Dorothy Henrietta Meyer Schnaible, 93, went home to her Lord on April 14, 2021 at Aspen Park of Cascadia in Moscow where she had lived for the past four years. Dorothy was the second child born to Thelma Schmidt Meyer and Herman Meyer on the family farm in Leland, Idaho in 1927. She was baptized at Cameron Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Dorothy’s family included sisters Margaret, Hermina, and Loeda, brother Theodore, and Lawrence Abitz, a cousin who came to live with the Meyers. Dorothy attended elementary school in Leland and the first three years of high school in Southwick. She completed her senior year at Lewiston High School while living with her grandparents and pursuing music lessons. Dorothy studied music, German, and history at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, WA, graduating in 1949.
After graduation, Dorothy attended a conference where she heard about the urgent need for missionaries to India and answered a call from the American Lutheran Church. To prepare, she spent the next year studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 1950, at age 23, she boarded a steamer ship and traveled to India where she began her service with the South Andhra Lutheran Church. To better communicate with her community, she became proficient in the Telugu language. She led classes and Bible studies for women and children. She was supervisor of a boarding school that served orphaned children and widowed women in Nayudupet, a town in the state of Andhra Pradesh. She formed life-long friendships with Indian colleagues and other missionaries. Scheduled furloughs away from India gave Dorothy opportunities to travel, including a trip to Europe to visit German relatives. In 1963, she returned to Union Theological Seminary to complete her Master of Religious Education degree. She appreciated opportunities to speak about her work to audiences back home and her extended family delighted in her visits.
Upon leaving India in 1971, Dorothy returned to northern Idaho. From 1972-1974 she was Minister of Education at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow where she organized a preschool and served as director. In 1975, she married Fred Schnaible, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Endicott, WA. They moved to Moscow where they had a beautiful yard and enjoyed gardening, entertaining, and traveling. They visited India and Germany together and traveled often to Tacoma as Dorothy served on the PLU Board of Regents 1976 – 1986.
Following Fred’s passing in 1987, Dorothy continued to live in Moscow. She was an active member of Emmanuel Church and the WELCA women’s group. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, mentored several international students, and was part of a writing group. In 1993, she self-published “Handful of Love: A Lutheran Missionary in India,” a book of stories about her work as a missionary and travel experiences. She took many trips with the Roadrunners Club and often visited friends and relatives in other states.
Dorothy is survived by sisters Hermina Meyer and Loeda (Horst) Reil, sister-in-law Marlene Meyer, all of Kendrick; nephews Dale (Patti) Silflow and Jack Meyer; nieces Carolyn Silflow (Pete Lefebvre), Mariann (Ed) Lynch, Joan (Randy) Tiede, Susan (Mike) Kelly, Catherine (John) Cochran, Karen (Mike) Larson and Heidi Schaefer. Her step-children are Marvin (Dee Dee) Schnaible of Puyallup and Ellen Schnaible Breiten (Paul Roof) of Renton. Step-grandchildren are Paul (Joan) Schnaible and Jenna (Kevin) Hanson.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brother Ted Meyer and sister Margaret Silflow.
Dorothy’s family wishes to thank her caregivers at Aspen Park.
Memorials are preferred to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow and ELCA Global Mission.
She will be laid to rest with Fred at the Moscow Cemetery.
Funeral services are pending.
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