Deschner, Margareta Neovius Margareta Neovius Deschner, Associate Professor emerita of German at Southern Methodist University, died peacefully at home in Richardson, TX on Aug. 26, 2013. She was 93. Dr. Deschner was a native Finn, born in Helsinki on January 19, 1920, the daughter of the Chief Justice of the Finnish Supreme Court. She finished secondary school in 1938, and then juggled studying literature and languages at the University of Helsinki with serving on the front lines as a member of the women's auxiliary corps in the two wars 1939-1944 fought by Finland against the Soviet Union. After graduating with an M.A. in 1945, she worked as Foreign Secretary of the Finnish Student Christian Movement and met her future husband John Deschner in 1946 at an international conference in Switzerland. After marrying in 1949, Dr. Deschner left Finland with her husband for the U.S. Over the course of the next decade, she gave birth to three sons Martin, Paul and Thomas, while remaining active as a freelance journalist as the family moved to New Jersey, then to Switzerland and finally to Dallas. She completed a second M.A. in 1959 in comparative literature at SMU and a Ph.D. in German literature at the University of Colorado in 1966. She taught German and French till 1963 at Arlington State College (now UTA) and German language and literature at SMU for over two decades, retiring in 1986. Dr. Deschner was also a core faculty member of SMU's Women's Studies program, and regularly taught the course Women in Modern Literature in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at SMU. She is survived by her three sons and their wives Kimberly, Saskia and Neva and three grandchildren Rebecca, Caitlin and Eric. A memorial service will be held Friday, December 27 at 10:30 am at First United Methodist Church, 3160 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, Texas 75074. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army at donate.salvationarmyusa.org
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Published in Dallas Morning News from Dec. 19 to Dec. 22, 2013