Emily Schuder Chasse, devoted wife and beloved mother and Grandmother, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2023. Emily was born on June 10, 1953 to Charles and Ann Schuder. She grew up alongside her sister and brothers, skipping through the streets of Marshalltown, Iowa, and meeting lifelong friends. She carried the values ingrained in her then throughout her nearly 70 years, modeling them in the woman she was, instilling them in the woman she raised, and inspiring them in each person who crossed her path.
With every ounce of her being, she embodied the principles of her Quaker faith, by living simply so others might simply live, and speaking to the light of God in everyone. She also acted on those values through her tireless commitment to social justice work, including years of volunteering at Mercy Housing Shelter, advocating for peace and women’s rights through marches and protests, and teaching incarcerated men alternatives to violence.
While humble and gentle, Emily was also a determined force, and fiercely independent. In high school she challenged the track coach on why girls were not allowed to run track. When she saw a girl’s track uniform draped over her locker the next day, she knew she had made her case. In college, she drove from Iowa to California alone in her blue Pinto station wagon to study a newly emerging theory on child development, after a quick lesson from her Dad on how to change the tires should she need to.
From an early age, Emily loved stories. From classic children’s books, to myths and fairy tales, to recounting the adventures of her spitfire Grandmother Roxie, she lit up whenever she read or told a story. She spent her career sharing books and information as a research librarian at Central Connecticut State University for more than 30 years, after starting out as a children’s librarian at Plainville Public Library. Outside of her career, she nurtured a love of reading in her daughter and grandchildren, curated a book collection at Hartford Monthly Meeting, and was an avid reader, book group member, and Scrabble player. Before she retired, she wrote and published a book, Telling Tales, to help educators and others learn the art of storytelling.
She leaves behind countless family and friends, including the love of her life Bill, her daughter Sarah, her grandchildren Eli and Emma, and her siblings Sally, Tom, and John. Her sweet soul will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her, and through the kindness she planted wherever she went.