Mary Jane Grundler, 93, of Columbia, Mo., passed away December 25, 2012.
She was born October 26, 1919, in Wentworth, Missouri, to Charles F. Lang and Angeline Baker Lang. On December 26, 1963, she married Francis E. Grundler at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pierce City, Missouri.
She moved to Columbia in 1947 from St. Charles, Missouri.
She received an Associate in Education degree from Joplin Junior College, Joplin, Missouri, in 1940 and three degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia — a Bachelor of Science in Education (1944), a Master of Education (1947), and a Doctor of Education (1960).
She began her professional career in a rural school in Jasper County, Missouri, (1940-1941) and later taught in the Duenweg, Missouri, Public Schools (1941-1943); Seneca, Missouri, High School (1943-1945); and Lindenwood College, St. Charles, Missouri (1945-1947). In 1947, she became an instructor in the University Laboratory School and the College of Education, University of Missouri-Columbia. Following 38 years of service to the University, she was awarded the title Professor Emeritus of Education upon her retirement in 1985.
As the first Coordinator of Business Teacher Education in the Department of Practical Arts and Vocational-Technical Education, she worked extensively with the Business and Office Education Section of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the development of Curriculum guides. In 1964, she assisted in the writing of the Business and Office Education Portion of the Missouri State Plan for Vocational Education and that same year served with the committee of Missouri business teachers who developed the criteria for the selection of the first director of business and office education in Missouri.
Mrs. Grundler was the author of numerous scholarly publications in the area of business teacher education and frequently served as a consultant and speaker at state, regional, and national professional meetings. She was an active member and chair of many Business Education Visitation Committees evaluating programs in schools and colleges in Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
As a faculty member of the College of Education, University of Missouri-Columbia, she served on numerous campus-wide as well as College of Education Committees, including both the Centennial and Sesquicentennial Committees. From 1980 to 1985, she served as the University of Missouri-Columbia Corporate Representative to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), as chair of the Missouri Division of the AAUW Bylaws Committee (1987-1988), as treasurer of the Missouri Division, AAUW (1988-1990), and as president of the Columbia Branch of the AAUW (1967-1969). She also served as president of Alpha Chapter of Pi Lambda Theta (1948-1950) on the University campus and as president of the Missouri Business Education Association (1963-1964). From 1975-1985, she was secretary-treasurer of the University Community Association. A life member of the College of Education Alumni Association and a member of the Jefferson Club, she served as secretary of the College Alumni Association Board of Directors (1972-1986). In 1994, she was again appointed to the College Alumni Board to serve as historian and was named to serve at the national level as a member of the Association Rules Committee. From 1971 to 1985, she served the Professional Secretaries International by administering the Certified Professional Secretary Examination annually on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.
She was a charter member of the National Association of Teacher Educators for Business Education, an affiliate of the American Vocational Association, serving as chair of the Bylaws Committee (1976-1984). She also served as chair of the Bylaws Committee of the Business Education Division of the American Vocational Association (1978-1981) and as a member of the Bylaws Committee at the Association level 1978-1981 and from 1984-1987. She served as the Missouri Coordinator of Building Fund Contributions for the National Business Education Association from 1975 to 1978 and was honored as a major donor to the Fund. From 1968 to 1980, she was Institutional Representative for the University of Missouri-Columbia to the National Association of Business teacher Education Division of the National Business Education Association. From 1990 to 1995, Mrs. Grundler served as a member of the Advisory Board of Who’s Who in American Education.
Included among her honors and awards are the Outstanding Business Educator Award (1979) and the Distinguished Service to Business Teacher Education Award (1985) from the Missouri Business Education Association; a Certificate of Award for Outstanding Service to the Business and Office Education Division of the American Vocational Association (1980); the Distinguished Service to Business Teacher Education Award from the National Association of Teacher Educators for Business Education (1984); a Certificate of Appreciation from both the Columbia Chapter and the University of Missouri-Columbia Chapter of Professional Secretaries International (1985); the Distinguished Service Award from Missouri Southern State College, Joplin (1988); listing in the publication Show Me Missouri Women, Selected Biographies (1989), sponsored by the Missouri Division of the American Association of University Women; and charter membership in Who’s Who in Missouri Business Education (1992).
She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association of Missouri, serving at the state level as editor of publications (1988-1991) and as treasurer of the Boone County Area Unit (1987-1989). She also served on the Board of Directors and as a member of various committees of the University of Missouri-Columbia Retirees Association.
Prior to her retirement from the University, she established two scholarships — The Dr. Mary Jane Lang Graduate Scholarship and the Dr. Mary Jane Lang Doctoral Scholarship — to be awarded annually to eligible graduates enrolled in business teacher education at the University.
She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where she served on term as president of the parish council and participated in several liturgical roles for many years. She also assisted in the Kemper Memorial Library at the Newman Center on the University Campus for many years.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm on December 29, 2012 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. A visitation will be held at 11:00 am until the time of service with a rosary at 11:45 am.
She is survived by one brother: James D. Lang of Aztec, New Mexico; numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Lloyd Lang of and Charles P. Lang.
Memorials may be sent to Sacred Heart Catholic Church or to the College of Education Development Office, University of Missouri-Columbia, for application to the Dr. Mary Jane Lang Graduate Scholarship Funds.
Online tributes may be left at Memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com