Marcia Joan Schroeder was born on February 15, 1940 in Syracuse, New York to Arthur and Mary Willis. She had two older brothers, Ray and Roy, who both preceded her in death. As well as a surviving younger brother, Fred Willis.
Her Father Arthur was a police officer and her Mother Mary was a homemaker. They both instilled in their children a deep respect for the community and their fellow neighbors. Growing up she enjoyed spending time with her family, especially taking trips along the Saint Lawrence River.
In high school Marcia was very involved in extra curricular activities and lived up to her ambition statement, “to be a success in whatever she attempted.” After graduating high school in 1957 she went on to college with the goal of becoming a teacher. She graduated from college in 1961 with her Bachelors degree and immediately started teaching in an elementary school.
Marcia loved children and made an excellent educator for 32 years! Teaching hundreds of children from grades second to fifth in several elementary schools in New York, Florida, and the Virgin Islands.
That love of teaching carried over when she learned the truth about Jehovah God and his purposes for mankind. She dedicated her life in service to him on August 13, 1965. And on December 18, 1965 she married the love of her life and Bible study teacher, Robert Schroeder. They were married for 51 years until his death in 2017.
Marcia was thrilled to become a second mother to Theodore and Timothy, and in 1968 she and Robert welcomed Jonathan Daniel into the family. She and Robert collectively had 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Marcia always said her life was an adventure. She spent seven years in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands helping many to come to learn Bible truths. She saw more than 20 of her Bible students dedicate their lives by water baptism adding many spiritual children and grandchildren to her family. Marcia enjoyed regular pioneering for many years and was able to attend the Pioneer Service School in 2003 with Heather, one of her Daughters-in-Law.
Marcia had a unique ability to light up the room and bring a smile to everyone she came in contact with. She treated herself regularly to “low fat” frozen yogurt and ice cream. Closely resembling her favorite Movie Actress, Julie Andrews, in her portrayal as Maria in the Sound of Music; Marcia was always counted upon to sing “So long, farewell, to you, and you, and you” to anyone staying in her home as she retired for the evening. Having great love for animals, her closest companion was Emma or as she affectionately called her, “the little black seal”, who remained by her side till the very end.
In her later years she provided much support, comfort, and care to her son Jonathan and his wife Heather while they battled colon cancer. Losing them within less than two months of each other, earlier this year, was very difficult for Marcia to endure. Suffering from a brain hemorrhage three days after Heather passed away, she never lost her kindness, graciousness, or appreciation for what others did for her. Her Niece Becky, Daughter-in-law Rosemary, Spiritual Granddaughter Brandy, and Grandson Jacob, took care of her for several weeks while she was in the hospital and then was brought back to her home. She enjoyed some of her “favorite things” one last time until she took her final breath with her loved ones by her side. She never feared death! She knew she would simply go to sleep and would wake back up in a Paradise on Earth where death, pain, and sorrow would belong to yesterday. Her adventure is not over, but will continue very soon. Until that time, her love of life and her positive outlook will be greatly missed by all!