Chaska, Minnesota: July 6, 1922 - May 13, 2024

Barbara Jean Schaer


Dr. Barbara Jean (Krall) Schaer, age 101, of Chaska, MN, died peacefully on Monday, May 13, 2024, at her daughter’s home in Chaska.
Barbara was born on July 6, 1922, in Tyndall, South Dakota to Dr. James J. and Anna (Houdek) Krall, the youngest of five. She graduated from Tyndall High School and went on to further her education at South Dakota State in Brookings, SD and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 1945 and was a Tomb and Key Honor Society Member.
Barbara practiced optometry with her father, nephew Dr. Charles Krall, and her brother Leonard, an Optician, in Mitchell, SD. She married Sanford (Sandy) Schaer on June 24, 1950 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell and together they raised four daughters there. The family moved to Portage, WI in 1969 where Barbara continued her career and then to Albert Lea, MN in 1973. She was a member of the American Optometric Association, the South Dakota Optometric Society, and the Wisconsin Optometric Association. She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Mitchell and at one time was listed in Who's Who of American Women.
Barbara was a loving caregiver for her mother for many years, then her sister and finally her husband. Throughout her long life she shared many interests with her family including cooking and baking, gardening, crocheting, sewing, long walks, travel, photography, playing bridge and other games, good jokes, her pets, and her Catholic faith and love of family.
Barbara is survived by her four daughters; Mary (Tom) Whittington, Barbara (Mike) Schaer Mady, Nancy (Ron) Hannum, and Karen (Benjamin) Gomez. Also, her grandchildren; Jennifer (Steve) Peterson, Joe (Grace) Whittington, Melissa (Ben) Michels, Jeremy (Elise) Berghoff, Amy (Addison) Kranz, Joan Donnellan, Jennifer Haas, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Other survivors include nephew, Dr. Robert Renfro, and her niece, Karen Krall Murphy, along with many great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Sandy, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Mary (Don) Renfro and her brothers and sisters-in-law, Dr. William (Mabel) Krall, Leonard (Kardena) Krall, and James (Nora) Krall.
The family wants to especially thank Nancy and Ron Hannum for the loving care of their Mother in Chaska, MN.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Mitchell Catholic Foundation, 222 N. Kimball, Mitchell, SD 57301, please reference the Sanford and Dr. Barbara Krall Schaer Memorial Education Endowment or donations may also be made to the BrightFocus Foundation.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 17, 2024, 11 a.m. at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 218 West Second Street, Chaska, with Father Tony VanderLoop presiding. The family will receive friends 10 -11 a.m. also at the church. The burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery next to her husband, Sandy, a WWII veteran, on Monday, May 20, 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Funeral arrangements are with the Bertas Funeral Home of Chaska, MN.