EILEEN CARSON SCHATZ IS
'DANCING WITH THE ANGELS'
February 5, 1953 - July 10, 2019
Obituary Published in The Capital Gazette on July 13, 2019
Eileen Carson Schatz: It well may be that for a fact
the angels are dancing with HER!
She did more than most with the dash (-) between her dates!
Rest in peace, Eileen! You have earned it!
"EILEEN CARSON SCHATZ, born on February 5th, 1953, passed away on the morning of July 10th, 2019, in her home in Crownsville, MD, in the arms of her beloved husband Mark Schatz, after a year and a half long battle with pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her husband and her two beautiful nieces, Kathleen and Helen Overman, for whom she was the guardian since the passing of their mother in 2007. Eileen was a natural dancer who studied ballet as a young girl, then moved on to Motown on the teen club floor of an army base in Japan where her family lived in her early teens. After returning to the states she discovered clogging and subsequently moved to North Carolina to dance with the legendary Green Grass Cloggers. In 1979 she and two dance partners moved back to Annapolis, Maryland, to form the Fiddle Puppet Dancers, a red-hot four person clogging troupe that toured the folk circuit both nationally and abroad. In 1994 the group changed their name to Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, and Eileen artfully sculpted the multi-cultural and original percussive dance repertoire into a full two-set theatre show called Incredible Feets. This was followed by a series of collaborations including The Crossing with Tim O'Brien and SoleMates with StepAfrika. The group celebrated its 40th anniversary this year with a jubilant presentation at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. Footworks always danced to 'live music, and Eileen's full and expressive voice and original songs were prominently featured in their shows. She also took the lead in a trio with her husband and her old friend and Annapolitan, Elizabeth Melvin, in a group called The Gratitones. She was a Certified Teaching Artist who did school residencies in the greater Washington and Baltimore area. She taught at universities and music and dance camps, and she specialized in inspiring and transformational programs for youths. She was a two-year recipient of an NEA Choreography Fellowship, and was honored with an Individual Artist award by the Maryland State Arts Council, and an Annie Award by The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. Eileen dedicated herself to the arts and community service throughout her long, colorful, and productive career. Her fire, generosity of spirit, creative zeal, and knack for bringing out the best in those around her, both personally and artistically, have left a deep mark on all who have had the good fortune to enter her bright and loving sphere. She will be sorely missed! Visitation will be held on Monday, July 15, 2019, at Lasting Tributes, 814 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD 21401, from 10:00 am until the start of her service at 11:00 am. At Eileen's request, black with classy sparkles encouraged (rhinestones are wonderful). Please consider making a donation in Eileen's name to Chesapeake Hospice. Reception to follow at Unity by the Bay."
814 Bestgate Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
HERE IS A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO EILEEN FROM HER FRIEND, BLUEGRASS MUSIC ARTIST, CLAIRE LYNCH. Thanks, Claire, for permission to print your thoughts.
"Eileen Carson Schatz is a gal I've known who was ready to live life at its fullest. She needed protection, security, nurture, encouragement, happiness and joy. And she wanted to provide that for others. She had a heart with deep desires who recognized those needs in others and swooped in to supply. She was a sweet puppy with beautiful brown eyes. . .inside a grown woman.
"Being we each were both a Yankee and a Southerner, the playing field was wide open for either vernacular. When we first met, both accents came out in our conversation. . .and so it started. . .Our chats were always fun, never boring!
"Over the years of our acquaintance, I watched her pour out her generous support to any artist for whom she had admiration. She was Mark's #1 supporter as he spent countless days out on the road with my band and others'. And I always felt like she was my #1 fan, too. Our friendship began as I was starting to recover from a sad, helpless marriage of 28 years. I was alone and in survival mode on
every level. She told me I was a 'phoenix rising' and sent me a beautiful card with the bird on front with handwritten words inside saying so. I still have it. It lived on my refrigerator for years.
"She loved an occasion - and each occasion with Eileen was accompanied by sparkles, glitter or with twinkling lights. At Easter the little table bunnies came out. At Chanukah the Menorah was not only lit and celebrated each night, but there was joyous dance and song. She was the life of the party
. . .always. On birthdays she and Mark would phone their friends and leave singing/picking voicemails. All things known, she brought happiness, joy, celebration, positivity, sisterhood, faith, determination and support to me and countless others. There will be moments in the days ahead where I KNOW I'll say, 'I've gotta show this to Eileenie!' And I'll look around maybe - and realize that beautiful, rich, happy sounding board is gone! How I will miss this bossy, spitfire, gracious, intelligent woman as dynamic and as unique as anyone I've ever known.
"Dear Eileen, I'm so much richer to have had you in my life. Now rest well, Sweetheart! I know you've not been afraid to die, but only that you don't want to be without your friends and loved ones. My hope is that you won't. I like to think that in eternity we're all there. . .all the time. At least I know that you'll live forever in this heart of mine! I love you, Dear One!!
Photos: The Station Inn, Nashville, TN, April 15, 2015
Mark Schatz (black and white wingtips with taps) flatfooting
and singing with Claire Lynch
Board borrowed from the Station Inn parking lot
Bryan McDowell at left, Jarrod Walker at right