Catherine Scheader, Children’s Book Author

catherine-scheaderCatherine Scheader, 84, of Somerset, passed away peacefully in her sleep after a long illness, on Tuesday, October 18. Mrs. Scheader was born August 25, 1932 in Astoria, New York, to the late Peter and Bridget O’Reilly. Her parents were born in Ireland, and met and married in the United States. Her father owned his own tavern in Manhattan named, of course, O’Reilly’s.

Catherine attended high school at St. Michael Academy in Manhattan, where she was an honor student, played on the basketball team, starred in school plays, and worked on the yearbook. She then attended Hunter College, working part-time at the New York City Public Library. There she met the love of her life, Edward Scheader, who also worked at the library part-time during college. After graduation, Catherine worked as a school teacher in the New York City Public School system and Edward served in the Korean War. Following his return to the U.S., the couple married in 1957 and resided in Queens, NY, where they had three children.

In 1964 they relocated to Matawan, NJ, where they lived for 40 years and raised their family. They were very active members of St. Benedict Church and had many friends in the community. With three young children, Catherine decided to volunteer at Project Head Start, and began taking graduate courses at Rutgers University, where she earned her Masters degree in Education during the 1960s. As part of her graduate work, Catherine began writing reading materials and supplementary textbooks for elementary school students. Eventually many of her books were published, including fictionalized biographies of historical figures. Catherine also worked in several New Jersey school districts as a curriculum coordinator, including most recently for the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School district.

Catherine retired from school work in the 1990s but continued to write children’s books and publish extensively. She belonged to a writing group and also served as a mentor to aspiring authors. She was a long-time member of the Authors Guild. Catherine travelled frequently during retirement with her beloved husband and friends. In 2004 she and her husband settled in Somerset.

In Somerset, Catherine has been an active parishioner at St. Matthias Church. She was a loving wife, a caring mother and an adoring grandmother; she will be sincerely missed.

Mrs. Scheader was preceded in death by both parents, her brother, Terrence O’Reilly, and her sister, Mary Kiersted.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 59 years, Edward Scheader; her adoring children, Barbara Scheader, John Scheader, and Susan Scheader, as well as her three grandchildren and several nephews and a niece.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 22, at St. Matthias Church in Somerset. Burial will follow at Holmdel Cemetery in Holmdel.

In lieu of Flowers, please consider donations in Mrs. Catherine Scheader’s name to St. Matthias Church, 168 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Somerset, NJ 08873 or stmatthias.net/connect/onlinegiving.


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