Patricia Ann Schonberg, our Mother, friend, and mentor passed away February 20, 2020 at 91 years old. Mom was born on October 6, 1928 in Marysville, California to Bernard and Dorothy Peters, and spent her early teenage years on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. She watched the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941 from the porch of her family home. When she was just 19, Mom became smitten with a tall, blonde, blue-eyed motorcycle riding man named Russ Schonberg. They married on June 10, 1948 in Auburn, California and she set off on her life goal of being a wonderful wife and mother. Though she originally wanted a baker’s dozen, reality stepped in and she contented herself with six children. Our Mom gave us life, nurtured us, kissed us, taught us, and fought for us. Most importantly, she loved each child unconditionally, although at times I’m sure that was a stretch.
Our Dad worked long hours to keep us housed, fed and to make his mark in the world. He succeeded in these goals, but his long hours away left our Mom to take care of the house and six energetic, precocious, and mischievous children. She endlessly drove us around, mopped floors, washed loads of clothes, made legendary lemon meringue pie, and often burnt the vegetables. Mom was devoted to Russ with whom she lived and worked side by side for sixty-one years until his death in 2010. Together, they created and grew Schonberg Research Corporation. Russ co-designed and built the world’s first portable accelerator. They also co-designed and built Accuray’s Cyberknife, the first medical radiation unit guided by computer aiming systems. Cyberknife is used for cancer treatment and has saved thousands of lives. Mom is still with us. Even as her own health declined, her greatest concern was that all her children and grandchildren were safe and happy. A mother’s prayer is that her children will love each other and take care of each other after she is gone. With Mom’s spirit inside of us, we will continue to fulfill that promise. Sadly, Mom lost her oldest daughter, Nancy Gisburne, many years ago. She is survived by three remaining daughters, Susan Schonberg, Sandi Lucas, Bonnie Schonberg, two sons, Peter Schonberg and Mart Schonberg, 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, and her brother Dick Peters and several precious nieces and nephews.