Remembering Bernadette Schaefer
We are sorry to belatedly share the news that Bernadette Schaefer, one of the orphan train riders featured in our documentary, has passed away.
Her son, Rich Schaefer, told us: “She died on Nov. 1, which is celebrated by the church as All Saints Day. Seems appropriate since she lived her life in such a saintly manner.”
If you’ve seen our West by Orphan Train documentary, you will remember that Bernadette was taken to a rural area of Nebraska as a 4-year-old. As she explains in the documentary, she ended up having a wonderful childhood in Nebraska. When we interviewed her for the documentary, she told us: “I felt wonderful because I felt that was the first time in my life that I felt like I had a home.”
Bernadette, who lived in Minnesota, was 93 when she died. She was so gracious to share her story with us. We admired her -and the thousands of other orphan train riders – for her resilience and optimism.