Brenda H. Schoener, a retired Anne Arundel County public school educator who helped create a backpack program for children in need, died Monday of cancer at her home in Severna Park. She was 75.
The daughter of Stanley Hall, a mechanical engineer, and Brenda Hall, a social worker, Brenda Chapman Hall was born and raised in Cleveland, and graduated in 1957 from Cleveland High School.
She earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1961 from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, and later studied for a master's degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
She earned a master's degree in education in 1975 from Youngstown State University in Ohio.
While studying at Muskingum, she met and fell in love with a fellow student, the Rev. Dr. W. Terry Schoener, whom she married in 1961.
Mrs. Schoener taught school in Pittsburgh, as well as in Medina and Warren, both in Ohio, before coming to Anne Arundel County when her husband was named pastor of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park.
Mrs. Schoener taught elementary students at Rippling Woods and Edgewater elementary schools until retiring in 2007.
"She was called back that year as a Right Start Advisor to mentor first-year teachers, and she did that job until 2011," said Dr. Schoener, who retired after serving as pastor of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church for 27 years.
After retiring, she tutored for the Literary Council and volunteered at Meals on Wheels and at the Caring Connection.
Mrs. Schoener was active in her husband's church, where she advocated for refugee resettlement, taught confirmation classes and cared for children in the cribbery.
She and her husband established Backpack Buddies of Anne Arundel County Inc., a nonprofit providing weekend meals, coats and hats, blankets and summer camp to children at Tyler Heights Elementary School in Annapolis.
"All of this is done through the extraordinary support of many donors and volunteers," her husband said.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at her church, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Schoener is survived by two sons, Bradley Schoener of Severna Park and Matthew Schoener of Massies Mill, Va.; a daughter, Halle Schoener Randles of Zanesville, Ohio; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
— Frederick N. Rasmussen