John Claude Schuder was a lifelong peace, civil rights activist

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 10:35 p.m. CDT

John Claude Schuder of Columbia died Saturday, April 7, 2012, at Lenoir Woods retirement community. He was 90.

He was born March 2, 1922, in Olney, Ill., to Charles Claude and Louise Ella Muench Schuder. He married Retha Elizabeth Sumner on July 23, 1946.

A pacifist, Dr. Schuder spent much of his life as a peace activist. He was also a founding member of both the Columbia Friends Meeting and Columbia Fellowship of Reconciliation in 1961. He, along with others in Columbia, counseled conscientious objectors to war.

Dr. Schuder played an active role in starting an on-campus, six-year weekly vigil against the Vietnam War, a weekly peace vigil that has been in place at the post office since 1983 and vigils against capital punishment. He was also active in the civil rights movement.

In 1964, Dr. Schuder was an unsuccessful candidate for the Columbia City Council. An electrical engineer, he received degrees from the University of Illinois and Purdue University. He was a faculty member at Purdue University, Doane College, the University of Pennsylvania and MU. While at MU, Dr. Schuder was a member of a small research group of faculty, graduate students and technicians within the Department of Surgery that developed electrical systems for use in treating cardiac disease.

He is survived by his wife, Retha of Columbia; three children, Linda Brown and husband, Ray of Fulton, Charles Wayne Schuder of Oakland, Calif., and Jonna Elizabeth Schuder of Portland, Ore.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving is a sister, Jean Louise Wagner of Sumner, Ill. He was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Bernhard Schuder.

A Quaker service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Rock Bridge Christian Church, 301 W. Green Meadows Road.

Memorials can be made to the American Heart Association.

Condolences can be posted at

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.