Mary Helen Schigut
Mary Helen Schigut, age 87, died peacefully at her home in Temple on February 26, 2023, shortly after returning home from Sunday Mass. Visitation will be from 5:00 - 8:00 on Friday, March 3, at Scanio Harper Funeral Home; a rosary will be held on Saturday, March 4, at 9:30 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, followed by a funeral Mass at 10:00. Burial will follow at Bellwood Cemetery.
Mary Helen Schneider was born on the family farm in Barclay, Texas, to Otto and Laura Schneider, on August 25, 1935, the fourth of twelve children. Like many born in that time, she grew up working on the farm to help raise and grow much of what they needed. She picked cotton and drove tractors. Mary Helen started school in the old Barclay schoolhouse. The Schneider family moved to the Wilson Community where she lived until graduating from Rosebud High School in 1952. She was on the basketball team, and was a twirler, FFA and football sweetheart, and class favorite.
She attended Durham’s Business College in Austin, then worked for the Department of Agriculture before marrying John Joe Jahns in 1955. John Joe had graduated from Texas A&M and joined the U. S. Army.
They were stationed in several states before being assigned to Germany, returning to the states in 1960. Mary Helen remained in Temple with her four children when Captain Jahns was deployed to Viet Nam in 1963 as a helicopter pilot, returning home in 1964 for medical reasons. Mary Helen was by his side until his death in August, 1965.
In 1967, she and her four children married Richard Schigut.
Mary Helen was a troop leader for the Girl Scouts with her daughter and was a strong supporter of the Temple Wildcats while her son Richard played football.
Mary Helen and Richard owned and operated Schigut’s Department Store in Belton for over 35 years. She was active in the Belton community as she and her husband sponsored girls’ softball teams, helped start the Belton Senior Citizen Program, and participated in many Belton events.
She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Ladies Alter Society for over 55 years. She was a founder and original member of the St. Mary’s Catholic School Trust Fund. Mary Helen and Richard were recipients of the Lumen Gentium Award for their long service to their church.
She had a big heart and was a giving person. She cared for countless elderly relatives and friends with food, conversation, companionship, letters, and cards. Mary Helen was a wonderful cook and her homemade pies were welcomed by everyone who knew her. When her grandchildren were old enough to travel, she and her husband took them on many trips across the country, including New York City, Williamsburg, Nashville, Branson, San Diego, Washington DC, and Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Joe Jahns, her youngest son, Richard Jahns, a sister Beatrice Niekamp, and brothers Harvey, William, Bernard, and Harold Schneider.
Mary Helen is survived by husband Richard Schigut, children John Jahns of Rosebud, Jana Jahns of San Diego, Michael Jahns and wife, Monica, of Ratibor; seven grandchildren, Sara and Travis Janak of Rockport, Kate and Nick Rossi of Point Pleasant, N.J., Matthew and Cheyenne Jahns of Rosebud, Jacob and Lacy Jahns of Ratibor, Ethan and Heidi Jahns of Bellville, Lucy Jahns of Temple, Mary Jahns of College Station, and twelve great-grandchildren.
Additional survivors include sisters Arlene Wilde of Temple, Margaret Mikeska of Burlington, Carol and husband Harold Moore of Cameron, brothers George Schneider of Temple, Charles and wife Ann Schneider of Rosebud, Daniel and wife Cindy Schneider of Gatesville, and sisters-in-law Ginger Schneider of Capitan, New Mexico, Madeline and husband Lee Roy Sehon of Temple, and Linda Schneider of Holland.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic School Trust Fund.