Marilyn Katherine Schowengerdt Pryor

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  • "Dear Brant & Family, I am so sorry to hear the news of..."
    - Ellen Vaccaro-Hartmann
  • "Brandt and Carrie, we mourn your loss with you even as we..."
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    - Wallace Klein
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Pryor, Marilyn Katherine Schowengerdt Marilyn Katherine Schowengerdt Pryor died at home March 20, 2014 of heart failure. She was born October 16, 1921 in Columbia, MO. She was graduated from Dewey Elementary School in 1934 (St. Louis), from University City's Junior and Senior High Schools, from Christian College in Columbia, MO, and from Washington University in 1942. At WU she had a double major in English and music, and was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. She then enrolled in Miss Hickey's secretarial school, and later worked as secretary to the dean of the WU medical school. She married 2nd Lieutenant Arnold A. Pryor (United States Army Air Force) first pilot of a B-24 in 1944. She followed him to various bases across the country where he took advanced flight training. They had their first child, Brandt, while Arne was still stationed in England. Their second child Karen was born four years later. Marilyn earned her master's degree in educational administration at Washington University in 1970, while working full-time, and caring for her family. She began her career in adult/ continuing education in 1957, working part-time, managing the Washington University Association lecture series in Graham Chapel, for the Office of Professional and Community Programs, School of Continuing Education at WU. She assumed other responsibilities over the years, including the art movie series held at Brown Hall, the Weekend Great Books at WU's Bromwoods Country Conference Center, business seminars at Bromwoods, and the Annual Area Junior High School Journalists' Press Conference, among others. By the time she resigned in 1980, she was Director of Professional and Community Programs, administering a staff of 13 clerical and professional personnel. Later she accepted the position of Director of Continuing Education at the Missouri Institute of Psychiatry (in St. Louis), where she served until 1990. There she administered seminars in mental health throughout the state of Missouri including the original Alzheimer's program. She also originated and managed a weeklong conference on mental health, held in New Delhi. She was an active member of Grace United Methodist Church from the early 1930's when her parents moved back to St. Louis from Memphis, TN. As an adult volunteer, Marilyn was active in women's groups at Grace Church, especially the production of plays and musicals. She and Arne were active in the Couplers Club at Grace, where they made many lifelong friends. Marilyn was also active in the Delta Gamma Sorority alumnae association, where she served as president, and annually recruited her husband and children to work with her at the sorority's Christmas Tree Lot whose proceeds benefited the blind. (She was a founding member of the Tree Lot, and served as publicity chairman.) She was also active in the Junior Women's Symphony Association, and the Children's Art Bazaar. Marilyn was an enthusiastic bridge player and traveler. She began traveling regularly to business meetings and then began managing travel groups abroad. She began leading European tours for Montclair Travel, often times with Arne. The two of them also traveled by themselves, and with their grown children. She traveled to most western, middle, and eastern European countries (including Russia, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey); to India and China; to Kenya, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt in Africa; and to Israel and Jordan in the Middle East. Before each trip, she thoroughly researched the areas to be visited. By the 1970s she was also an enthusiastic reader for pleasure, primarily of history and biography. She was predeceased by her grandparents Dr. and Mrs. Edward H. Brandt and Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Schowengerdt, her uncle Neal Schowengerdt and aunt Margaret Schowengerdt, all of Warrenton, MO; her father, Paul Franklin Schowengerdt and mother, Mabel Brandt Schowengerdt, her aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Ernst Schowengerdt, all of St. Louis, MO; her husband Arnold A. Pryor and daughter Karen A. Pryor of St. Louis, and her cousin Jonathan Sauer of Pacific Palisades, CA. She leaves behind her son, Brandt W. Pryor, and daughter-in-law Caroline R. Pryor of St. Louis, and her cousins Erwin Ernst Schowengerdt, Jr. of Newburyport, MA, and Elizabeth Sauer FitzSimmons of Berkeley, CA. Services: The memorial service will be held in Crawford Chapel of Grace United Methodist Church, at Skinker and Waterman, Wednesday March 26 at 1:30 p.m. (Parking is available in the Church lot one block north of the church at McPherson and Skinker.) Internment will be private, at the Schowengerdt family plot in the Warrenton City Cemetery, Warrenton, MO.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch from Mar. 23 to Mar. 25, 2014
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