Ethel Schaubel

September 19, 1920 to April 17, 2014

Ethel Schaubel

Lake Oswego has lost a true pioneer.

Ethel Emmott Schaubel was born Sept. 19, 1920 in Lake Oswego, Ore. to Nina Worthington and James Peter Emmott.

Ethel passed away peacefully on April 17, 2014 at her son’s home in Ellensburg, Wash. At her side were her son, Ian Elliot, his wife Sandy, and granddaughters Crystal Elliot-Perez and Marion Gonzales.

Ethel was a significant contributor to the growth of Lake Oswego in the mid- to late-20th century. She owned and operated the Lake Oswego Bob Shop for more than 50 years, where many of Lake Oswego’s women went to get their hair done. In 1976, Ethel was visiting her mother’s grave at the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery (OPC) and saw how neglected the whole cemetery was. So, with the help of a few friends she recruited, including Bill Blizzard, owner of the Lake Oswego Review and Bill Daniels, Oswego fireman among others, she began the long journey of transforming the cemetery into the beautiful sanctuary that we know today.

For the next 20-plus years, Ethel could be found almost daily from the beginning of March to Memorial Day weekend working in the cemetery. Every weekday Ethel was at Portland’s Baloney Joe’s finding some “good workers.” Also, the municipal judge would assign men to Ethel to work off their “penance,” however most could not survive under the “Boss Lady.”

OPC is located adjacent to the Lake Oswego Golf Course. On one occasion, while Ethel was showing a family a gravesite, she was hit in the head by a golf ball. Bleeding, she picked herself up, drove over to the golf course office, and said, “See, I told you to fix the hole in the driving range fence!” After that, the fence was improved.

Ethel made sure every Memorial Day weekend a team of volunteers would get names, addresses and, hopefully, a donation to the cemetery from all the visitors. Through the years, Ethel and the board raised more than $75,000. Ethel’s dream was to have a cemetery house, where a caretaker could live and watch over the property. About five years ago her dream came true with a house donated from Lake Oswego’s First Addition and now located on the northeast corner of the cemetery.

Ethel took on the challenge of identifying as many graves as possible, which later her son Ian translated into the first cemetery map. Today it is up-to-date and accurate -- thanks to the current board and volunteers.

And when you go by OPC, you will see beautiful grounds which boast meticulously maintained trees, shrubs and perennials thriving alongside gravesites dating back to the mid- to late-1800’s. Antique rose bushes donated by the Lake Oswego Garden Club line the fence and provide fragrant summer blooms to help us remember Ethel and her years of dedication.

Be proud of your Oswego Pioneer Cemetery and know a very thoughtful, caring, tough and dedicated woman gave it her best.

Ethel is survived by her sons, Ian Elliot and Grey Elliot, and her granddaughters, Crystal Elliot-Perez, Marion Gonzales, Megan Elliot and Erin Elliot, and her six great-grandchildren.

A remembrance and memorial will be held at the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery, 17401 Stafford Rd., at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 25.

Please help keep Ethel’s legacy alive by contributing to the ongoing care of the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery, PO Box 99, Lake Oswego, Ore., 97034.