Amherst, Massachusetts — Dr. James Bertram Schooley, age 96, died peacefully at his home in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 2, 2013.
Dr. Schooley was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Arnold Thomas Schooley and Jocelyn Hiatt Schooley, the second of four siblings. He attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, then joined the Army during World War II, serving as a Lieutenant in New Caledonia, the Fiji Islands and the Philippines. He married Janice Baxter, launched a career teaching Botany at the college level, and earned his doctorate degree with research on the genetics of American wildflowers. He joined the faculties at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts, from which he retired as a tenured Professor in 1988.
Retirement included marriage to Alma (Sank) Schooley, now of El Paso, Texas, as well as the reconstruction of an eighteenth century post and beam farm house in Jefferson, Maine, and authorship of several books. He published "Trails of Our Fathers," a comprehensive annotated history of the Schooley family, in 1988, and "Introduction to Botany," an illustrated college textbook, in 1997. Unpublished work, "Believing is Seeing," explored the historical development of religious thought, and was completed in his nineties.
He will be remembered for his charm, his integrity, and his tireless passion for engineering (and persuading) a better world, in word and deed. He is survived by a family who loves and admires him, including daughters, Susan Schooley (Detroit), Sarah Schooley (Amherst, Mass.), Rachel Taddeo (Salem, Mass.), grandchildren, Benjamin Wilks, Jake Gerstein, Rebekah Gerstein, Hannah Taddeo, Troy Hambric, Odessa Hambric, and great-grandchildren, Alissa Ferrari and Ella Boys.