Lavinia Schumann has not had an easy life. An orphan by the time she was 8, she was sent to St. Paul Orphanage in Crafton. When she was 16, she quit school and went to work for the Famous Department Store in McKeesport. But she has remained upbeat, and on Saturday celebrated her 100th birthday in a surprise party with 125 friends and family at the Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen Club.
She was born July 24, 1914, in Duquesne, one of Rose and Samuel Hamburger’s six children. She lived in the orphanage for several years until her sister, Gert, got married. Then she moved with her to McKeesport and grew up there.
In 1934, when she was 19, she married Richard Schumann and had five children: Leah Scheaffer of Dravosburg, Janet Main of Apache Junction, Ariz., Alice Jean Hurley and Chuck Schumann, both of Cranberry, and Vicki Simonetta of North Versailles.
They divorced after 24 years of marriage and she raised the three youngest children on her own. She worked at Genuine Motor Parts for 10 years and Foodland for a short time. She has lived at McKeesport Towers for 30 years. She was a foster grandparent at St. Peter‘s Church in Homestead for 16 years until she was 75. She belonged to the YWCA Golden Agers, Salvation Army Friendship Club and the Versailles AARP. Recently, she joined Community Life in McKeesport.
Some of her favorite things to do are traveling, reading, bowling, playing bingo and painting figurines. Mrs. Schumann attributes her longevity to eating a good breakfast each morning and good, clean living. She has 29 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
If you or a friend or a relative recently turned 100 or will soon do so, the Post-Gazette would like to hear from you. To be included in Century Club, send the honoree’s biographical information and your phone number to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Century Club, Attn: Kevin Kirkland, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Fax: 412-491-8452. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.