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Barbara Jean Schaer – Brookings Register


Dr. Barbara Jean (Krall) Schaer, age 101, of Chaska, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 13, 2024 at her daughter’s home in Chaska.
Barbara was born on July 6, 1922 in Tyndall, South Dakota, the son of Dr. James J. and Anna (Houdek) Krall, the youngest of five. She graduated from Tyndall High School and continued her education at South Dakota State in Brookings, SD and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She received her doctorate in optometry from the Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 1945 and was a member of the Tomb and Key Honor Society.
Barbara practiced optometry with her father, cousin Dr. Charles Krall, and her brother Leonard, an optician, in Mitchell, SD. She married Sanford (Sandy) Schaer on June 24, 1950 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell and together they raised four daughters there. The family moved to Portage, Wisconsin in 1969, where Barbara continued her career, and then to Albert Lea, MN in 1973. She was a member of the American Optometric Association, the South Dakota Optometric Society and the Wisconsin Optometric Association. She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Mitchell and was once listed in Who’s Who of American Women.
Barbara was a loving caregiver for many years to her mother, then to her sister, and finally to her husband. Throughout her long life she shared many interests with her family, including cooking and baking, gardening, crocheting, sewing, long walks, travel, photography, playing bridge and other games, good jokes, her pets, and her Catholic faith and love of family .
Barbara is survived by her four daughters; Mary (Tom) Whittington, Barbara (Mike) Schaer Mady, Nancy (Ron) Hannum and Karen (Benjamin) Gomez. Also her grandchildren; Jennifer (Steve) Peterson, Joe (Grace) Whittington, Melissa (Ben) Michels, Jeremy (Elise) Berghoff, Amy (Addison) Kranz, Joan Donnellan, Jennifer Haas and fourteen great-grandchildren. Other survivors include cousin, Dr. Robert Renfro, and her niece, Karen Krall Murphy, along with many great-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Sandy, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Mary (Don) Renfro and her brothers and sisters-in-law, Dr. William (Mabel) Krall, Leonard (Kardena) Krall and James (Nora) Krall.
The family would like to especially thank Nancy and Ron Hannum for their mother’s loving care in Chaska, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mitchell Catholic Foundation, 222 N. Kimball, Mitchell, SD 57301, see the Sanford and Dr. Barbara Krall Schaer Memorial Education Endowment, or donations can also be made to the BrightFocus Foundation.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 218 West Second Street, Chaska, with Father Tony VanderLoop officiating. The family will also receive friends at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, next to her husband, Sandy, a World War II veteran, on Monday, May 20, 2024, 9:30 AM.
Funeral arrangements are at Bertas Funeral Home of Chaska, MN.