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September 5, 1897|
Fontenelle, Nebraska, U.S.
|Died||May 7, 2011
(aged 113 years, 244 days)
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||John Cecil Schuler
(b. June 22, 1899 – d. March 1983)
(m. August 19, 1923 – March 1983; his death)
Ella Frieda Schuler (née Winkelmann, September 5, 1897 – May 7, 2011) was an American supercentenarian who upon her death at the age of 113 years, 244 days was the oldest living person in the state of Kansas. Schuler was the 7th oldest living verified person at the time of her death.
Schuler married John Cecil Schuler on August 19, 1923. Ella met John, originally from Virginia, when he traveled through Kansas working on the Union Pacific Railway. Over the next ten years, Ella gave birth to three sons: James, John Jr. and Robert, all born in Page City, Kansas.
Schuler was born Ella Winkelmann in Fontenelle, Nebraska, the fourth child of German-immigrant parents Clausen Henry and Mary Winkelmann. Her family raised horses, milked cows, and grew corn and oats. While her brothers eventually enrolled in school, her childhood was mostly spent working at home. Schuler has stated “if you don’t want to work hard, don’t go to a farm.” In 1934, husband John left his post in the railroad industry and with Ella founded Schuler’s Grocery Business in Topeka. Eventually the Schulers expanded their business and purchased the gas station adjacent to their grocery store. While in her 50s, Schuler earned her high school diploma and soon after completed a two-year program at what was then known as Washburn College, now Washburn University. In 1952, James, the first of Ella’s three sons, died at age 26 of complications resulting from appendicitis. The Schulers closed their grocery store in 1978 to enter retirement. During the spring of 1983, after almost 60 years of marriage, Ella’s husband died. Following this, Ella spent several years traveling both through Europe and the US. She still lived independently until 1995, aged 98, when she sustained injuries from a fall on an icy sidewalk and consequently moved to an assisted living facility. Schuler died on May 7, 2011 in Topeka of natural causes.
In later years
At the time of her death, she had six grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She also used Facebook, which at the time made her the site's oldest member. Due to the fact that Facebook does not allow members to identify their date of birth as being prior to January 1, 1900, Schuler was unable to register her actual date of birth with the site. There is also a website about Schuler.
- Biles, Jan (2007-08-31). "A witness to history: Topekan to turn 110". The Topeka Capital-Journal.
- "Schuler celebrates her 110th birthday" (PDF). October 2007.
- "Aldersgate Newsletter" (PDF). Fall 2007. Check date values in:
- Website maintained by members of her family