Longtime West Milford teacher Elsbeth Schumm dies at 88

| 28 Dec 2022 | 12:23

Elsbeth A. Schumm began her career as a public school teacher in West Milford in the mid-1950s.

She continued teaching in the township as it went through tremendous growth during the next 35 years.

She died Dec. 5 at Center for Hope Hospice in Scotch Plains at age 88.

Students were still attending the now long-shuttered Hillcrest School, the first consolidated school in the township, when Schumm entered the education field there after her graduation from Shelton College in Ringwood with a bachelor’s degree.

She had the opportunity to work with many experienced professionals who had taught in the rural one-rooms school that preceded the opening of Hillcrest School.

Schumm continued her education at William Paterson College (now William Paterson University), where she earned her master’s in education.

As a teacher in the elementary school grades, she is remembered as a kind, understanding friend to her students and colleagues. She was known to remain calm and serene no matter what challenging classroom situation she faced.

With no children of her own, she treated her niece and nephews and the children she taught like they were her’s, considerate of their feelings and needs.

After Hillcrest School was closed, she taught at the new township schools, including Marshall Hill and Apshawa.

Religious woman

Schumm attended Hawthorne Chapel in Hawthorne and enjoyed singing with the Hawthorne Chapel Choir, Ted Correll Chorale, Voices of Praise and Ridgewood Chorale.

Her love of the outdoors led her to spending leisure time hiking, biking, and skiing on snow and water. In her younger days, she enjoyed visiting Europe and other places overseas.

She was born in Newark on Feb. 7, 1934, to the late Karl and Anna (Elsaesser) Schumm. She grew up in Kenilworth, attending public schools there.

She lived at Pines Lake in Wayne.

She is survived by her niece, Rebecca Ritter, and nephews, Christian Schumm and Carl Schumm.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Fred Schumm, and sister, Ruth Schumm.

A memorial service was held at Hawthorne Gospel Church. Interment, private for the family, was at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union.

The family asked that charitable contributions in her honor be sent to Fellowship Deaconry Ministries, 3575 Valley Road, Liberty Corners, NJ 07938.

CORRECTION: The last name of Elsbeth A. Schumm was spelling incorrectly in an earlier version of this article. We regret the error.