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Remembering Alice Zischkau

Oakcrest is mourning the loss of Oakcrest parent Alice Zischkau, who passed away on the morning of November 25 after a long battle with cancer. She was an Oakcrest mother, parent ambassador, and cherished member of the school community.

Three of Alice’s children are Oakies—Suzy ‘22, Mary ‘12 and Cecilia ‘10 (Sister Mary Laetitia). Alice lived a life marked by prayer, sacrifice and service. She was always pouring herself out for others, whether it was teaching preschool and kindergarten classes in the early years of her marriage, homeschooling her children, or organizing activities and service projects for family and friends. Some of these included directing skits and plays for children that were presented at nursing homes and friends’ homes; organizing May crownings and going on pilgrimages with family and friends to local Marian shrines; and leading girls clubs that taught characters and leadership through service and practice in the culinary arts. Alice and her daughters often made amazing gingerbread houses for the Christmas novena at Tenley Study Center. She loved gardening, making floral arrangements, baking, and taking dance lessons with her husband Jon.

Throughout her life she had a deep devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and a love for Our Lady. She also had a strong desire to help draw others closer to God, and this manifested itself in many ways, whether it was teaching kindergartners how to pray or arranging for her and her sisters to attend a retreat together.
 
In 2017 Alice was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and began treatment. Throughout the difficulty of these treatments, she continued to care for her family, her home, and her friendships and was still dedicated to her commitments outside the home.
 
She attended a pilgrimage to Lourdes in May 2018. When she returned, she spoke to Oakcrest students about her pilgrimage experiences. One Oakcrest student noted that, “... it was one of the most inspiring talks I’ve ever heard, and so humble.” Alice and Jon have an abiding devotion to Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, the first successor to the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría. They asked the Oakcrest community to pray to God through his intercession for Alice’s cure. Throughout her illness, Alice remained peaceful, joyful and focused on the needs of those around her rather than her own suffering.
 
The Mass of Christian Burial for Alice will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at Saint Ann Catholic Church. Because of COVID restrictions there is limited seating, but all are invited to participate in the funeral Mass via livestream using this link: https://stanndc.org/funeral. Her obituary can be read here
 
Below is a poem that Alice loved and shared with others. 
 
Others
By Charles Meigs
 
Lord, Help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for — Others.
 
Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for You
Must needs be done for — Others.
 
And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven’s begun
May I forget the crown I’ve won
While thinking still of — Others
 
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be;
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.
 
 
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