Christina Schauble dies at 58

Former Highlandtown freelancer wrote on legal and family issues

April 08, 2010|By Jacques Kelly

Christina Rose Schauble, a freelance news reporter who wrote on legal and family issues, died of cancer April 1 at Frederick Memorial Hospital. The former Highlandtown resident was 58.

Born in Baltimore and raised here and in Richmond, Va., she earned a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was a reporter for the Diamondback school newspaper.

A friend, Rosalia Scalia, recalled her "signature was her long blond hair and her ever-present cigarette."

A 1977 Sun profile on her compared her face and blond hair to the 15th-century painting "Primavera," by Sandro Botticelli.

"She ... is now employed part time for a wire service while she harries editors for regular jobs," the article said.

Ms. Schauble worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Maryland Gazette early in her career before becoming a stringer - or contributor - to the Associated Press, United Press International and The Washington Post.

In 1981, after the birth of a twin son and daughter, she moved into a family home on Clinton Street, where she also cared for an elderly grandmother. A single mother, Ms. Schauble wrote about juggling the demands of raising children while continuing to work as a freelance writer.

"We turned my dining room table into a mini newsroom so that her twins and my three [children] could play while we worked, taking turns on the phone," said Ms. Scalia, who now works for the Veterans Administration. "She set her electric typewriter at one end of the table, and I sat with my manual at the other end. We arranged interviews around each other's interview schedule so that one of us was always home with the children."

When the children decorated the walls with markings, she laughed and said it would keep them busy later washing it all off, Ms. Scalia said.

In the 1980s, she wrote for Warfield's Magazine and profiled several Maryland attorneys, including Peter G. Angelos, who later hired her to do a newsletter.

She also freelanced for Maryland Family, Baltimore Magazine, the Jewish Times, Maryland Maturity and Baltimore Business Journal, as well as Patuxent Publications.

"She was a determined, dogged interviewer," said Eric Garland, former Warfield's editor, who now works in finance in New York City. "She could sit and talk with people and did not have a threatening or imperial attitude."

Her daughter, Meridythe Kelley, who lives in Frederick, said Ms. Schauble was "good at making quarters into dollars" as she raised her twins on the uncertain earnings of a freelance writer. She worked to get her children into the best public schools she could find in the city and later helped them win scholarships to Friends and Gilman schools.

"The financial aid officers didn't believe she made so little," her daughter said, recalling that on their mother's news deadline day, they would get off a school bus and find her at work at the dining room table.

She also wrote essays for The Evening Sun, including a piece about the experience of bringing her twins to see the first Pride of Baltimore. "When the kids discovered the Pride, it took over our house and our lives. Every time we had a free afternoon we went to the harbor, sat cross-legged on the warm wooden deck and talked about the ship," she wrote in 1986, days after the ship sank.

"I hate being a mother sometimes," she wrote. "How do you explain the truth when it hurts so much?"

She ended the article by quoting her son: "The only way you can really learn about the ocean is from being right in the middle of the waves. You really can't see it from shore."

In recent years, her twins pooled resources and bought her a home in Frederick. After being diagnosed with lung cancer, she lived with her daughter.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Peace in Christ Lutheran Church, 8798 Adventure Ave. in Walkersville.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include her long-term partner, Edward Schlesinger of Frederick; a son, David Schauble of Homer, Alaska; a brother, Paul Schauble of Phoenix, Ariz.; two sisters, Lucille Rich of Urbana, Ill., and Nancy Schauble of Richmond; and her mother, Florence Schauble, also of Richmond.

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