Priscilla Mae Young (Schaffer), Portage

September 12, 2018

Priscilla Mae Young (Schaffer) of Portage, passed away Sept. 1, 2018, just shy of her 76th birthday, after an extended battle with rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Daughter of the late Bertram Howard Schaffer and Bernice Leora Schaffer (Hay), she was born in Milwaukee and raised in Racine. She leaves behind her husband of 54 years, Michael, and three children, Leora, David and Heather, their spouses and nine grandchildren who affectionately refer to her as “Nana.” She loved her furry friends and her kids joked that if reincarnation were possible, they would like to come back as one of mom’s dogs. Priscilla received her bachelor of science degree in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University. She was one of just a handful of women at Michigan Tech when she started her schooling in 1962, the only woman in the geological department and, as she recalled it, was smarter than all the boys. She was the inspiration for two of her grandchildren to ultimately attend and graduate from Michigan Tech.

She was a teacher within the family; especially in her specialties of math and geology. She taught her son-in-law calculus and her grandkids all about geodes and amygdaloidal basalt. Her rock collection was large and impressive and she could tell you the story behind virtually every item. Whether it be on a pile of tailings up in the Keweenaw or off the side of a busy highway in Arizona, she always enjoyed sitting on a pile of rocks—looking, sorting, locating that special rock to be able to tell the story behind it.

Priscilla was an accomplished quilter, her intricate stitches often sewn by hand, and also dabbled in many other arts and crafts. She could often be found painting, working on beautiful stained and fused glass creations, fussing around her lilies, irises and other flowers or getting lost in the music while playing her piano. She was not a fan of flying, instead preferring to travel the country in her and Mike’s RV, where she could bring her plants and dogs along for the journey (both of which she had many of). Her dogs always held a very important place in her heart, but so did any other animal.

Deer, squirrels, birds of all kinds and even raccoons would frequent Priscilla’s doorsteps, where they knew they would always get a good meal. She was a member and proud supporter of the International Crane Foundation as well as of the Badger Kennel Club.

She liked to take her canoe out from her home along the Wisconsin River and paddle along the shores. She also was the fastest turtle-catcher in the whole family and wasn’t afraid to wade through slimy weeds to get to the painted turtles. She would teach her grandkids about the pretty little reptiles, then release them and watch them dive happily back into the water.

Priscilla’s love for chocolate cookies was legendary. Everyone knew that if you had a chocolate cookie, you could bribe Nana to do most anything (or in the case of her kids or grandkids, get out of trouble). Subway cookies, of course, were the best.

Priscilla will be remembered fondly as a creative, strong, intelligent and tenacious woman.

Private services were held. Burial was in Walnut Hill Cemetery. Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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