Celebrating a Life of Service

March 15, 2019 – Happy Birthday, Bea!

Retirement for some people means the end of work and the beginning of a life of leisure.  But for others, retirement is simply an extension of their passion and purpose in a different context.  To them, work is a lifelong expression of their love for their vocation and their love for people. 

Bea Schauer, age 91, is someone who’s life purpose and passion has found expression here at Open Arms since 2012.  Trained as a nurse in the early 1940’s, Bea has had a career in medicine that extends over a seventy year period.  She served as a nurse at Mercy hospital in Janesville until 1953 when she began raising eight children along with her husband on a farm west of Delavan.  After twelve years, she returned to a 30-year nursing career with Aurora that lasted until 1995.  But even after completing her official work with Aurora, she continued on as a Spanish speaking volunteer interpreter for the hospital system, visiting various clinics throughout the area whenever there was a need. 

Bea’s love for people and her bilingual abilities were nurtured at an early age.  Her parents emigrated from Mexico and settled in Fon Du Lac where Bea was born.  She was one of eleven children and was raised in a family that valued hard work and love.  At ten years of age, she was working with her family in the sugar beet fields!  Her parents expected all the kids to be successful at whatever they did- a value that encouraged she and three of her sisters to pursue nurses training after high school.  

Having been raised in a Mexican family, Bea has always had a love for people from Spanish speaking cultures- especially those who do not know English.  Finding and receiving good healthcare can be a fearful experience for anyone coming from another country.  Bea has been able to not only interpret medical things between doctor and patient at Open Arms, she has also been able to comfort and encourage patients so that they feel at ease through the process.  And going beyond interpreting in the exam room, she also ensures that the patients follow up with prescriptions and setting the next appointment.  To the staff, Bea is the Clinic’s mom.  She is always busy, helping and doing things that go beyond the job description of “interpreter.”  

Open Arms is blessed to have Bea come to the clinic every Tuesday and Thursday.  She both brightens the day and provides a sense of peace to all who work with her or who are served by her.  And Bea is blessed each week to continue her life’s passion and purpose with people who need and value her skills and love.