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Obituary of Martha Davis Schroeder
Martha Schroeder died with dignity at home on the afternoon of February 25, 2021. She was 90 years old. Her fear of losing control to dementia and blindness was peacefully put to rest. Martha Powell Davis was born on November 10, 1930 in Brooklyn, NY to her parents, Mildred and Wesley Davis. During formative childhood years, she was raised by her grandmother, Hallie Kelley Davis, from whom she received some of her greatest influence and love. Martha graduated from Brown University (then Penbroke for women). She married Fred Schroeder in 1951 and quickly transitioned into a “career” of marriage and homemaking. They moved to Albany where Fred took a job as the Director of the newly created Albany Boys Club and the first of their three children was born. Martha returned to school to gain secretarial skills at Albany Business College, which led her to working as a secretary for 15 years at the Unitarian church in Albany, which the family also attended. Martha is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Beth (Newman) Schroeder, her daughter Jan McCracken, her former son-in-law, Marty, her brothers, Walter and Robert Davis, and three grandchildren, Jake, Daniel, and Riley. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Hallie, and the love of her life, Fred. Active in the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany since 1958, she often spoke about the importance of the church in her life as a source of inspiration, lasting friendships, and activities that stirred her heart and mind. She and Fred both died as “pillars” of this community. Throughout their long loving marriage, Martha and Fred traveled the continent, hiking and canoeing miles of trails and waterways. They were devoted to Thacher Park and very generously financed the building and endowment of the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center in the park. Among her many volunteer pursuits, Martha was active in education and advocacy for the Right-to-Die movement on local and state levels for most of her adult life. Martha will be remembered for her honest approach to life and people, her moral compass, and her ability to be a “best friend” to so many, including her daughter, Jan. Her stellar organizational skills must also be duly noted. She will be remembered in a Memorial Service at 3:00 pm on March 20, 2021 which will take place online. For more information and the link, visit http://albanyuu.org. In lieu of flowers, donations to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany or the Nature Conservancy will gratefully be received.