Cover photo for Louis Astor "Joe" Schooler's Obituary
Louis Astor "Joe" Schooler Profile Photo
1949 Joe 2024

Louis Astor "Joe" Schooler

October 30, 1949 — April 14, 2024

St. Charles, Missouri

Louis Astor “Joe” Schooler

In memory of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Louis Astor “Joe” Schooler, who reached eternal life on April 14, 2024, at home in Saint Charles, Missouri.

Louis, whose grandfather first affectionately called him Joe, was born on October 30, 1949, in Denver, Colorado to Louis Astor Schooler, Sr. and Lela Mae Lamey Schooler. While Joe’s father was a veteran who served in World War II as part of the famous Red Ball Express truck convoy – primarily staffed by African American soldiers – it was his mother’s example of a strong work ethic that profoundly influenced Joe. Joe’s mother worked numerous jobs as she cared for her children and earned her college education. She retired as a beloved kindergarten teacher.

Joe and his five older siblings – Melburn, Gertrude, Joyce, Donnie, and Ronnie – spent their early years in Arkansas City, Kansas, living with their grandmother Gertrude Davis. Joe was an avid athlete, who especially enjoyed baseball, swimming, running track and football. In Ark City, Joe attended Pershing Elementary and formed lasting friendships with Louis Morris, Bobby Burnette, and Tedrick “Teddy”, Eugene, and Dennison “Bones” Woods.

When his grandmother died in 1963, Joe moved to Wichita, Kansas, where his mother was working. At Mathewson Junior High, he made life connections with Sharon Ann McCray and Dennis Chiles. For high school, Joe attended Wichita North where he continued his education and athletic pursuits by lettering in football and track. Sharon was Joe’s date for both his junior and senior proms. Much like his mother, Joe always had a job. In high school, even as a scholar athlete, Joe traveled throughout Kansas as a coin collector for Southwestern Bell Telephone. Joe graduated as a proud member of the Class of 1967.

At Cowley County Junior College, Joe, Louis Morris and Dennis Chiles were roommates and played on the football team in 1967 and 1968. Then in 1969, Joe transferred to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah to pursue his education and play football. And in 1970, he transferred to Emporia State Teachers’ College (Emporia State University), where he played football with Teddy Woods, Cecil Scroggins, and others. Joe became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, as part of “The Lucky 13 Line” of the Beta Psi Chapter in Manhattan, Kansas on January 17, 1971.

Joe and Sharon married on April 17, 1971, in Wichita, while both were students in Emporia. They had JoAnna Sharif on October 29, 1971; and in December, Joe earned a bachelor’s in business administration.

Joe worked for the City of Wichita for a brief time before joining the Fourth National Bank in Wichita in 1972. In 1975, he returned to Southwestern Bell Telephone full-time as supervisor of a line crew in Wichita, and in 1978, only a month after having his second daughter Shannon Lynnette, Joe transferred to Saint Louis, which was the company’s headquarters. Joe worked in management roles in Coin Operations and National Accounts. While working at SBC in Saint Louis, Joe and Sharon built treasured friendships with John and Charletta Jones, Ted and Annie Johnson, James and Phyllis Kirklin, Arno Sams, Eugene Elliot, and Michael Brundy, who is Joe’s fraternity brother. Joe retired after more than 25 years of service to Southwestern Bell in 2000.

As a retiree, Joe supported his family. He primarily assisted with his mother’s care and helped his sister Gertrude, as needed living part-time in Wichita from 2005-2016. In 2016, Joe returned to Missouri full-time, and in 2018, Joe welcomed his granddaughter Lela Louise Garrett.

Along with watching Western TV shows, college football and NFL games, and smoking meat, Joe loved the St. Louis Cardinals and live music. He traveled to jazz festivals around the country with anyone who wanted to join, including his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Joyce and Daniel Pearson, and his sister Joyce and bother-in-law Clarance Johnson. Among his fondest memories were Arkalalah reunions in Ark City, large Thanksgiving gatherings in Wichita, and Emporia Connection weekends. Joe delighted in making treks to Columbia, Missouri for Mizzou football games and to Champaign, Illinois for Big Ten matchups. He loved hanging out in New York City, while visiting JoAnna in New Jersey. He also cherished time spent in California with Sharon, and with Teddy and JoAnna visiting London, Paris, and the beaches of Normandy. Joe capped off his baseball experience at Game 7 of the 2011 World Series and culminated his football travel at the Rose Bowl in January of 2019.

Joe joyfully partnered with Sharon to provide daytime childcare for Lela Louise until 2023, and while doing so rarely missed “Let’s Make a Deal.” Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and his recent health concerns, he stayed in touch with his siblings and friends near and far by phone. He also thoroughly enjoyed videoconferences with his Emporia State friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his father, Louis Schooler, Sr. in 1995; his eldest sister, Gertrude Brown Duckett in 2015, his mother, Lela Mae Schooler in 2017; his brother-in-law Marcellus Duckett in 2018; his eldest brother, Melburn Brown in 2019, and his sister-in-law, Beverlyn Brown in 2024.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Sharon McCray Schooler, his daughters JoAnna Schooler of Saint Charles, Mo.; Shannon Schooler Garrett (Jearl) of Saint Peters, Mo.; his sister Joyce Johnson (Clarance) of Tucson, Ariz.; his brother Waldon “Don” Brown of Topeka, Kan.; his brother Walton “Ron” Brown (Jennifer) of Dallas, Texas; his step-sister Barbara A. Dempsey (Raymond) of Winfield, Kan.; and sisters-in-law Joyce McCray Pearson (Mitchell Daniel) of Spanish Lake, Mo.; Mary Ann Robison of Topeka, Kan., and Judy Billings of Topeka, Kans.; and beloved granddaughter Lela Louise Garrett, of Saint Peters, Mo. He also leaves his cousins Janice Mills and Gayle Schooler Thomas of Wichita, Kansas; twenty-nine nieces and nephews, a host of cherished great nieces and great nephews, and countless dear friends.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Louis Astor "Joe" Schooler, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 22, 2024

10:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Baue Funeral Home - Cave Springs

3950 W Clay, St Charles, MO 63301

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Funeral Service

Monday, April 22, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Baue Funeral Home - Cave Springs

3950 W Clay, St Charles, MO 63301


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