Annette "Toni" Schroeder, formerly of Durham, passed away on September 2, 2017 in Lee, NH. She had celebrated her 100th birthday at a family party in her honor this past January.
Born Antoinette Strino in Strawn, Texas, she was raised with her six loving siblings in Ford City, PA and Larchmont, NY. Spunky and adventurous, Annette seized every opportunity to live a rich life. Widowed within six months of her marriage to Jack Chute, she enlisted in the first contingent of WAACs (later WACs) to replace him in the war effort. By the end of WWII, she had attained the rank of Sergeant despite lacking a high school diploma, joined family in New Hampshire, completed her high school education at Pinkerton Academy, met her husband of fifty-two years, Rudy Schroeder, at a big-band dance in Manchester, and enrolled at UNH on the GI bill, earning her BA in economics in 1952.
Until the early 1970s, Annette taught elementary school, first in Connecticut, then in Durham, Dover, and Lee and Londonderry. A creative teacher with high expectations, she involved her students in charitable drives, and enriched their classwork through field trips and Shakespearean scene study. She was active in the National Education Association, serving as the NH representative at conferences in Miami and Portugal. Her travel extended to trips with her family across the US and Canada, and to Romania, Italy, Germany, Austria and England.
In addition to her teaching, Annette was active throughout her life in professional and community theatre, winning awards as an actress and as a director. Known for her comedic work, she performed or directed with groups in Connecticut and New Hampshire including UNH's Mask & Dagger, Hackmatack Players, the Garrison Players, Northwood Theatre Workshop, Bow Lake Community theatre, and Theatre by the Sea.
Spirited, fun loving, and devoted to friends and family, Annette left an imprint on all who knew her. Daughters Marlena and Melodie, sons-in-law Bill Maher and Jack Desmond, beloved grandchildren Christopher, Erika, Jack and Joshua, and sisters Edith Cesario and Gloria Ellis, will forever miss her. Also left behind are sister-in-law Charlotte Patzke, twenty-one nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and nephews. Annette is predeceased by her husband, Rudy Schroeder, and siblings August Strino, Julia Sandonato, Albert Canil and William Canil.
Family will be notified of private funeral arrangements. Condolences and memories may be left on the Brewitt Funeral Home website. We extend our gratitude to the wonderful staff of Kirkwood Corner Senior Residence for their kind and respectful care of Annette during her last year.