Lorna Schenkel, was born on 16 December 1945 in Holton, Kansas, the third child of her parents, Ida (“Mary”) and Harry Mitchell, and succumbed to various health problems at Bethany Center for Rehabilitation and Healing in Nashville, Tennessee, on 24 September 2023.
She spent her much of her early childhood on a farm in rural Kansas, and finished her schooling in the St. Charles / O’Fallon area. When she was 19, she met her husband, Jack, at a USO event, and they married in 1965. In 1966 their first son, Dennis, was born, and they moved to Memphis in September of that year. Their second son, David, was born in 1968, and their third son, Douglas, was born in 1971. Each of her three sons continues to believe that they were their mother’s favorite, a question which will certainly
not be resolved in this narrative.
In 1974, a few weeks before Christmas, they moved into their home on Aurora Circle. The boys enrolled at the parish school, Saint Michael, and it was there that Lorna made many of her very best lifelong friends. Lorna worked for 30 years as a bookkeeper in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, beginning at Saint Micheal Catholic Church, and finishing at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception High School. She finally retired in 2008 when her eyesight began to be a problem.
Lorna’s mental toughness and sharpness, along with her low tolerance for nonsense, gave a strong sense of right and wrong. She was quick-witted and could weave together strong arguments and creative swears that, while steering clear of outright profanity, would always put people in their place. If you weren’t on the receiving end of it, it could be pretty entertaining to watch.
As much as her husband and kids were immersed in soccer through the years, with Jack coaching at the college and high school level for more than 20 years, it is very likely that Lorna only tolerated the game because she loved her family. When casinos came to the area in 1992, Lorna discovered slot machines. It is very likely that Jack only tolerated casinos because it gave him an excuse to travel with Lorna to exotic destinations, like Biloxi. The truth is, he would go anywhere if she was going with him.
In 2016, after many Christmases and Fourth of July parades, they sold the house on Aurora Circle and relocated to Nashville where they could be closer to their 4 grandchildren, of whom they were especially proud. As they both struggled with various health problems, they continued to take care of and look after each other, even as they both needed more help. They had a long life together, with all its challenges and they never stopped loving each other and their family.
Lorna was preceded in death by her father Harry Mitchell, stepmother Dorothy Mitchell, her mother Ida (“Mary”) McConnell, her stepfather Warren McConnell, her brother Thomas Mitchell, and her sisters Carol Russell, Joan Diekmann and Cheryl Phillips. She is survived by her husband of 58 years Jack Schenkel, her brothers Larry Mitchell and Howard McConnell, her sister Vala Wood, her son Fr. Dennis Schenkel, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Memphis, David Schenkel and his wife, Kendra, and their children, Luke and AnnaClaire, and her son Douglas Schenkel and his wife, Dawn, and their children Grayson and Greer. Additionally, she is survived by many special brother in laws, sister in laws, nieces and nephews.
Final arrangements are still pending as we wait for word from the Veteran’s Administration.
In lieu of flowers, charitable gifts may be made to Music City Pet Partners https://www.musiccitypetpartners.org because she was always delighted by puppies and kittens, and even baby pigs. A gift to the Alzheimer’s Association would be appropriate https://www.alz.org or a gift in her honor to Fr. Dennis’s parish, Saint Anne in Memphis would also be welcome. https://www.stannehighland.org/
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy
of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Nashville Cremation Center is honored to be entrusted with handling Mrs. Schenkel's arrangements. Please visit her guestbook to leave a thoughtful note for the family.