Virginia Schadel, waitress, political campaign worker

August 29, 1994

Virginia A. Schadel, a waitress, factory worker and polling-place regular in Baltimore elections, died of cancer Friday at University of Maryland Medical Center. She was 76.

Family members described her as a fun-loving and active person who followed politics and often volunteered in city campaigns.

She rarely missed listening to an Orioles game, preferring to turn off the sound on the television set and listen to the radio coverage. When there was no baseball game, she listened to the police scanner she kept in her home in the 1500 block of W. Lombard St., facing Union Square.

"She knew all the police codes -- 10-40, 10-50, all of that," said Clarence Bryant, Mrs. Schadel's nephew, whom she summoned to reprogram the scanner after every power failure.

Mr. Bryant said that during most of the 1970s, Mrs. Schadel was chief organizer of an annual holiday trip to Wildwood, N.J., for which the family chartered a bus. She entertained the crowd with gadgets and trick items bought for the trip at a local gag shop, Mr. Bryant said.

Born Virginia Addison Grammer in the countryside near Petersburg, Va., in 1917, she was one of 14 children. She moved to Baltimore with her family in the 1920s, attended School No. 48 on Hollins Street and School No. 1 on Fayette Street, completing the ninth grade.

She worked in several factories, including Hopkins Shoe Factory on East Lanvale Street. Later, she worked as a waitress at several restaurants and retired from the Earl of Sandwich on East Lexington Street.

Her first marriage, at the age of 16 to Frank Neary, ended in divorce in the 1940s. The couple's son, Howard Neary, died in 1957.

She was married in 1943 to John E. Schadel, who worked for a millwork company and later repairing water meters and other equipment for the city Department of Public Works. Mr. Schadel died in 1970.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Hubbard Funeral Home, 4107 Wilkens Ave.

Mrs. Schadel is survived by three sisters, Bertha Worsham, Cora Rowe and Elsie Trayer, all of Baltimore; and a brother, Michaux Grammer of Linthicum.

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