In Memory of
Most Reverend
Fr. Valentine T. Schaaf
113th. Minister General

Link to OFM Site in Rome
Order of Friars Minor
Fr. Valentine's
Family and Life


Oswald Schaaf and his second wife, Christina Gruber Schaaf. Photo undated, appears to be ca. 1912.

The priests' father Oswald Schaaf with second wife Christina (Gruber), their mother, had 5 other children who lived to adulthood: Christina (Kroeger), Dorothea (Coughlin-Schmidt), Catherine (Noble), Rose (Scharf), Agnes (Berning). Oswald also had 5 surviving children with his first wife: Peter Will, Mary, and Tony, others names are unknown at this writing.

None of Oswald's other children joined religious orders, but most raised families -- some of whom still live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Peter Will was a casket manufacturer, and apparently fairly successful, leaving, upon his death, to his siblings and half-siblings small but substantial inheritances. These inheritances permitted several of his brothers and sisters to purchase homes or establish businesses in the Cincinnati area. The Friars' inheritances went, of course, to the O.F.M. and were undoubtedly used to further the missions in which these two priests were so vitally interested.

Oswald Schaaf was a successful businessman, owner of a chair manufacturing company in Cincinnati, Ohio (late 1800s.) The family were members of old St. Joseph parish (torn down during the construction of subsidized housing) in the "West End" (of downtown Cincinnati.) Oswald was born in Germany; the language was spoken in the home (and by many parishioners of St. Joseph.)

It is evident that Louis was an inspiration to Theodore who followed his elder brother into religious life. From articles written to memorialize Fr. Valentine following his death, we have a bare-bones history of his school attendance. (See Religious Life for more.)

On the left is Constantine, with Valentine across the table. This appears to have been taken when Valentine was perhaps 20 years old, which dates the photo ca. 1903.

This photo of Fr. Valentine with his surviving sisters was taken in 1946
during his only visit to the U.S. after the war and just prior to his death.

From left: Catherine Noble, Dorothea Coughlin-Schmidt,
Fr. Valentine, Rose Scharf, and Agnes Berning.

This photo had to have been taken at the same time as that at left. We do not know the names of the other priests in the photo.

We believe the venue for both of these photos was Sunny Hollow Inn, in Cheviot (a Cincinnati suburb.) This Inn was owned by Carl and Emma Fricke - Emma's mother was a child of Oswald by his first wife - a half-sister to Fr. Valentine.

(Incidentally, this was also the site of our wedding party in 1957 - Annabelle and Bill Laudeman.)

(Below) Seen here visiting the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C. during his 1946 U.S. visit, Fr. Valentine's (left) profile appears much more like the somewhat rotund Friar that we see in other photos. (Far Away Missions - Feb. 1947 with permission)

Website contents are largely compiled from photos and historical information contributed by Annabelle Coughlin Laudeman, great-niece of Fr. Valentine, inherited from her paternal grandmother, Dorothea Schaaf-Coughlin-Schmidt, sister of Fr. Valentine. Other images and information are credited where the source is known.

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Last updated: Sunday, June 1, 2008 16:27 Eastern