The Last Word with Marianne Schuler

What a privilege it is to meet someone who is described as “giving, caring, loving, generous, and kind hearted,” and to learn that it’s all true! These are certainly accurate attributes for Mrs. Marianne Schuler. Marianne is the mother of Forsyth Woman magazine’s publisher, Keela Johnson, and a breast cancer survivor!   

  1. What life lesson did you learn as a breast cancer survivor? My biggest lesson came in trusting the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding.’ My cancer was a season of spiritual growth for me. I had to learn to let go and trust God through it all.
  2. You’ve certainly played a pivotal role in the woman that our publisher is today. What was something you learned from your mom? My mother always said to do the right thing, and it will pay off in the long run. She used to laughingly say, ‘Sometimes the long run is a LONG RUN!’ And that is the truth!
  3. Who is someone you admire and why? My daughter, Keela Johnson, who never has an unkind word about anyone and has fun no matter where she is!  When she told me she was going to start a magazine, I was nervous for her! I didn’t grow up in an era of entrepreneurship, but I was 100% behind her.  The magazine has been out for ten years and it blows me away!  Her success is a combination of hard work and the simple fact that she loves her job. Work becomes fun when you love what you do.
  4. Name a book that most influenced you and why? The Bible, because it is timeless and true.  I have studied it for many years and it has been a great source of knowledge, truth, and comfort through various seasons of my life.
  5. What is your favorite piece of art in your home? I have a couple of favorite pieces painted by an artist who is a friend of mine. When I look at them, it makes me think of the beach where we live, and how much her friendship has meant to me over the years.
  6. What is your favorite home cooked family meal? I love Thanksgiving dinner. There is nothing better than family gathering for a home cooked meal and Thanksgiving draws a crowd of the people I love best in the world. 
  7. What qualities define a friend?  What trait draws you to them? I enjoy people who are upbeat and positive and who have integrity. Those are the people I can count on through thick or thin, good times and bad, and for whom time and distance make no difference. True, good friends are like that…it is like you were never apart, you pick up right where you left off.
  8. What is the perfect retirement age and why?  The perfect age is when you are ready, not forced into retirement due to downsizing or age. I retired when I was 49 and haven’t looked back.  I left a fun career to enjoy our dream. My retirement is full of six grandchildren who we love beyond imagination! There is nothing better than spending more time with them, especially while we are young!
  9. What is the scariest thing you’ve done in your life? Sailing our 34-foot O’Day sailboat to Bermuda, which was a major accomplishment for us and quite an adventure. I don’t think we could have it done it without the boating courses we took at the United States Power Squadron (who I highly recommend to anyone attempting such a trip)!
  10. Where / how do you like to volunteer your time? I love working with children.  I am on the board for Child Evangelism Fellowship (Good News Club) through our church. There is nothing better than running into a child years later and seeing what a wonderful, responsible adult they have grown to be. It makes me smile.
  11. What is Kuzins Kamp? We had 2 grandchildren in NC, 2 in GA, and 2 in FL. My husband and I decided to create Kuzins Kamp as a week-long, no-parents allowed experience for our grandchildren so they could get to know one another. The entire week was based on what the children wanted to do and a lifetime of memories were created. It was a wonderful week of fun, laughter, showering our grandchildren with love and establishing friendships between them. Years later, they know their cousins in a way they may not have otherwise. Kuzins Kamp lasted for nine years and now that our grandchildren are all grown or college age, we look forward to picking it back up for the great-grandkids we hope to have someday!
  12. What would you like your legacy to say? I enjoyed life and could be trusted to keep my word. Most of all, that I made a difference.