The Voisin/Stewart Family
Husband: Frank A. Schafer
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown


Frank Shafer
Wife: Cordula Anna Yuncker
Name: Corda
Name: Cordula Yuncker 2
Born: 08 April 1888 in Nottawa Township, Isabella, Michigan 3 4 5
Died: 11 February 1923 in Beal City, Isabella, Michigan 6 7 8 9
Father: Jacob P. Yuncker
Mother: Anna Margaret "Maggie" Pohl


Anna Cordulia (Yuncker) Schafer
01 (F): Sister Margaret Schafer
Born: 01 September 1911 11
Died: 30 March 1988 13


Sister Margaret Schafer
Additional Information

Frank A. Schafer:

Grave Marker: 1

Cordula Anna Yuncker:

Cause of Death: Pulmonary Hemmorhage

Grave Marker: 2011, Beal City, Isabella, Michigan; Saint Joseph the Worker Cemetery 10


Cordula apparently married young and was widowed as of the 1910 Federal Census for Nottawa Twp., Isabella Co., Michigan; she was living with her widowed mother.
--Diane Kaye Schafer

(01) Sister Margaret Schafer:

Profession of Vows: March 1930, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan; Marywood 12

Obituary: 04 April 1988, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan; Dominican Chapel/Marywood 14


Entered eternal life on March 30, 1988
at the age of 76
after 58 years of religious life

Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, April 5, 1988
at 4:15 Dominican Chapel/Marywood

Vigil Service: Monday, 7:00 p.m.Dominican Chapel/Marywood

We commend Sister Margaret to your prayers.

Ten years ago the people of St. Joseph Parish in West Branch lauded Sister Margaret Schafer with these words: "For a decade our own Sister Margaret has been the dedicated, never discouraged, never doubting principal of our school. A highly respected educator and parish worker, her usual pattern has been: tireless teacher; faithful organist; choir director; preparer of children for the Sacraments; handmaid of the Lord in caring for His altar; a willing listener to everyone’s troubles with always a promise of prayer; a woman-of this century, ­small in stature, but a giant in purpose…she is a fulfillment we can see of the Dominican motto: ‘To praise, to bless, and to teach’. We salute her as “Channel of Blessing.” This Channel of Blessing who came to our congregation fifty-eight years ago, not quite understanding why she was being gifted with a call to Dominican life, left us for the glories of eternity on Wednesday of Holy Week, March 30, 1988.

“Fire-tried gold” aptly describes the Margaret Schafer who arrived at Marywood on September 7, 1929. Having celebrated a birthday six days previously, she acknowledged that eighteen years of life had taught her much about God's provident care of her. Prior to her Dominican years Sister Margaret had been simply "Margaret", lifelong resident of Beal City, firstborn of Frank and Cordula Schafer's four daughters.

Being the eldest, Margaret was introduced to responsibility at an early age. Because her mother's health was poor, Margaret not only cared for her, but in addition assumed many of the household duties. When she was eleven years old, her strength—both physical and spiritual—was put to the test: her beloved mother died. And Margaret became, in fact, "little mother" to her three sisters until their father remarried. Margaret was then thirteen. The God whose graces helped hone her mothering skills graced her anew: believing no one could ever replace the parent she had lost, Margaret was able to accept her new mother. As the years went on, Margaret also accepted and welcomed nine new brothers and sisters.

It can readily be seen that even before she became a Channel of Blessing within
our Dominican cogregation, Margaret was precisely that in the Schafer
household. She was diligent in matters concerning home life, school life and
church life. The Dominican Sisters who staffed the parish school became her
dear was Sister Timothy Wiesler, Margaret's music teacher. Closeness to her and the other Dominicans teaching at St. Philomena's (later renamed St. Joseph the Worker) heighted her desire for religious life.

When Margaret did leave for Grand Rapids and convent life, it was Sister Timothy who accompanied her. Boarding the train at Vestaburg for the journey to Marywood, they were joined by two other Beal City Schafers: Leona (S. John Baptist) and Mary (S. Marie Alexander). Six months later the trio was part of the March 1930 class to receive the Dominican habit from Mother Eveline Mackey. It was then that Margaret was given the name by which she was known until the early days of Vatican II renewal: Sister Samuel of the Child Jesus.

Her life both as a neophyte religious and later as a dedicated educator bespoke a woman constantly attuned to God's will. Indeed her lifelong prayer might well have been that of the Old Testament Samuel whose namesake she was: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” She listened well and found that God spoke to her very clearly through the events and challenges of everyday life.

Challenges were plentiful during Sister's forty-six years in elementary education. A multi-talented person, she was given multiple responsibilities and taught multiple grades at Visitation in North Dorr, Our Lady of Sorrows in Grand Rapids, St. Mary's in St. Charles and Our Lady of the Lake in Prudenville. She was a school administrator for twenty-four years, serving as principal (and teacher too) when St. Basil's in South Haven and Immaculate Heart in Grand Rapids opened. Her musical abilities enabled her oftentimes to serve as organist, choir leader, glee club director and liturgist.

Needless to say, Sister Margaret was truly a “giving” person not only in her
professional life but in living the common life as well. She was a thoughtful
person, eager to be helpful whenever possible. God was her power source, thus her energies seemed boundless. In 1970, however, Sister Margaret became ill; the diagnosis: Parkinson's disease. But she saw God's will in that reality and continued being her generous, hard-working self. Completing a decade as St. Joseph School's principal in West Branch, Sister Margaret left the ministry of education and came to Aquinata Hall.

During her first years there she did clerical work to assist the Administrator. Eventually the effects of Sister's illness necessitated that she give up this work and embrace more fully the ministries of suffering and prayer. Again she relied on God's strength to be her support and comfort. Recorded in her autobiography are these words: “One thing I know is that I shall strive to become ever more appreciative of God's great gifts to me in the remaining years of my life; to realize more and more God's great love for me so that when He shall call me, He may find my soul in the state in which He had destined it from all eternity.”

Living her final years in this manner Sister Margaret was for us what the people of West Branch had previously acclaimed her to be: Channel of Blessing. At the moment of death God found her, we are certain, silently saying the Samuel statement for one, last time: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” And God gave answer in eternal words.

Sister Margaret is survived by her stepmother, Mrs. Louise Schafer of Weidman; her sisters: Mrs. Orielda Farner, Mrs. Beatrice Sheahan, Mrs. Evelyn Malish of Mt. Pleasant; Mrs. Betty Sunderman of Shepherd; her brothers: Norman of Shep­herd; Francis and Everett of Weidman; and Kenneth, Donald and James of Mt. Pleasant.

  1. Jim Tipton, Find A Grave ( accessed). [303], Downloaded; 25 September 2011; Frank A. Schafer, Memorial 76935140, Saint Joseph Cemetery, Beal City, Isabella, Michigan.
    Quality: 2.
  2. Schafer, Diane Kaye, Data from Diane Schafer (August 2000.) <> [396].

    The History of St. Philomena Parish and the Beal City Community from 1875 to 1960, p. 36

  3. Ibid.

    1900 Census: Nottawa Township, Isabella County, Michigan

  4. Smith, Irene Margaret (Blasen), Correspondence from Smith, Irene (February 2002, September 2003) [403].
  5. Michigan, Michigan Births 1867-1902,; index and images, FamilySearch and Genealogical Society of Utah, FamilySearch ( accessed); Department of Vital Records, Lansing, Michigan. [341], downloaded; 21 February 2009; Film 2321093; Digital GS 4207536; Image 585; Item 1; Page 130; Record 326; Isabella County; Cordula Anna Yuncker; 8 April 1888.
  6. Smith, Irene Margaret (Blasen), Correspondence from Smith, Irene (February 2002, September 2003) [403].
  7. Hoff-Grambau, Donna (transcriptionist), Isabella County Michigan Deaths 1923, Volume 2 (MIGenWeb Archives, January 2002) <> (Oct. 12, 2002) [281], Record 12.

    Married; 34y10m3d; Nottawa Township; Housewife.

  8. Sister Margaret Schafer, OP, Memorial Notes; (Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan: Dominican Chapel/Marywood, 4 April 1988). [400].
    Quality: 2.

    Date of mother's death agrees with the statement, "...When she was eleven years old, ...her beloved mother died." Given Margaret's birth year of 1911, she would have been eleven in 1923.

  9. Michigan Michigan History Foundation, "Death Records, 1921-1947," death certificates, Seeking Michigan ( accessed). [335], Downloaded; 28 July 2016; C Anna Schafer, 11 Feb 1923.
  10. Jim Tipton, Find A Grave ( accessed). [303], Downloaded; 25 September 2011; Cordulia A. Schafer, Memorial 76935123, Saint Joseph Cemetery, Beal City, Isabella, Michigan.
    Quality: 2.
  11. Sister Margaret Schafer, OP, Memorial Notes; (Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan: Dominican Chapel/Marywood, 4 April 1988). [400].
    Quality: 2.

    Birth date inferred from passage, "...September 7, 1929. Having celebrated a birthday six days previously, she acknowledged that eighteen years of life...." She must have been 18 years old on September 1, 1929.

  12. Ibid.
    Quality: 2.

    "...March 1930 class to receive the Dominican habit from Mother Eveline Mackey."

  13. Ibid.
    Quality: 2.
  14. Ibid.
    Quality: 2.

Citation: Mike Voisin, iSeeAncestors ( : revised January 02, 2018), Frank A. Schafer & Cordula Anna Yuncker.

Revised: January 02, 2018

Copyright © 2000-2018 Mike Voisin. All rights reserved.

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