Marium Elzora “Mari” Van Ronk Schindler was born on Feb. 15, 1936 and died of cancer at the age of 74 in Portland on July 11, 2010. She was the daughter of Raymond Van Ronk of Portland, Oregon and Fredora Patricia "Pat" Marshall Van Ronk (born in Klamath Falls, raised in Portland). Mari grew up in southeast Portland, moving to the northeast after she married Paul Eugene Schindler on Feb. 5, 1952, a marriage ended only by her death.
She dropped out of high school, later earned her GED, then attended and graduated from Portland State University (then college) in 1962, the first in her family to graduate from college, with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She was a teacher at Centennial High School in Parkrose. She taught French and English; she also taught her students how to be decent human beings.
She helped raise other people's children for the rest of her life. She kept looking after the children entrusted to her care long after they were babies, often into adulthood. She was the friend of too many people to count. She was a sympathetic ear, but also a firm giver of advice. She was a storyteller whose stories conveyed humor, morality and cultural commentary.
Paul Eugene Schindler was born on June 22, 1933, and died of natural causes at the age of 79 in Pleasant Hill, California on Aug. 21, 2012. He was the son of Getrude Ruhlin Schindler (born in Gresham, Oregon) and Paul Schindler (born in Watwil, St. Galen, Switzerland).
Paul dropped out of high school in 1948 when his father died, and became the sole support of his mother and sister by operating their family-owned retail home-delivery milk route, Lakeside Dairy. He eventually earned his GED, and took a few college courses at the Vanport Extension Center. He went on to spend nearly 50 years as a retail and wholesale milk truck driver, most of them at Standard Dairy, before retiring from Alpenrose Dairy in 1996. For 13 years, he drove a school bus. He lived his entire life on Northeast Beech Street, with the exception of four years after his marriage and his last 15 months, which he spent in an assisted living facility in Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Paul was a relentless auto-didact, who paid for his own training as a tractor-trailer driver, and who completed the home courses of Sales Training Inc. and Dale Carnegie. He enjoyed golfing for many years, and loved the Spare Room tavern. He was fascinated by current events, and owned a 1966 GM Suburban for 45 years.
Paul and Mari are both survived by their sons, Paul E. Schindler, Jr, and Stephen Michael Schindler, their grandchildren Rae Leigh Schindler, Marlow Lynne Schindler, Paul Stephen Schindler and Stephanie Michelle Schindler Jenkins, as well as their great-grandchildren, Daniel Brian Jenkins, Jr. and Ja’elle Jenkins.