on March 13, 2014 - 7:59 PM
April 20, 1930 - Feb. 19, 2014
Jean Langenegger Schultz, formerly of East Aurora, a 4-H program leader, supporter of the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival and inventor of slice-and-bake cookie dough, died Feb. 19 in her sleep at a memory-care nursing facility in Tustin, Calif. She was 83.
After graduating as a food science major at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the former Jean Langenegger took her first job working in the research kitchen of the Oscar Mayer headquarters in the early 1950s. When the company was looking for another use for a machine that packaged liver sausage sandwich spread into tubes, she developed “icebox” cookie dough that could be sliced and then cooked.
Eventually, Oscar Mayer decided cookies did not align with the meat-making business, and it sold the idea and recipes to Pillsbury, which still sells ready-to-bake cookie dough in tubes, according to her husband, William.
The couple later moved from Wisconsin to East Aurora, where they raised three children, and Mrs. Schultz took a job as coordinator of the 4-H program at Cornell Cooperative Extension.
She also was a docent at the Millard Fillmore Presidential Home and the Roycroft Inn. She was the local president of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, which helps women further their education. She was a church organist and on the board of the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival. In her honor, a festival concert will be performed June 14 in St. Matthias Episcopal Church, East Aurora.
In 2008, the Schultzes moved to Southern California for the warmer weather. There, Mrs. Schultz was diagnosed with a form of dementia known as Lewy Body. After her husband learned about the disease, he now serves on a national panel – Lewy Body Dementia Association – devoted to creating awareness about the illness that has symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease.
Survivors include her husband of 62 years, William; two daughters, Janet Clenshaw and Laura Schultz; a son, Paul; a brother, Albert Langenegger; and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. May 3 in St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 374 Main St.