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Ethel  Connally Schram

Obituary for Ethel Connally Schram

December 5, 1923 - October 11, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 94


Ethel Schram departed her earthly life on Thursday, October 11, 2018 and entered into God's Heavenly Kingdom, less than two months shy of her 95th birthday. She was born Ethelene Elizabeth on December 5, 1923, the youngest of 11 babies, nine of which survived to adulthood, to parents Nolton M. and Elizabeth Spear Connally in Floresville, Texas. At the age of 7, Ethel, known as "Sis" to her family and "Aunt Sissy" to her numerous nieces and nephews, moved to a farm in Union Valley, a small community outside Nixon, Texas where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. Yes, she rode a horse to school. She graduated from Nixon High School and moved to the big city of San Antonio, following in the footsteps of her older brothers and sisters who made their homes in the Harlandale area. Sis was proud to get hired as a headset-wearing switchboard operator in the old telephone building across from The Tobin Center.

While selling phonograph records at wholesaler Straus-Frank, Ethel met Russell Schram, a handsome WWII vet working in the electronics department there. They married in Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church in 1950, and purchased a small record store and named it E & R One Stop. Their business cards read: Russell Schram - Owner Ethel Schram – Boss. The term "one stop" was a music industry term for a local sub-distributor that sold all major record labels. This was during the heyday of the 45 rpm "singles". Local musicians could place their records there on consignment. For many years they sold records to the local Mom & Pop record stores and jukebox operators and vendors all over South Texas. After Russell's untimely death in 1971, Ethel took over the reins and ran the business until she retired in 1988. As a Country Music Reporter for Billboard Magazine, she helped determine Billboard's Country Hit List. She was lucky enough to attend many music award ceremonies like CMA and ACM events in Nashville, Las Vegas and elsewhere and was fortunate enough to meet many famous country music stars.

Her life was her family, her church, her friends and bridge games. She was cherished by so many people. To meet her was to know her instantly. Warm, sincere, friendly and outgoing, she never met a stranger. She always put the needs of others first. She was known to always have a clay pitcher of Sweet Tea in her refrigerator. Although she was not fond of cooking, she was always baking pies, cakes, pot roasts, chili mac and hash. She fed her family and guests well…. all good country home-cooking'.

Because of her diminutive stature, she was sometimes teased as "'the runt" of her litter…. standing at a powerful 4 foot 10 inches. Her quick reply was that dynamite came in small packages, and we all know that the best gifts come in tiny boxes. A gathering place for her son's good friends in their high school years, they affectionately called her "The Big E".

Ethel was an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, vivid, bright colors, a good margarita and lively conversation. In her later years, she learned to appreciate single malt scotch whiskey and red wine. She was witty, bright and sharp. She truly enjoyed accounting and keeping books. To the horror of her children, her dream job would have been to work in the attendance office at Alamo Heights High School. Some of her closest friends were schoolteachers there. Thank goodness she never applied for the job; she probably would have been hired!

She loved life and lived it to the fullest. She traveled to Europe several times and really enjoyed road trips, always ready to get up and go almost anywhere you suggested. In the past few years, Parkinson's Disease slowed her down a bit, but she could really get rolling in her red walker. A big fan of Fiesta, she rarely missed a Night in Old San Antonio, even attending with her walker. 2018 was the first NIOSA she missed, due to her unsteady legs.
Ethel was fortunate to live at The Forum at Lincoln Heights with its wonderful, caring staff. Many thanks go to Luisa Gutierrez, her long-time helper and Mauricia Ayala, her caregiver for the past several years. They all took such good care of her.

Ethel was preceded in death by her husband Russell, her parents, brothers Woodley, Hollis, Chuck, Jimmy, W.T. and N.M. Connally and her sisters Nevada Georgia Loessberg and Louisiana "Lula" Wardell Bennack.

She is survived by her daughter Susan Schram Kocurek and husband Tommy, her son Russell K. Schram Jr. and his wife, Kathy Truman Schram, and one grandson, Nixon McNiel Welsh, Jr., in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church, 6201 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209, CAM (Christian Assistance Ministries), 110 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215, or the charity of your choice.

Visitation will be held at Porter Loring, 1101 McCullough Wednesday, October 17 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, October 18 at 11:00 am at Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church, 6201 Broadway, with burial services following at Sunset Memorial Park.

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Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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