Beatrice M.S. Schulz, 92: Devoted her life to family, nursing

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FALMOUTH — Beatrice Madeline Speirs Schulz, 92, died Aug. 12, in the care of her family.

Shulz was born to James and Madeline Rolfe Speirs on Dec. 6, 1921, in Portland. The oldest of six children, she grew up in the North Deering section of Portland, and was a 1939 graduate of Deering High School.

She attended Gray’s Business School in Portland, and graduated from Maine General Hospital in 1944 as a registered nurse. After graduating, she worked as an industrial nurse at Bath Iron Works, but soon joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She completed basic training at Fort Devens, Massachusetts,  and was then stationed at Cushing General Hospital.

It was at Cushing that she met her future husband, Army Capt. William John Schulz Jr. of Oswego, New York. He had been wounded in Cherbourg, France, and was sent to Cushing for surgery and rehabilitation. The couple met at a Valentine’s Day dance at the hospital, fell in love, and were married on May 3, 1945.

After both were discharged from the Army, the couple moved to Portland and raised two daughters and a son. Together, Schulz and her husband owned and operated Sebago Trading Post and Big Chief Moccasin in North Windham.

They spent 29 years together, bringing up their children and enjoying time with family. Often that fun centered around the Speirs’ camp on Little Sebago Lake.

Shulz was a life-long reader and learner, and enjoyed walking, swimming, travel, photography and most of all, gatherings and celebrations with her family.

After her husband’s sudden death in 1974, Shulz returned to work as a nurse, first at the Red Cross in Portland and then at the University of Southern Maine Health Center in Gorham. Upon retiring, she took up golf and traveled to Florida each winter. There she met many new friends, including Ray Stuart Bicknell, of Portland. The two enjoyed each other’s company and often traveled together, until his death in 2013.

In 2005, Shulz began a new phase in her life, living at Sedgewood Commons, an assisted living facility. She met many kind and caring friends there, and was visited by many family members, especially her niece, Sondra (Sam) Speirs.

Shulz was predeceased by her husband of 29 years, William J. Schulz Jr.; her parents, James and Madeline Speirs; her brothers, James Speirs and son, Richard, Robert Speirs and wife, Geraldine, and Donald Speirs and son, Kenneth; and her sister, Marilyn Siegler and husband, William.

She is survived by her three children, Linda S. Cook and husband, Edward Savoie, of Gorham, Elaine S. Desjardins and husband, John, of Bath, and William R. Schulz and wife, Teresa, of Portland. She also has nine grandchildren: Jennifer Schumacher and husband, Michael, of North Yarmouth, Stephanie Sousa and husband, Eric of Melrose, Massachusetts, Lynn Shea and husband, Scott of Freeport, Kari Radasch and husband, Ian Anderson, of Westbrook, Matthew Radasch, of Bronx, New York, Benjamin Schulz and wife, Heather, of Windham, Hannah Sirois and husband, Chad, of Gorham, Jennifer Monfa and husband, Marcello, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and Tara Hildreth and husband, Michael, of Cumberland. She is also survived by her brother, Malcolm Speirs, of San Antonio, Texas, her sister-in-law, Eleanor Speirs, of Portland, 16 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

The Shulz family would like to thank her Sedgewood caregivers and Beacon Hospice caregivers for the unending patience, kindness, and love they freely gave to her.

Visitation and a memorial service were held at Dolby & Dorr Funeral Chapel in Gorham. Private burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Beacon Hospice, 54 Atlantic Place, South Portland, ME 04106, or to the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 U.S. Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.