On Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, one month past her 97th birthday, Rebecca Boies (Becky) Schroeder died peacefully at Lenoir Woods Lutheran Retirement Community in Columbia, Missouri, joining her husband of 71 years, Professor A.E. (Dolf) Schroeder.
Born on a small farm in Richland Parish, Louisiana, Becky loved books from an early age and studied literature under Robert Penn Warren at Louisiana State University. She disappointed him by ending her promising studies to marry a dashing young German-American graduate student who remained her life companion for the next 71 years as they raised two sons and moved from universities in Missouri, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Louisiana back to the University of Missouri, Columbia.
She always supported her husband’s scholarship and nurtured generations of his foreign language students while cultivating her own interests as reference librarian at the Louisiana and Missouri State libraries, and as dedicated patron and organizer of folk music, folklore and immigrant heritage societies in Missouri and throughout the Midwest.
Acutely modest, her efforts were nonetheless widely honored by the State of Missouri and other groups. Perhaps her greatest contribution was as volunteer General Editor for two decades of the University of Missouri Press best-selling “Missouri Heritage Readers” series of over 30 books on aspects of Missouri’s rich culture and history, and she regarded her authors and fellow folk musicians and folklorists as treasured members of her extended family.
She is survived by son Richard, daughter-in-law Leah and grandson Michael; and daughter-in-law Amber of Washington D.C.; and daughter-in-law Betty and grandson Benjamin Luke of Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana.
A Memorial Celebration to gather her family and many friends will be scheduled for Spring 2019.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Missouri Folklore Society, Box 1757, Columbia, Mo 65205; University of Missouri Press (upress.missouri.edu/contact/support-the-press/); Missouri State Historical Society (shsmo.org/support/); or Lenoir Woods Benevolent Fund (www.lssliving.org/communities/lenoir-woods-columbia-mo/).