In Loving Memory

Grace Schara

9/22/2002 - 10/13/2021

The Broken Chain

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.
You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

Grace Naomi (Emily) Schara, 19, of Freedom passed into the loving arms of Jesus at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

Grace was born on September 22, 2002, to Scott and Cindy (Cournoyer) Schara. "The Lord gave us a ‘very precious gift’ in Grace and blessed us beyond what any person can imagine." Her NICU nurses helped us choose the name Grace over Faith. It fit perfectly because it is by God’s Grace she was brought into this world. She lived up to her name and often told people she was "named after one of God’s principles". Grace was Grace and she portrayed grace.

With Grace, the sky was the limit and she worked hard to accomplish all she did in the short time while here. Her extra 21st chromosome didn’t stop her, but instead gave her the ability to reach for the stars! Grace enjoyed horse riding from age 3 until present. She always had a love for music and ultimately found Elvis Presley a favorite. A trip to Graceland blessed her with meeting the ‘real Priscilla Presley’ something she loved to tell others about. Her dream job was to work at Graceland someday as a tour guide. She loved playing violin, especially Elvis’ songs, and even played one for her sister’s wedding. She also loved to dance and performed in many recitals bringing that extra flair and contagious smile. She loved being homeschooled and was a beautiful writer and artist, and had so many wonderful friends! She loved singing in the choir and acting in homeschool musicals. She enjoyed being a Girl Scout and going door to door selling 1000 boxes of cookies (earning a Super Seller Award), an American Girl Doll, and Camp Certificate each year.

She loved arts and crafts, and was especially creative with coloring. Each picture was a masterpiece, colored with love. She really loved sending and receiving cheerful text messages with LOTS of emojis to family and friends. Grace always saw the best in everyone and celebrated their uniqueness. She was a loyal friend who noticed each individual. They felt loved after being in her presence. Someone said she was the ‘Queen of Description’ and she loved giving family, friends, and relatives their own special nickname honoring them.

Grace’s love for the Lord would be seen in her beautifully colored pictures and thank you cards she’d send others. Her signing off as your BFF and ‘God is Love 1 John 4:8’ melted your heart. Our special Grace touched lives in unforgettable ways that will last a lifetime. She was such a ray of sunshine, and our last family trip riding in a camper to the Arc Encounter and Creation Museum was made so memorable by her.

She LOVED her big sister, Jessica, her brother-in-law Adam, and her two nephews, Caleb (Mr. Eyebrows) and Riley (Naked Boy) Vander Heiden and didn’t miss an opportunity to give them lots of hugs. We can still hear her say "get over here" to her nephews who would try and escape getting hugs and noogies, yet you knew they didn’t mind. She enjoyed deer and squirrel hunting and fishing (always with a tender heart) with dad and her nephews too and would make staying over at the cabin memorable for them. She’d bring special cookies and her iPad along and have a blast playing Temple Run and Geometry Dash with them; and being my "phone technologist" would plan a FaceTiming call to me back home. Oh how we know the boys and us will miss those special moments. She loved regularly FaceTiming them to see what they were up to—something they will dearly miss also.

Grace loved adventure and the joy she would have riding the Tilt a Whirl and Superman ride with her nephews at the fair, mowing lawn with dad, driving and riding in her red sports car, going on fast 4-wheeler rides with dad (even with mom saying to slow down), playing Lazer Tag, and leisurely cruising in the go-carts at Badger Sports Park were some of her favorites we will cherish. She truly loved inviting friends over for swim days and kayaking around the pond. Often we’d hear her say, "This is the life!" Grace loved life!

Grace was a real ‘Fashion Queen’ and always enjoyed dressing up; especially for church. She’d love adding accessories adorning herself with beautiful bracelets and necklaces. If you ever saw her handmade loomy band necklaces she‘d make, they were just so colorful! What you think wouldn’t look good together Grace would put together and make breathtaking. What a beautiful girl she was inside and out! She saw God’s beauty in everything!

She had such a funny bone that was a pure joy that brightened your days. Her talking Chewbacca mask she’d make come to life was hilarious, and she loved hiding a black spider in the house to scare us. She was exceptionally smart and could see the humor in things and even made up her own jokes. Her attention to detail was truly amazing! She had a way of brightening up a room just by her presence. Many have told us they will miss her bright, contagious smile, her happy laugh, her silly antics as she was always trying to sneak up behind someone, her sharp mind and her generous nature. Those things and so much more will be hard to live without. Having Grace here with us was like having a bit of heaven on earth.

As we process all the things Grace liked and who she was, we have to add tubing behind the boat, soaking in the hot tub, date nights with dad, her lifejacket belly flops she’d do in honor of Travis, foot rubs and whisker rubs she’d love getting from dad, her love for learning being homeschooled, special moments she’d spend at her sister’s house, manicures and pedicures with mom, not to mention her love for animals. Her cats, "Crazy Tail Toni" and "Mr. Lovable Fuzzy Pants Cruz Kitty" and her new lab puppy, "Thor" miss her terribly. Oh how we will remember her special kitty meows and puppy whines she’d do for them to show them her love.

Grace really missed her big brother, and didn’t mind mourning that loss openly so others could share her pain, but also had a confidence in where he was that would get her through the sad moments. She trusted the Lord and His promise of seeing him again. She was always on the lookout for hearts from heaven and being a detail person she found them everywhere! We felt God sending His love to us many times. Our hope is to see them now too!

Above everything, Grace had a true love for the Lord and loved Jesus. She was so proud to share with others that she was baptized this summer. It was such a special day to those in our church family witnessing it, as she raced to the pond with the biggest smile ever! She is so lucky to be with Jesus now, and that day she told us being baptized meant everything to her!

She always thought about others ahead of herself and felt so comfortable talking to anyone. Oh how she touched so many people’s lives and hearts! Her friends and our family will never forget her love, caring heart, humor, big hugs, underarm tickles, noogies, fearlessness, excitement for life, and joyful spirit. Grace ran her race and crossed the finish line a winner. Heaven is so much brighter with Grace there. We know she will be waiting for anyone and all who want to join her.

We thank our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for the love and care He has provided our family each day since losing Grace. It is through the many prayers and caring hearts of family and friends, like our own Grace had, that we have been able to survive this terrible loss so far. Our special Grace was our pride and joy and living without her seems impossible at this time, yet we know with God all things are possible and He will walk alongside us. Someone said that "although our loss is great and the pain is deep, we can rest in the peace and knowledge that Grace is safe and secure in the arms of Jesus." What a beautiful picture! Grace you will be in our hearts forever! We miss giving you hugs and kisses and telling you we love you to the moon and back! We miss our ray of sunshine!

Grace is survived by her parents, Scott and Cindy Schara; sister, Jessica Vander Heiden, brother-in-law, Adam Vander Heiden, and the best nephews, Caleb and Riley Vander Heiden. She is also survived by Uncle Richard (Marilyn) Cournoyer; Uncle ‘Rodney’/Ronnie (JoAnne) Cournoyer, ‘Handsome’ Uncle David Cournoyer; Aunt Nancy (George) Joch, ‘Silly Yvonne, Yvonne’ Aunt Bonnie Boehm; Aunt Vickie Hilgart; Uncle Steve ‘Handsome Long Beard’ Cournoyer, Aunt Jackie Cournoyer ‘The Crazy Cat Lady’, ‘Handsome’ Uncle Dean Schara, Uncle Doug Schara and numerous cousins she all loved. She is further survived by many more loving family and friends, and will be dearly missed.

Grace was preceded in death by her big handsome brother, Travis Chicken Butt, Butt Cheeks Schara; maternal grandparents, Dennis and Naomi (Moh) Cournoyer; paternal grandparents, Russell and Katherine (Arnold) Schara, as well as great-grandparents, Larry and Tess (Wirtz) Arnold; Aunt Judy (Rosplock) Cournoyer, Aunt Mary Cournoyer; Uncle Robert Cournoyer; Cousins, Eric Cournoyer and Jennifer Cournoyer.