Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Mary Louise Schum won design awards

Artist worked all over the world

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mary Louise Schum, an award-winning interior design artist who worked in Poland, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Hamilton and Cincinnati, among other places, died June 9. The Arlington, Va., resident was 85.

Mrs. Schum was known for her use of strong colors and texture as well as incorporation of real art in institutional settings.

She commissioned sculptures and art for chapels from Spanish artist Nassio Bayarri and former Hamilton sculptor Edgar Tafur.

Working with her sister, Eileen Reilly Siemens of Chicago, Mrs. Schum received the American Society of Interior Designers' top award for their work at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, as well at Mercy hospitals in Chicago and Oklahoma City and Mercy College of Detroit.

The society now awards the Mary Louise Schum Award for designs in large commercial space.

Mary Louise Reilly was born in 1917 to Ellsworth and Marie Doyle Reilly in Billings, Mont. At age 5 she moved with her family to Chicago's south side and later attended Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. She received a bachelor's degree from Goodman Theater School in Chicago.

She married Eugene Charles Schum in 1942. While he served in the Navy, she worked as a candy striper at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.

They moved to Hamilton in 1949, where Mrs. Schum opened Mary Louise Schum Interiors the following year. Among her first designing jobs was Gonzaga Hall, the old nursing students' residence at Mercy Hospital, Hamilton.

Mrs. Schum also did work for Georgetown Hospital in Washington.

She and her husband lived in Hamilton for 33 years, retiring to Arlington in 1997.

Survivors include her husband, Eugene; four daughters, Jane Conner of Elkhorn, Wis., Martha Schum of Valencia, Spain; Marie Schum Brady of Arlington, Va., and Sara Schum Dirks; a son, E. Reilly Schum of Huntsville, Ala.; and 16 grandchildren.


E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

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