Ginette Armande Shultes
World traveler, avid swimmer, bibliophile
Ginette Armande Shultes, an 11-year-resident of Mt. San Antonio Gardens, died in her home on July 16, 2012. She was 88 years old.
Born on December 25, 1924 in Brussels, Ms. Shultes lived during the time of the German occupation of Belgium. She shared the horrifying story of leaving Belgium, still in her mid-teens, on bicycles with her mother and brother during the German bombings, narrowly escaping strafing by Messerschmitt fighter planes when a British soldier grabbed her to pull her to safety in a nearby ditch.
Once the war ended in 1945, Ms. Shultes was reunited with French and Belgian family and she soon moved to the United States to begin a new life. Marrying Louis Corhan from Brooklyn, she lived most of her life in Syracuse, New York, where she was employed as an executive secretary to a division manager at General Electric. Ms. Shultes, whose father hailed from France, grew up speaking French and was a lifelong aficionado of foreign languages. She passed this interest onto her 2 children, Ken and Cynthia, who learned French at the same time they mastered English.
Shortly after her retirement from GE in the 1980s, Ms. Shultes and her second husband, E. Matthias Shultes, moved west to escape the cold winters and to join her children, both of whom were living in southern California. In 2001, Ms. Shultes moved into the Mt. San Antonio Gardens senior community, where she led an exceptionally full social and cultural life.
Among her many activities at the Gardens, Ms. Shultes was a longtime member of the German and French clubs. Known for her culinary acumen, she was also a member of a cooking group with several residents. An avid reader, poring through the classics and a vast number of contemporary titles over the years, Ms. Shultes was a devoted member of the book club at the Gardens and served on the committee that selects books for the library there.
Ms. Shultes was so active that, at times, her family had a hard time finding a place in her busy schedule, joked her son, Ken Corhan.
“She was very active, to say the least—attending lectures and dinners and museum receptions and much more,” he said. “My mother developed so many wonderful friendships and acquaintances while living at the Gardens, and I know the residents will miss her, as do we.”
Ms. Shultes was also physically active, enjoying daily walks and swims, and was an accomplished world traveler, having traveled to Egypt, China, Morocco and extensively throughout Europe. Her daughter Cynthia Pastor credits her mother for many of her own enthusiasms.
“My mom instilled in me a passion for travel and for cooking, encouraging me to venture out and try new things,” she said.
Ms. Shultes was an ambassador to the Gardens where she was admired for her energy and engagement, often entertaining prospective residents of the retirement community. Her good friend Joan Nay has fond memories of the gatherings Ms. Shultes hosted.
“Ginette loved stylish clothing, great music, art and literature, skillful cooking and a good conversation,” Ms. Nay said. “It was always a pleasure to be invited to join her and her friends for dinner—I would almost think I was in a French literary salon.”
Ms. Shultes is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Ken Corhan and Suzanne Hall of Claremont; by her daughter and son-in-law, Cynthia and Craig Pastor of Long Beach; and by her grandchildren, Laura and Chad Corhan of Claremont.
A small gathering in Ms. Schultes’ honor was held at Mt. San Antonio Gardens on July 29, 2012. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mt. San Antonio Gardens Scholarship Fund, 900 E. Harrison Ave., Pomona, CA 91767.