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Curtis and Son Funeral Home

1099 1st Ave NW, Childersburg, AL

OBITUARY

Elma Maria (Kotilainen) Schablow

March 6, 1932December 2, 2019
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Elma Maria Kotilainen was born on March 6, 1932 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was the youngest of seven children, with three brothers and three sisters. As a young girl, she loved the out of doors and had a profound love of reading. As a child, she relished her collection of books, but would gladly share them with her neighborhood friends. In fact, she fashioned a library card system to keep up with them, to assure their return. While attending Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wisconsin, she played on the Girl’s Lacrosse Team and sang in the high school chorus. She also developed an interest in art and planned to further her education. High school is also where she met her future husband, Ken Schablow, who shared her interests like ice skating and downhill skiing. After high school, Elma won a scholarship to Layton Art School, where she studied fashion design, painting and printmaking. By her third year, Ken had completed his college degree and they married in 1953, and moved to Niagara, Wisconsin. Ken was employed with Kimberly Clark in the engineering department. Soon after setting up a household, they started raising a family that God blessed them with five healthy children, and a few cats. Throughout the years of raising children, keeping a household, Elma created many healthy meals and still managed to keep painting by forming a ladies’ group of painters for companionship and to nurture her creativity. She also was creative in other ways; sewing clothes and costumes for the children and special holiday dresses for the three girls. Later on, she would also teach the girls how to sew. Another creative endeavor was planting a flower garden, and in the kitchen, she would bake loaves of bread as her mother had also done. The Christmas holidays were always especially fun with great varieties of baked goodies including many varieties of cookies which everyone helped to decorate. After the family transferred to Childersburg for Kimberly Clark in 1964, Elma managed to meet people and find a painting group, or create one. She taught art classes in her home and at civic centers in Childersburg and Sylacauga. She exhibited her work in many public shows including the Comer Museum and Art Center and Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega. She assisted in establishing the Comer Museum which holds classes, art shows and strives to promote the arts in local communities. When Ken and Elma’s children grew up and moved out, Elma got a lot of joy from planting and developing her large flower garden. She was very knowledgeable about each plant she nurtured. She often thinned out her bounty and shared with many friends and family over the years. This was a lady that was not afraid of getting her hands dirty. She configured a large patio area in the rear of the property from flat rocks collected over the years. She even dug out and developed a working fish pond for a peaceful area to commune with nature. An appreciation and respect for nature is one thing Elma’s children learned at an early age. Riding bicycles, camping and being involved with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts was a big part of the family history. Family vacations were often spent out of doors with a camper at local lakes and beach campgrounds. Elma was always on the go! If not driving the young children to scout meetings, church, band practice, sporting events, or piano lessons, she was usually cooking or baking. Anyone who knew Elma knew she hardly sat down for very long. The usual exception was to read a good book. She was a wonderful Mother who read to her children and shared her gifts in so many ways. Her guidance, inspiration and understanding were bountiful yet she was modest and a selfless person. She will be remembered by those whose lives she touched and will be greatly missed. She is survived her husband of 66 years, Ken Schablow; and her five children, Ellen Schablow DeCarlo, Lynn Ann Schablow, Jan Schablow (Roberts) Baker, Scott Paul Schablow and Stuart Brian Schablow; grandchildren, Katherine Schablow, Andrew Schablow and Erik Schablow (Scott), Kelsey Roberts Simone, Kyle Roberts (Jan), Kara Decarlo Flecker and Johnathan DeCarlo (Ellen), and great-grandchildren, Fiona Flecker, Adrian Flecker (Kara DeCarlo Flecker), Ryan Roberts (Kyle Roberts)(Adilene). A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Curtis and Son Childersburg Chapel. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Online memorials may be made at www.curtisandsonfunerals.com. Curtis and Son Childersburg Chapel will direct the service.

  • FAMILY

  • Kenneth Schablow, Husband
  • Scott Paul Schablow, Son
  • Stuart Brian Schablow, Son
  • Ellen Schablow DeCarlo, Daughter
  • Lynn Ann Schablow, Daughter
  • Jan Schalow Baker, Daughter
  • 7 grandchildren
    3 great-grandchildren

Learn more about the Schablow name

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 14, 2019

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, December 14, 2019

Memories

Elma Maria (Kotilainen) Schablow

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