Obituary of Helen Louise Schuler Chadez
Mom was an angel all her life and now she has her wings. Helen Louise Schuler Chadez, beloved wife, mom, grandma, and great-grandma died peacefully at her home on Thursday, August 19, 2021. Helen was born July 25, 1928, in New Plymouth, Idaho to Aloys and Clara Schuler, the 9th of 12 children. The family moved to Nampa where Helen attended St Paul’s Catholic School and Nampa High School. The family owned a registered dairy farm, where she was head milker. In her “spare time” Helen would ride her horse Boots and practice her accordion. Impromptu Swiss parties were a regular event at her house. Helen played the accordion, accompanied by her mother on piano, and the rugs would be rolled up so all could dance and have a good time. After graduating from Nampa High School, she attended the College of Idaho for 2 years, where she excelled in her studies and various sports including field hockey and softball. During this time, she met the love of her life, Eddie Chadez, at a Knights of Columbus Dance. She traveled to Switzerland in the summer of 1948 and upon her return they got married on December 29, 1948. They have been inseparable for the last 72 plus years. Together they bought farms in Homedale where they raised a family of seven children, grew crops, and milked dairy cows for 48 years. Helen and Eddie’s goal for starting the dairy farm was to give their children a college education. A goal they achieved in that all 7 children have college degrees. Of course, we had to help with the milking and mom would always greet us with “Good Morning Sunshine” as we entered the barn, grouchy and only half awake at 5 a.m.
Mom always said everyone had a ministry in life, and hers was bringing joy to others, whether it was playing her accordion, singing, sending letters, or just a friendly smile and hello. Though being a farm wife, mother and chief cow milker were full-time jobs, she found time to be active in the community and in the activities of her children. She was a cub scout den mother and grade school room mother. She always made a special Slovenian bread (potica) for the annual Homedale Smorgasbord which raised money for the school. Potica was also one of our favorite treats and Mom always made it at Christmas for gift giving. A Christmas tradition her daughters still uphold. And Christmas was not complete unless we had hot cocoa and potica after midnight mass. She was active in the St. Hubert’s Catholic Altar Society, where she organized funeral dinners for many years. We would often come home to find her on the phone recruiting volunteers. She also found time to be an active member of the Dairy Wives. Music was a very important part of her life. She was a member of the church choir, and the Good Time Singers, who sang at local events and the nursing home on a regular basis. Her accordion playing was one of her passions. She would always take a trip to the school classrooms at Christmas time and play the accordion while the kids sang! This was a tradition which she also enjoyed with her grandchildren. She played at the local nursing home and senior center on a regular basis and was always a hit! Her accordion went with her to all the family Christmas parties and events and watching her play her accordion was a joy.
Being a loving wife and mother was one of mom’s greatest gifts. She was so patient, kind and encouraging. Love was in everything she did, whether it be making our sandwiches for lunch (on brown bread before it was cool) or baking fresh cookies or cakes for our after-school snacks. As we sat around the table at nights doing our homework, Mom was always there to help answer questions and give us a boost when we said the awful words – “I Can’t” – to which she would reply “Can’t never did anything!” She supported her daughters in their cheerleading activities, her sons sports activities, and all of our 4-H projects.
After her children graduated and left home, her ministry was sending cards and letters to those who were sick, home bound, had lost a loved one, for special occasions, or just because she was thinking of you. Often these cards included a poem in rhyme written specially for the occasion and if there was a death, she would include a butterfly as a special gift to remember that special someone. Everyone always thanked her for their special butterfly. And of course, she sent her grandkids special poems for their achievements and attended their school programs and soccer games. Her energy, spirit and zest for life were amazing.
After Mom’s stroke, she kept us entertained with her happy smile and endless jokes, which always made us laugh! She never complained and her motto was “Attitude is gratitude”. Helen had an undying faith and prayed the rosary and listened to mass every day, often in Latin to keep her brain active.
She is now with the angels, surrounded by butterflies. We send her to heaven on the wings of her own special butterfly. We Love you Helen and Mom. “A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam – and for a brief moment it belongs to our world – in all its beauty and glory – then it flies away. Although we wish it could have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it.”
Helen is survived by her husband Eddie Chadez, and children – Susan (Craig) Hartley, Trish Chadez Whitney, Charles Chadez, Louise (Dave McRae) Chadez, Mary (Greg Sander) Chadez, Perry (Connie) Chadez; Rita (Bernie) Ball and two sisters, Dorothy Vauk and Sister Chanelle Schuler. She is also survived by her eleven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Helen’s family gives special heartfelt thanks to Cher Atkins for her compassionate and loving care of Mom for the past 5 years.
In lieu of flowers, you may send a donation to St Gertrude’s Monastery, the Homedale Senior Center, or the charity of your choice. Viewing will be at Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Homedale on Thursday, August 26, from 5-7, followed by the rosary at 7pm. Mass will be celebrated at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Nampa on August 27 at 10:00 am. Internment following the mass at Marsing- Homedale cemetery, followed by a dinner at the Basque Center in Homedale at 1 p.m.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Chadez, please visit Tribute Store