fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Sylvia Ann Schmeling

May 11, 1936 - November 29, 2017

On the morning of November 29, 2017, Sylvia Ann Schmeling passed away peacefully at the age of 81 surrounded by her family. Sylvia was a teacher. She taught for more than 30 years, starting out as a high school teacher, but eventually finding that she loved teaching children. She retired after teaching first grade at Bellview Elementary School in Ashland, Oregon for nearly 20 years.

Sylvia Ann Felland was born May 11, 1936 in Ladysmith, Wisconsin to Manter and Daisy Felland. Her family owned Daisy's Store, a small neighborhood grocery store that was popular in the community. Sylvia worked in the store through her childhood and teens, even driving to deliver groceries at age 13 without a license (the sheriff looked the other way, because he knew that she was working). She graduated from Ladysmith High School at the age of 17, after which she promptly moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked for the Minneapolis Gas Company in the Twin Cities.

A year later, she moved back to Wisconsin and enrolled at Whitewater University, located halfway between Madison and Milwaukee. She earned a degree in business and a minor in geography in 1958. She started teaching business class at Central High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in the next year, where she met her future husband, Herman Schmeling, who had been hired to teach English at the same school. They were married August 15, 1959.

They taught one more year in Sheboygan, where they had their first child, and then moved to Oshkosh (second child) where Herman taught at the state college. Sylvia was raising children now and had to stop teaching, but somewhere in her education she had learned to type 65 words per minute with no mistakes. She began a home business typing term papers and dissertations for money in her spare time. She and the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee (third child) where Herman went to work on his PhD at George Peabody College for Teachers, now part of Vanderbilt University. After two years, the family moved again - this time to Corvallis, Oregon - where Herman taught as an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University while working on his PhD. Sylvia still raised the kids and typed for money and started typing Herman’s dissertation.

One year later, they moved back to Wisconsin where Herman became an English Professor at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. Sylvia and Herman and the kids had moved four times in five years. Two years later, in 1967, with all three children going to school, Sylvia returned to teaching and taught business at the Vocational School in Eau Claire. Herman finished his dissertation and earned his PhD. Sylvia typed the whole dissertation, through many drafts. No charge.

Sylvia severely disliked the Wisconsin winters, so after five years in Eau Claire, in the summer of 1970, the family moved to Ashland, Oregon. She first taught remedial reading at Scenic Middle School in Central Point, but finished her career at Bellview Elementary School. She taught first grade there for nearly two decades.

Sylvia was a lifelong saxophone and piano player and she played in the Ashland City Band for over 30 years, and for a shorter time in a local German band. She loved to travel, and if she wasn’t on a trip, then she was planning for one. She and Herman traveled to Southeast Asia, Europe, Turkey, Central and South America, including the Galapagos Islands, and Mexico, and also to national parks and many times to the Oregon coast.

Among other things, Sylvia taught her children and grandchildren music, which is an everlasting gift. She was a loving grandmother, spending endless hours on the floor reading to her grandchildren when they were young, and supporting them in their talents as they grew. She will definitely be missed.

She is survived by her husband, Herman; her children, Paul (Alicia), Susan (Malissa), and Max (Michelle); her grandchildren, Kyra, Elena, Marina, Daisy, and Josh; her brothers, Keith Felland and Eric Felland; and her sister, Gayleen Duzy; and their partners and offspring.

A Celebration of Life and Memorial Service will be held Friday, December 15, 2017 at the Elks Lodge in Ashland, Oregon from 2-5p.m. Please come. The bar will be open.

Sylvia Ann Schmeling