Obituary for Margaret “Marge” Schade

It is with profound sadness that the family of Margaret “Marge” Schade announces her peaceful passing on April 20, 2023, at the age of 99, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday.

Marge was born on July 4, 1923, in Eastland, Texas the only child of parents Earl Ward Butler and Isabel Highsaw Butler.  She attended El Paso High School until the family moved to Arizona in 1937, where she graduated from Clifton High School and then moved on to the University of Arizona and Eastern Arizona College.

Marge married Karl Schade and they started the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Clifton in 1952.  The couple had three children, Karl Jr., Michael, and Susan.  The family moved to Safford in 1964, continuing the Southeastern Bottling Company of Arizona here in Safford, where Marge was the owner and CEO and welcomed the whole family as workers in the business.

In her spare time, Marge was a member of the American Federation of Woman’s Club since 1945, the Eastern Star since 1941, the Gila Valley Arts Council, Friends of the Library, Arizona Town Hall, the Graham County Historical Society, Greenlee County Historical Society, American Legion Auxiliary, Safford Emblem Club, Mt. Graham Hospital Auxiliary, Mt. Graham Golf Association, the Red Hats Society, Neighbors Farm & Family, the House of Hope, and the First United Methodist Church.  She also sponsored fundraisers for the Garden Party for Safford-Graham County Library, the Christmas House for Mt. Graham Hospital Auxiliary, the American Diabetes Association, Bike Ride Plus, and the Safford Downtown Merchants.  She was named Woman of the Year-Woman’s Club of Safford from 1989-1990, and received the Pepsi-Cola Community Leadership Award in 1989, 2018 Pepsi Bottler of the Year, and ran and operated the independent Pepsi-Cola franchise for 71 years.

Margaret “Marge” Schade

Marge loved her family and friends and anything to do with them and their activities.  She loved to travel and enjoyed her travels with her adopted family.  She also had an adventurous spirit, was a trailblazer, one of a kind, outgoing, generous, brilliant, and warm.  She was also larger than life and charismatic. Her favorite sayings were “Grow where you’re planted”, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect”, and “Anyone can be a success as long as you’re not worried about who gets the credit”.

She leaves behind eight grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and her daughter-in-law, Paula Schade.

Marge is preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Isabel Butler; her children, Karl W. Schade, Michael E. Schade, and Susan E. Schade Decker, and her great-grandchild, Inara Schade.

She requested for her services, a viewing/visitation only on Saturday, April 29, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel with interment in the Safford Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the House of Hope.

Click this link to view additional details about Margaret’s Services, including any available live streams:

Arrangements under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.