Mari Caroline Schaarschmidt GROTON — Our Nana, Mari Caroline Schaarschmidt, passed away on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. She is survived by life companion of 50 years, husband and our Papa, Ralf Helmut Schaarschmidt; and their two children, Caroline Capri Marchant and husband Todd Marchant and their four children of Tustin, California, and Ralf Helmut “Goober” Schaarschmidt II and his three children and fiancée Ashley White and her daughter of Groton, Vermont. Two sisters, Joan and Nancy, and three brothers, David, Dan and Stephen, survive her. She was predeceased by her brother, Leo John Jr.; and daughter, Lisa Marie Schaarschmidt. Nana was born on Nov. 11, 1943, in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Leo John Rickhoff Sr. and Marjorie Caroline Rickhoff. She was child number four of seven kids. She attended St. Joe High School in St. Louis and Ursuline Academy in Arcadia, Missouri, then joined a monastery after finishing high school. Nana had a daughter named Lisa Marie Torre in 1963 and moved to Germany where she sold personal car insurance to the GI's. Nana and Lisa lived in Ulm, Germany, for about six years before meeting Papa. They met and married one another just three months later, in 1969 at City Hall. They lived in officer quarters where our Papa was stationed. Once Papa left the army in 1970, they decided to sell cars to the GI's and rent out apartments to them. Then, from 1971-72, Papa was getting his college degree in the states while Nana and Lisa stayed behind in Germany where she worked for an insurance business. She worked so hard the company sold the business to her and she ran this until she and Papa decided to sell and move back to the states. Once back in the U.S., they resided in Kirkwood, Missouri, for four years. In March of 1973, Nana worked as a secretary for an engineering firm while Papa worked for an insurance business as a senior underwriter trainee. In 1974, they had a daughter, Caroline Capri, and then in 1976, a son, Ralf Helmut II. After their son was born, the family moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia, where they lived for about five years. Here, Nana was the assistant to a physician and was introduced to the American Heart Association. She became the editor-in-chief for the American Heart Association’s magazine, Heart, in 1980 and remained so until 1987. Nana and Papa eventually moved to Montpelier, Vermont, in 1981, where they started their own insurance business called New England Excess Exchange, a family-run, wholesale broker specializing in property and casualty. In 2008, Nana had retired and the keys to the business were passed down to her son, Ralf, who now runs the family business. Never fail, Nana was first in line to always help us eight grandkids, Lilli, Ashley, Parker, Tim, Jaxon, Emma, Bry and Bradley, with anything and everything we needed. She always supported us in our sports, hobbies, extra-curriculars and most importantly, our dreams. Nana loved to meet new people, experience new things and learn as much as she could about the world. Nana and Papa were big travelers, as well. They ventured to roughly over 50 different countries and some of their favorites included Italy, England, Scotland and France. Nana was an avid reader and sometimes would read three books at one time. She made handmade quilts for years, knitted scarves, needle-pointed many pieces of art and cross-stitched designs. But her favorite activity to pass the time was Scrabble. Nana was a competitive Scrabble player who loved to put the most challenging and suspicious words on the board. For example, some of the iconic words from past games are “stoney” and “ee.” She loved to cook and bake all sorts of treats, and even in her later years, always asked to help in the kitchen to prep for dinner. She donated to many charities over the years regardless if she had a personal connection or not. Nana loved to give back to those who needed it. She always taught us grandchildren to be selfless and to have compassion for others. Nana loved good food, good times and even more, good wine. She always would ask, “Hey, what are we drinking tonight?” She always took part in nightly boat cruises and sitting out on the deck as the sun set. Her pride and joy were to always look out the window at the lake and take in Vermont’s beauty. She loved to look at the different plants in her garden and she always had multiple bird feeders full of goodies for the resident birds. She loved the sound of the lake loons as they called to each other from either cove and taking in the raw sighting of the bald eagle as it soared past the house. A riot of a woman with a vivacious soul, Nana adored her family and her beautiful home on Lake Groton. We are comforted with the fact she is now reunited with our Auntie Lisa whom we have learned to know through our Nana. Let you both watch down over us as we look up to you. Funeral services will be private. Online condolences may be left at www.guareandsons.com.