A woman of tremendous energy, Monika Schweinfurth inspired and energized everyone she met. Moving to the United States at the age of six and starting school without knowing any English, she set the tone of learning and engagement she would keep for the rest of her life, quickly absorbing every skill she needed to flourish.
As a mother, teacher, and engineer Monika encouraged those around her to learn and develop even as she did. There was no subject out of her grasp, and nothing that was too onerous. Learning on the job was her specialty, and she was known for taking on projects where others hesitated. She always got the job done, and done right. She was the person you called when you didn’t know what to do. And whether she was tutoring algebra or designing cockpit systems, when she gave you her undivided attention, you knew you were in the right hands.
Monika completed multiple university degrees while parenting her two children. She so excelled in her computer science courses that she was invited back to teach them the following term. For the past two decades, Monika worked to advance national defense aerospace technologies. She thought of the F-16, F-22, and F-35 fighters as “her” airplanes and took great satisfaction in their cutting edge avionics and software systems.
But Monika was more than her jobs. She was her passions. She loved baking, crochet, gardening, landscaping, reading, home decor, furniture restoration, competitive sailboat racing, quilting, sewing, and soap making, a list of hobbies so expansive you’d think she couldn’t possibly excel at them all. But she did. Monika threw herself into her passions, exploring with the enthusiasm of a novice and the patience of a master. And she brought others with her. You couldn’t help but feel excited for a project when she talked about it. You couldn’t help but want to learn with her, take risks with her, and explore the world with her. She brought her passion and energy into everything she did, whether that was baking a tableful of holiday cookies, or digging a new compost heap. Monika was her energy, and that energy never flagged. Never wavered. Not when playing games with her grandchildren, not when crocheting hats for the whole family, just because she made the time.
You couldn’t know Monika without feeling her passion. You couldn’t feel her passion without admiring it. She was a woman who knew what she wanted in life and pursued her goals with tenacity. Who knew what she was worth and made sure she was given her due. She didn’t suffer fools, but was endlessly giving to those who wanted to learn. She was a woman of passion and logic, with her feet in the garden she planted, and her thoughts tearing the sky on wings of her own design. She was herself, and knowing her was its own reward.
Monika is survived by her loving family: her parents Rosemarie and Buryl Dooley; brother, John McMillin (Candace); sister, Sandia Ruiz; son, Ludwig (Sarah); daughter, Kristina (Evan); granddaughters, Elanor, Bridget, Rhys, and Ingrid; as well as her pet dachshunds, Bear, Lily, Talulah, and Lucy. She also leaves behind many friends in the heirloom sewing, gardening, and dachshund communities where she had an enormous impact.
To all of them I say: Just wait. When at last we catch up with her, she will have already discovered all the secrets and joys of the next life and will be as willing and joyful as ever to share them with us, before finding something new to tackle.
A private service will be held for the immediate family.
I loved Monika. She was a dear friend. I took care of her after a hospital stay when I also needed a place to be. We spent a magical Christmas together when we were both hurting and made candy, breads and crafted tigether. We survived her moms and My cousins cancer together
with many tears shed. I still can't believe my friend is gone. My heart is broken. As is anyone who her new her . I find it hard to live life witout her in it. May you all find a way to move without her, as do her friends. I pray for you all, am a grateful that she moved close to her her children and brand's so that they can remember that incredible grandma that loved beyond measure.. Broken hearted but glad for the incredible memories we shared. Zhou are truly blessed to have her ad a mother, and grandmother. Your are in my thoughts and prayers. She loved her family and friends beyond measure and were he blessed gift.
This is incredibly sad! You will be sorely missed, Monika. We only worked together for a few months, but in those months your kindness, sense of humor, great attitude, and acumen shone through for everyone to see. The whole team will miss you. My condolences to your family. Rest well.
My condolences to Monika's family. How unexpected!
I really appreciated working with her, especially her expansive knowledge, honesty, and energy. She is an amazing person that I enjoyed being around. We are all grateful for her many years at NAVAIR in support of the United States Navy.
To say this was a shock is an understatement. My Prayers and Support goes out to her family. Although I have only have known her for a short time her energy and upbeat attitude was truly something I will miss at work. When I was down I knew I could count on Monika for a smile and a laugh. She will be missed greatly
I can’t tell you home much I admired Monika! So full of energy I could not keep up with her’! I know she was brilliant at work and her coworkers are going to miss that spitfire! But moving cross country, planting gardens, designing sewing rooms…good grief her energy was boundless. I loved having her in our sewing classes and will miss all her adventures. I know you will treasure her many memories!
My heart was broken when I heard the news that Monika had passed, and it breaks for you, her family. She was such an inspiration for all of her amazing talents and passions! I was always in awe of her accomplishments. Boundless energy describes her well, and so does a loving, kind heart. I knew Monika from the heirloom sewing world. She will be missed by many. May God give you comfort and peace at this difficult time. Until we meet again Monika!
I am heart broken to hear of my sewing friends passing. She was such a blessing. I will dearly miss her. Prayers of comfort for friends and family.
Dear Kristina and Ludwig and families,
I am so heart broken for your loss and pray that through all the accomplishments your mom had that you will find some peace in her passing. She inspired me every day to keep moving although I may not have had as much energy as she did. I loved reading her posts and seeing all she was accomplishing in her new home.
I will always remember her and look forward to seeing her again one day and will know that she has paved the way in our new life.
God bless you all and( I’m a southerner so )hugs to you as well.
I saw something interesting yesterday and immediately went to send it to Monika and I stopped when I realized she was no longer with us and would not get it. I thought how I’ll miss my friend. How she was bigger than life. You were so privileged to have a wonderful daughter, sister, mother and friend. I know I’ll miss talking jets, gardening, doxies and sewing with her.
Thank you for letting us have Monica for a neighbor, even if just for a little while. We have loved chatting with her, seeing how the garden was coming along, and being greeted by the dogs. Easily one of the best neighbors we have ever had.