Anne Elizabeth Schilling (Novicky) was born on June 1, 1925, in a hospital where her aunt worked in Cambridge, Ohio. Anne’s father Andrew was an immigrant from Slovakia when it was still a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1914 he eventually became a coalminer in Belle Valley, Ohio, where Anne lived with her mother (Susan or Sue) and older brother Buddy (Andrew Novicky) and grandmother (Mary Beros). The grandmother ran a general store in the front of the house in a small, mostly Slovak community and spoke no English, so Anne was raised speaking Slovak as well as English. When Anne was about 2 years old her brother died of a congenital heart defect. He was 8 years old and nowadays would have had surgery to correct the defect.. Anne was raised as an only child and had piano lessons and other extras. Several summers she went to camp on an island in Lake Erie with her aunt who was the camp nurse. Once they flew to the island in an airplane, and Anne remembers losing her hat as it blew off during the (open cockpit) flight. Anne was a good student and graduated from high school before attending The Ohio State University during World War II. Her summer job one year during the war was at a steel mill where she did manual labor and earned 10 cents an hour more than her mother. Anne graduated from Ohio State, where she was in the Phi Mu Sorority and then worked as a medical technologist. She met her future husband, Ed Schilling, Sr., on a blind date to a fraternity/sorority party while at Ohio State. She went on the arranged blind date because she did not want to pay a fine to the sorority for skipping the date, although her previous blind dates had not been that great. Recently she told her family that she was attracted to her husband in part because he was the youngest of ten siblings and had many nieces and nephews already—the big family she never had. Anne was known for introducing roast turkey to the family Thanksgiving dinner in Ohio.
After marrying in late 1947 the couple lived in the Columbus area until Ed was accepted into a doctoral program in chemistry at USC in 1949. They drove out to California and lived at first in the Watts area until their first child, Susan, was born in 1950. After Susan’s birth Anne stayed home, as often happened in those days, and Ed found he could not afford a family on the salary of a graduate assistant, so he got a job as a research chemist at Nutrilite and later Fluor in Southern California. Two more children were born: Ed, Jr., in 1953, and Jacquelyn in 1955. Ed, Sr., decided he did not like working as a chemist, plus Anne and Ed both missed the Midwest, so Ed accepted a job at Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, as a patent agent. They moved the whole family from Whittier, California, to Michigan in 1957. Then in 1961 Dow offered Ed the chance to go to law school at night while working days at a Dow subsidiary, a pharmaceutical company near Indianapolis. So the family moved to Indiana for four years. Money was tight toward the end of law school, so Anne took a part time job as a market researcher.
In 1965 Ed finished law school and passed the bar in Michigan after they had moved back to Midland. Anne continued to work, and found a position as the head of the Red Cross for Midland County. Several years later she became the regional director for the 1970 U S Census. Anne along with her husband was active in local Republican Party politics and she was encouraged to run for a position on the county board of commissioners. She became the first female commissioner in Midland County and later the first woman chair of the board. She served for 19 years on the Midland County Board of Commissioners; in one of her early elections she won by only one vote against a male Republican opponent. But most of her elections she ran unopposed.
When Ed retired from Dow Chemical after more than thirty years, he and Anne moved to southern Ohio, to Newark, to be near Ed’s remaining brothers and sisters, and so Anne could live among her favorite rolling hills. They built and eventually paid off a large house and enjoyed living in the Newark/Granville community where Ed joined the local Kiwanis and helped tapped maple trees in the spring for sap to boil down into maple syrup. Together they gardened and raised roses and fruit trees from which Anne canned pears and made jam from cherries, peaches and strawberries (the latter two were bought locally). Anne enjoyed the local (Newark) garden club as well as Monday Talks and she continued to volunteer for the Republican Party activities in the area. Ed passed away in August 2015 after a rapid decline in health due to a degenerative brain disease (PSP). By then Anne had moved to a senior residential community, Kendal at Granville. Anne continued to live at Kendal with her orange cat Ginger with the help of caregivers from Home Instead. Recently as her health declined she fell and broke her hip.
Anne is survived by her daughters Susan Keats and Jacquelyn (Kevin) Brooks and son Ed, Jr., (Beth). Anne enjoyed spending time with and talking by phone with her nine grandchildren: Andrew, Ariele, Alex and Nick Keats, Katy (Shawn) Robertson, Dan and Jenn Schilling, Pat (Amanda) Brooks and Sean (Sara) Brooks. To date she has 6 great-grandchildren: Scarlett, Avery, Henry and Harrison Brooks, plus Charlotte and Caroline Robertson and many nieces and nephews and even more great-nieces and great-nephews and even some great-greats. We remember Anne for her wonderful baking, especially cookies, tasty meals, love of flowers and nature walks, and most especially for the homemade bread she made until arthritis made it too difficult for her to knead; then for a time her husband Ed made the bread under her close supervision.
A memorial service in Granville, Ohio, will take place at Kendal on Saturday, February 8th, from 2-4 pm. Burial will follow the next day at 1pm in the Salem Cemetery off old route 30 near Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where her husband was laid to rest four years ago. A family reception will follow in Upper Sandusky. Funeral arrangements are being handled by McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home in Granville, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to a charity of your choice such as Hospice of Central Ohio, the Newark Garden Club, the American Red Cross, or KAGRA, the residents’ association at Kendal.
To send flowers to Anne's family, please visit our floral section.
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340
Kendal Residents Fund
2158 Columbus Road, Granville OH 43023
Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio
P.O. Box 430, Newark OH 43058