Pauline Austred Schryver (Skjonsby) died peacefully at the age of 86 on April 6, 2019 at her home in Olympia, Washington.
She is survived by her loving husband, Duane Benson Schryver; sons, Jon (Angela) / Schryver of Redondo Beach, California, and Paul Schryver of Olympia; daughter, Ruth (Bryan) Burks of University Place, Washington; four grandchildren, Matthew and Kristen Schryver of Redondo Beach, and Kathleen and Rachel Burks of University Place; brother, Joel (Jan) Skjonsby; 19 nieces and nephews; and numerous cousins and friends.
Pauline Schryver was born on January 5, 1933 in Ellensburg, Washington, to Edvard and Mildred Skjonsby, Pauline grew up with her sister, Barbara and brother, Joel. She spent most of her youth in Washington State, where her father worked as a band teacher and her mother taught piano lessons and served as a church organist. Her parents had moved from Rosholt, South Dakota during the Great Depression to join other family members living in Washington. Her mother, Mildred Skjonsby Akerson, enjoyed living close to her two sisters, Agnes Akerson Nordquist (Ole) and Alice Akerson Boldaun (Erwin) and their families. Pauline remembered many happy times with her cousins, David, Daniel, Philip, Jean Nordquist and Elton and Elaine Boldaun. The families shared a strong faith in God and attended the Lutheran church. Pauline got to enjoy many Scandinavian traditions but especially liked eating treats such as lefse, krumkake and pepperkakor at Christmas. She continued carrying on these traditions with her own family during the holidays.
In her youth, Pauline participated in 4-H, where she learned to can and sew. Coming from a musical family, her mother taught her piano lessons, but Pauline didn’t enjoy the recitals. She was an unassuming person and didn’t like being the center of attention. She did, however, enjoy singing, and participated in choirs throughout her life. In 1951, she graduated from Snohomish High School and went on to study at Pacific Lutheran University. Pauline graduated in 1956 with degrees in sociology and early childhood development.
During her senior year at college, Pauline met Duane Benson Schryver. They continued to date for another two years while she worked as a parish social worker in Milwaukee, Oregon. On September 1, 1956, Pauline Skjonsby married Duane Benson at Zion Lutheran Church in Everett, Washington. Pauline and Duane were happily married for 62 years. They raised four children together, residing in Bellingham, Aberdeen, and Olympia, for 58 years.
Pauline and her family enjoyed many summer vacations in their tent trailer. Some of the favorite destinations were the Olympic Rain Forest, Oregon Coast, Canadian Rockies and an annual trip to pick wild huckleberries. Visiting family was important to Pauline, so many road trips were made throughout Washington State and back to the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana. For each trip, Pauline would pack a cooler and the family picnicked in rest areas and parks.
Pauline truly enjoyed being a homemaker and mother. She was a skilled baker who baked bread, cookies, cakes and pies weekly. Every summer there was a large garden from which she would harvest fresh vegetables and fruits. Freezing, canning, and making jams and jellies kept Pauline busy. In the summer, Pauline looked forward to hunting wild blackberries in the woods, and many people got to enjoy her delicious blackberry pies. A child of the Depression, Pauline knew how to save and make things from scratch. She was a talented seamstress and made clothes for herself and her children. Pauline sewed many things, including her own wedding dress, prom dresses for her daughter, and baptismal gowns for her twin granddaughters. For many years, Pauline gathered weekly with other quilters at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where they made hundreds of quits for Lutheran World Relief. She was thankful these quilts could be shipped around the world to those most in need.
Pauline reveled in life’s simple pleasures. Whether it was folding freshly dried sheets, listening to the birds, cuddling her grandchildren, watching Jeopardy or holding Duane’s hand, she was content. Her actions spoke louder than her words. “Preach the gospel and, if necessary, use words.” Her gentle smile, concern for others, and patience showed her deep faith in Jesus Christ. A faithful member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for 58 years, she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, sewed quilts, and baked communion bread.
Pauline is preceded in death by her sister, Janet (who died at birth); parents, Edvard and Mildred Skjonsby; son, Peter Schryver; and sister, Barbara Fosso of Oak Harbor, Washington.
We rejoice that Pauline is at peace with her Lord and Savior and that we had the blessing of her presence in our lives.
A Memorial is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019, 2:00 p.m. at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1601 North Street SE, Olympia, WA 9850.