Virginia A. (Schilling) McCarthy Obituary

Virginia A. (Schilling) McCarthy, 99, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, passed away on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at Caretel Inns in St. Joseph.

Virginia was born on April 28, 1922, to Lawrence M. & Bessie (Reynolds) Keller who owned and operated a farm near Dowagiac. She graduated from Dowagiac High School in 1940, and continued her education at Cass County Normal, enabling her to begin an eight year teaching career (1941-1949) in one-room K-8 grade school houses.

She married Fred W. Schilling Sr., on June 13, 1948, in Silver Creek Township, beginning their married life working at the farm of William Teichman. In 1951 they began operating their own fruit farm near Eau Claire, Mi. Together they operated and expanded the farm that grew into Schilling Farms and Cold Storage until Fred’s passing in 1970. Virginia continued to operate the farm for eight more years, waiting for her sons to complete college before passing it on to them. On February 5, 1978, she married John McCarthy of St. Joseph, Mi. Virginia and John enjoyed their retirements at a home they built in Benton Township, until John’s passing on March 4, 2005.

Virginia, known to her siblings as ‘Jimmie,’ enjoyed canning fruits from the family farm and was an avid reader of non-fiction books, taking great enjoyment from ‘books on tape’ that allowed her to continue to read after she lost her vision. In her retirement, Virginia never missed a chance to hear how things were going on the farm. Virginia took great pride in mowing the five acres of lawn around her house into her 90s, made possible with the daily support of her neighbors, Tom and Velma Ketcham, who maintained the mower and often delivered home-cooked meals.

Virginia is survived by her children, Ann (Michael) Stando of Livonia, Mi., Fred W. Schilling, Jr., of Eau Claire, Steven (Judy) Schilling of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Elaine (Patrick) Spencer, Aaron (Laura) Stando, David (Michelle) Stando, Eric Schilling, Audrey Schilling, Nathan Schilling, Benjamin (Bae) Schilling, Mark (Abby) Schilling, Stephanie (Aaron) Knight, and Sarah Schilling; seventeen great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Virginia was preceded in death by her first husband, Fred W. Schilling Sr.; her second husband, John McCarthy; her son, David K. Schilling; her daughter-in-law, Theresa Schilling; and seven brothers and sisters, Jeanette (Keller) Martin, Dorothy (Keller) Dreher, Kathryn (Keller) Barnard, John Keller, Harry Keller, Eugene Keller, and Lawrence (Pudd) M. Keller, Jr.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, August 27, 2021, at 11AM, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor. Burial will follow at Caldwell Cemetery in Eau Claire. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, August 27, 2021, from 9:30AM until the time of the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Silver Creek United Methodist Church, 31994 Middle Crossing Rd., Dowagiac, Mi., 49047 or to Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel. 

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