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Mary Ann Schroeder, 80, passed peacefully on Sunday morning, September 16, 2018 at her home surrounded by her family.
She was born May 4, 1938 in Van Wert, Ohio, the daughter of the late Carl E. Tomlinson and Katherine M. (Giessler) Tomlinson. A graduate of Convoy Union High School and Elmhurst College (Elmhurst, IL) with a B.A. in Education.
Ms. Schroeder was a lifelong educator, working many years as a kindergarten teacher in Mansfield, Ohio; being honored as a Martha Holden Jennings Education Scholar in 1983-84 and as the Mansfield City School’s Employee of the Year in 1993. She also served as an active member of the OEA and NEA serving as the local union president. She continued volunteering for many years in local elementary schools; tutoring non-English speaking students and assisting with testing.
Faith was a cornerstone of her life serving as Director of Christian Education at First Congregational Church (Mansfield, OH) for 13 years and continuing to be extremely active in the First Presbyterian Church (Defiance, OH). She loved music and was a lifelong choir member and soloist. She also played in the hand bell choir, directed the childrens' choir and taught Sunday school.
Retirement allowed volunteer opportunities to further her mission of service to others. Often assuming leadership roles including: serving two years as President of the Defiance chapter of the American Association of University Women, two years as Program Chairperson of the Mansfield, OH chapter of the AAUW, Group Leader for Presbyterian Women and a member of the Board of United Way, Mansfield, OH.
Mary Ann cared deeply about many things including ecological issues, peace in our world, and the arts; but her love was her family and friends. She took great joy in every aspect of her children and grandchildren’s lives; celebrating and supporting all that was important to them.
She will always be remembered for her love. Her greatest love was that which she had for, and instilled in, her family. The care that she took in finding the right words for a note or the perfect gift to give was always evident. Her love of friends was displayed by always being there in times of joy or need. May all that crossed her path honor her by sharing their love with others to be the change you wish to see in the world.
She is survived by sister Eleanor Focht of Allentown PA; children Karl (Vicki) Schroeder of West Chester, PA, Paul (Katie) Schroeder of Westerville, OH and Julie (Matt) Brown of Defiance, grandchildren; Keely (Stuart) Robinson, Kelsey Schroeder, Ryan (Laura Jo) Schroeder, Ty Schroeder, Rachel Schroeder and Kameron Brown.
Preceded in death by sons Darrell Lee and Dennis Lee Schroeder and granddaughter Nicole Schroeder.
Calling hours are from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2018 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance. Celebration of Life will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 22, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Ann Wasson officiating. A private interment will be held at First Congregational Church (Mansfield, OH).
Memorial contributions may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or Kaitlyn’s Cottage of Defiance. Online condolences can be given at www.Schafferfh.com