A memorial service for Edna J. Van Schmus will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 15 at Plymouth Congregational Church, Lawrence. Edna passed away in her home in the presence of family on Thursday morning, February 23, 2023, after a prolonged illness.
Edna was born in July of 1938 to Arthur and Elizabeth Evison. She grew up in Liverpool, England during and following WWII. Although the years were difficult, Edna had fond memories of growing up surrounded by a close-knit extended family. Edna did her primary and middle schooling in Liverpool, then emigrated with her family to Montreal, Canada and then Chicago, where she graduated from Kelly High School.
After graduation, Edna worked for United Airlines, then transferred to Los Angeles where her father moved the family once again. In 1959 Edna resumed schooling, enrolling in the Nursing School at Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena & Pasadena City College. At this time, Edna also became a U.S. Citizen
In 1960 Edna met her future husband, William R. (Randy) Van Schmus, who was a Senior at Caltech in Pasadena. They were married in Monterey Park, CA on June 30, 1961, and made their home in Pasadena where Edna completed her schooling in 1962. She then worked as a Registered Nurse for Huntington Memorial Hospital while Randy finished his PhD at UCLA. In 1964 the couple moved to Bedford, Massachusetts where Randy served on active duty as a research officer in the United States Air Force and Edna enjoyed the comradery of the other young Air Force families.
In August 1967 they moved to Lawrence where Randy took a faculty position in Geology at the University of Kansas. Edna became an active member of the community lending her time and talents to local schools, scout troops, the university, and Plymouth Church. She also enjoyed several social groups, through which she made many treasured friends. She resumed her professional career as a nurse at the Pediatrics office of Drs. Branson & Gilles and continued pediatric nursing until 1996, when she retired after more than 20 years.
Edna was a woman of many talents and interests. She was a skilled craftswoman and is especially remembered for her beautiful needle work, including knitting, crocheting, embroidering and quilting. She also enjoyed both cooking and baking and took great pride in entertaining and serving traditional holiday meals. An avid traveler, Edna enjoyed adventures throughout the U.S. and England in addition to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.
Edna was beloved by many and is survived by her husband, Randy, of the home; daughter-in-law Nina Van Schmus; son, Derek (Pam) VanSchmus; daughter Jennifer (Michael) Chartier; grandchildren Emily, Anthony, Devin, Molly, and Olivia and a brother-in-law, sisters-in-law and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by son Brian Van Schmus, sister Pauline Dolinski, and her parents.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to VNA & VNA Hospice of Douglas County or Lawrence Habitat for Humanity sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044. Online condolences may be left at rumsey-yost.com
Messages & Condolences
Edna was a very special lady . I have fond memories of her through our “sewing group”. I remember watching her knit, rip out, ad re knit and never appeared to look at her hands and could talk at the same time. Very talented lady. I always loved “sewing day” at Edna’s. She will be missed by all
I was so sorry to hear this news. Edna was a very fine person, a scholar in so many ways, and I always enjoyed chatting with her. She was the one who encouraged me to volunteer at Hidden Valley Camp, which has been most enjoyable through the years, and even helped me earn an award from KU. Randy, so sorry for your loss, but I hope the happy memories will sustain you through the grieving period. She was very special.
So sorry to hear of Edna’s passing. The few times I met her, I could tell how kind and wonderful she was. In my lifelong friendship with Jennifer, I know that Edna’s legacy of kindness is intact.
So sad to hear of Edna’s passing. Her genuinely kind and generous spirit will certainly be missed. Condolences to Randy and the family.
We are so very saddened to learn of the news of Edna’s passing. We have so many fond memories of Edna. Our most-heart felt sympathies and sincere condolences. Randy and Edna were like parents to us when we lived in Lawrence and took us whippersnappers under your wings. Edna was very, very special and really went out of her way to make us and especially Lisa feel at home in Lawrence. I met Edna during my KU interview desert social at your home at the first lady of the Dept. and cherish the memories of so many gatherings at your house over the years, the field camp stories, or spending Thanksgivings together. We are sending love and strength. So very sorry for your loss!
my deep condolences.
I remember Edna as a wonderful, beautiful person.
So sorry to hear of Edna’s passing. I very much enjoyed caring for her and all of our wonderful conversations during her infusions. My thoughts are with your family.
Derek, I remember your mother from years ago when I had you in class at South Junior High and then over the years I have been reacquainted with her through various groups. I am sorry for your loss.
my thoughts and prayers are with you Randy and your family
We are so very saddened to learn of Edna’s passing. She will be remembered by us for her easy smile and generous good nature. Our warm wishes to Randy and the family.
Thinking of you and praying for consolation in your loss. I enjoyed knowing Edna and always had a good time at the departmental get togethers visiting with her.