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Couple creates rosaries to remember loved ones

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October 2, 2012

By Patricia McGeever
A North Bend, Ohio, couple has found a meaningful way to remember loved ones who’ve died and in the process has developed a new business.

Bill and Anne Doddy Schultz created Rosaries to Remember after Anne lost her mother earlier this year. Here, the couple works at their kitchen table, creating rosaries to order. (Courtesy Photo)

Bill and Anne Doddy Schultz created Rosaries to Remember earlier this year after Anne lost her mother, Treasa. They make rosaries by hand and infuse the beads with dried flowers. Their first rosaries were made using flowers from Treasa’s funeral arrangements.  Anne said it was both a unique and appropriate remembrance for her mother.


“She always had a rosary in her hand, from morning until night. She had one in her bed. She had one next to her chair. She had one in her purse. She had one in practically every jacket she owned. She would say a rosary in the morning. She would say a rosary at lunch, when she was watching the Mass and then probably one or two in the evening. It was just so appropriate.”


They got the idea to make the rosaries after seeing a similar rosary a family friend had ordered. “We just loved it and we loved the idea and with mom’s sisters and brother not being here, I just felt like they needed a keepsake of mom,” said Anne.


Her mother was a native of County Galway, Ireland, and many of her relatives in Ireland were unable to attend her funeral in February.


Thec\y checked online to see where they could have rosaries made but found they were very expensive to order, much more than Anne wanted to pay for the 30-40 rosaries she intended to send to relatives overseas.


So Bill did some research and found a way they could make the rosaries themselves.  The couple decided to use polymer clay for the beads.  “I felt like if people were going to spend this kind of money, do this type of process, they’d want something that was going to be preserved and last for a good long time,” said Bill.


A sampling of their rosaries. (Courtesy Photo)

Armed with the proper tools and a slew of pins, wires, medals, crucifixes, and properly dried flowers the couple made rosaries for the relatives. Then, friends started requesting them.  Now they have a website, www.rosariestoremember.com, and also sell the rosaries on etsy.com. They also make chaplets, rosary bracelets and items with memory beads.


With very little trial and error, the Schultzes, who attend St. Jude Parish in Bridgetown, have worked out a system of drying flowers, rolling beads and looping  wires. They dredge the clay through the flowers then press the specks into the clay using a device that resembles a pasta maker. Each bead is then hand rolled, baked and glazed with a clear high-gloss glaze.


“We find that roses give you the best color,” says Bill, who loops the beads on the wires. He adds some reinforced wire work near the crucifix to make the rosary sturdier. They use one rosebud per rosary. Green has been the most requested color. “Green is nice because it shows all the different colors of the flowers,” said Anne.


They enjoy choosing the centerpiece medals and are partial toward the wooden crucifixes. “Mom had an aunt, her father’s sister who never married, and she was probably one of the most religious people I know,” explained Anne. “She said the rosary every night. I remember her saying once, that a true rosary will have a wooden cross because Christ died on a wooden cross. So when we were buying things I was picking out wooden crosses. If they don’t specify, we give them the wooden cross.”


Each rosary is packaged in a pouch made by friend and seamstress, Georgia Henderson and comes with a prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.


Anne and Bill find the work relaxing and therapeutic as they grieve their loss. They enjoy spending this time together and they’re able to reminisce about the person in whose honor the rosaries being made.


“It just gives you great satisfaction,” says Bill “that it’s a rosary that they’re going to remember and they’re going to enjoy it for years and years.”


Added Anne, “and keep their loved ones memory alive.”

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