Famous Figures

Stella Schindler: Founder of Schindler’s Fabrics

Stella J. Schindler was born in her mother’s house in Cleveland’s Slavic Village in 1916. She was the youngest of four children, with two older sisters and a brother coming before her.

Her mother, Eva, was a Polish immigrant from Krakow. She did not speak or read English, so Stella was often asked to go grocery shopping for the family. Despite her young age, she had an aptitude for math, which made her the perfect choice for this task.

Even though Stella was young during the Great Depression, she carried the lessons she learned during this time throughout her life, passing on her knowledge to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

As mentioned earlier, Stella was extremely intelligent, which led to her graduating from Jane Adams High School at 16 in 1932.

After graduating, she worked in a lightbulb factory. This was until they found out she wasn’t 18 and forced her to leave. She soon met John Dreslinksi, and had two sons- Richard and Dave!

She owned and ran a deli and butcher shop while John worked in a factory. She was a very hardworking business owner and mother. She would prepare meals at night to sell at her deli the next day.

After John passed away, Stella met and married Peter Schindler. They had a beautiful daughter named Judi (who is the current owner of Schindler’s Fabric)!

They sold the deli, and Stella became very involved in the evolution of Schindler’s Fabric, which is a family-owned institution offering a range of fabric, including upholstery, vinyl, tapestries & more.

Stella was a founding member of St. Ladislas Church in Westlake, where her and Peter had their family home. She was a devout Catholic, attending St. Stanislaus Church in Slavic Village growing up.

Stella could often be found coming into Schindler’s Fabric well into her 80s, baking cupcakes for customers and sharing her stories on her European travels.

Stella Schindler passed on January 13, 2011. She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery. Her memory will live on through her family and Schindler’s Fabric.

Written By: Paige Muttillo | Marketing Manager | Catholic Cemeteries Association

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