurant in Laguna Hills.
Barbara was diagnosed in late 2012 with myelodisplastic syndrome, a disorder that affects bone marrow. In July, she suffered a serious head injury during a fall at home. Still, Barbara remained spirited in the company of friends and family.
Barbara is survived by two sons, Frederick, of Tustin, and Mark Jeffries, of Oregon; a daughter, Karen Reinsel, of Pennsylvania.; and two sisters, Luella Reinbold and Judith Browning, both of Indiana.
Funeral Mass will be offered at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 24252 El Toro Rd., Laguna Woods. Inurnment will follow at Ascension Cemetery, El Toro. The family suggests donations to St. Nicholas Catholic Church.