Mary Lou Shroyer, 83

Published 4:46pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mary Louise Shroyer, 83

Born: Aug. 9, 1930

Died: Jan. 30, 2013

Mary Louise (Kempton) Shroyer, 83, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at Forest Glen Assisted Living in Dowagiac.

Mary Lou was born Aug. 9, 1930, in Chicago, to Henry and Mary Elfreda Kempton.

Orphaned at three years old, Mary Lou was taken in and raised by her maternal grandparents, Oswald and Otillie Schwartz on their Decatur farm.

She was a graduate of Dowagiac Public Schools (1946) and Western Normal School (for teachers).

On Aug. 22, 1947, she married Richard Hobart Shroyer in South Bend, Ind.

They began married life in her grandmother’s farm house, Route 2, Decatur, where they lived for the next 45 years before moving into a custom-built cottage overlooking the pond at the back of their farm.

Mary Lou first taught at a country school in Keeler Township. After the consolidation of area country schools, she began a long career as elementary librarian for Decatur Public Schools.

She made the library a warm and cozy place with her puppets, posters and plants.

Students especially enjoyed rolling out the “magic carpets” Mrs. Shroyer kept in the library for them to sit upon as she took them around the world with her storytelling.

Teachers could count on her to provide an organized array of supplemental reading materials for their classroom lessons.

Many now-grown Decatur students credit Mrs. Shroyer for helping to expand and enrich their world through the magic of reading.

Besides reading, Mary Lou also enjoyed needlepoint, bird watching, gardening and shopping.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Decatur and past president of the Decatur Education Support Personnel Association (DESPA).

Mary Lou was preceded in death, 12 days earlier, by her husband Richard “Hobie.”

She is survived by: three sons, Jon (Terra) of Decatur; Dan (Mary) of Middlebury, Ind.; and Joel (Leonda) of Decatur.

Also surviving are seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial service will be held in the spring.

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