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610 S. Duncan St.
Stillwater, OK 74074
Phone: (405) 372-5550
Fax: (405) 372-5608
Michael Schoenecke

Michael Keith Schoenecke

Thursday March 17, 1949 - Saturday December 26, 2020
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Dr. Michael Keith Schoenecke, age 71, of Stillwater, Oklahoma passed away on December 26, 2020 at 11:33 p.m. at Renaissance in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Michael was born March 17, 1949 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Roy Fredrick and Mary Louise Schoenecke. He was lucky enough to have lived in a number of cities and states, including Oklahoma, Washington state, Guam, Ohio, Texas and returning home to Oklahoma after retirement. Michael’s family traveled through the Orient on their way home from Guam, giving him the opportunity to see Hong Kong. He relished seeing the world and vowed to do the same for his family, a promise that he was committed to his entire life.

Michael married Deborah Joan Cole on June 20, 1970 at Linwood Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. He earned his B.A. in English from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Afterwards he earned an M.A. in English at UCO and a Ph.D. as a Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies from Oklahoma State University. Michael went on to become a professor at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Nebraska for two years. Then he joined the English Department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where he founded and built the Film Studies Program. He retired after 33 years at Texas Tech.

Michael was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was a co-founder of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association and served as the Executive Director of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for 5 years. In both roles he was responsible for building the membership, and did so with consistent membership increases every year.

Michael was an excellent golfer and had a passion for the game and its history. He even tried out for the US Amateur in 1986. He wrote several articles about golf and enjoyed researching its history. He loved to travel, taking his family on many trips through the western United States. He also traveled with his wife and friends to National Parks, enjoyed cruising, visited the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Iceland, Wales and Scotland.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Mary Schoenecke, and his brothers Phil Schoenecke and Jay Schoenecke. He is survived by his wife, Deborah; daughters Heather Disarro (Nate) and Salah Gibbons (Brett); four grandchildren Weston, Austin, Maggie and Jackson; his sister Jan Baccus and her husband Garrett; sisters-in-law Mary Kay Windham (Buddy) and Cindy Wells (Doyce) along with numerous nieces and nephews; dear friends Gary and Charla Hurt.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or

The family would like to thank all of those who have given of their time, aid, meals, and support to help Deborah, his sister Jan, and friends Gary and Charla with his care needs. The staff at Renaissance, Visiting Angels and Physician’s Choice Hospice were instrumental in caring for him when Deborah was not able to. Special thanks to Jake and Sarah Erlich and Joe and Linda Millar who have been the hands and feet of Jesus as their neighbors and friends.

Memorial services will be held January 16 ,2021; however, due to COVID-19 concerns it will be a private ceremony. Video of the service, as well as space for sharing of memories, can be found on Michael’s page at
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    Saturday, January 16th, 2021 |
    Saturday, January 16th, 2021


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Posted at 12:52am
I had just looked his name up, being one of the few college professors I remember from the early 90s. His passion for film and stories really sparked my interest in those areas (even though it was not my major at the time). I distinctly remember his analysis of “A Streetcar Named Desire” left a huge impression on me as a young artist. He also brought Robert Rodriguez’ debut “El Mariachi” to Lubbock, which may have been the first real independent film I ever saw. I’m very grateful for his influence. My condolences to his family. - Greg V (Austin TX)

Deborah Schoenecke Posted at 11:05am

Greg, Thank you for your kind comments. It is always a pleasure to hear how Mike touched so many lives. God bless you. Debby Schoenecke

Jill Patterson

Posted at 11:50am
Mike was a kind presence in the English Department at Tech, and I was always so grateful that he was there. He was the first senior faculty member to observe my teaching, and he was supportive and generous during that process, and continued to be my friend until he retired. I was always glad to see him in the halls, knowing that I could count on his smile and a friendly conversation. I am thinking of you, Deborah, and your girls. Sending you so much love--

Deborah Schoenecke Posted at 11:07am

Jill, he was very proud of all you did at TTU. He praised you often. Debby Schoenecke

dave kraus

Posted at 12:18am
Debby- I was very saddened to hear of Mike's passing. Always enjoyed him when we were both at Tech and when we were neighbors for a short time at Quail Creek. A fine man who will be missed. My prayers are with you and your family.

Gary Bowe

Posted at 06:23pm
I enjoyed playing golf with Mike at Meadowbrook for many years. I am sorry for your loss. He was a great guy and a great friend.
Gary Bowe

Deborah Schoenecke Posted at 11:08am

Gary, Mike truly enjoyed his golfing rounds with you. Hope you and Judy are doing well. Debby


Posted at 03:48pm
This is a letter that Mike's mother wrote to him when he was a young man:

Dear Mike:

We've always loved you best because you drew a tough spot in the family, and it made you stronger for it. You cried less, had more patience, wore faded hand-me-downs until you grew taller than Phil, and never did we hear you complain about the hand-me-downs. It made you more special. You were the one we relaxed with and realized a dog could kiss you (or you kiss a pig) and you wouldn't get sick. You could cross a street by yourself long before you were old enough to go to school. And you helped us understand the world wouldn't collapse if you went to bed with dirty feet. Although we doubt if you did as you would come in from play saying you were going to take a "refresher," and off you would go to play in the bathtub for a while. You were a determined child. Remember when the YMCA said you had to be 7 years old or 45" tall to be eligible for the "Learn to Swim Class?" You went in the office alone and convinced them that you should be allowed in the class. On Mother's Day you had no money to spend, but wrote a letter of love and appreciation saying you would do the dishes for four weeks. Another Mother's Day you wrote a poem that is still cherished. Then your first job cam along and you bought a Mother's ring, which is worn constantly. You are appreciated so much for being a thoughtful child. You were the child of our busy, ambitious years. Without you we never could have survived the job changes and the tedium and routine that is marriage.
From Debby:
Mike, you carried on with that thoughtfulness and unselfishness throughout our marriage always putting me and the girls first. When I wanted to go back to graduate school, you told the girls that you and they were going to help me out by taking on more chores at home. You would make "Mike's" special spaghetti or "old dead bugs and worms" (spaghetti sauce with olives on spaghetti.) You would vacuum the house every week, from thence came the famous dance known as the "V" or the "Double V."
You searched for the perfect Mother's ring for me as well as other lovely jewelry for my birthdays throughout the years. You picked the girls up early from daycare or school and took them skating or to the mall, getting frozen yogurt as well as breakfast dates at McDonald's. You helped and encouraged them in academic pursuits and in sports. You were a great team dad at volleyball and basketball tournaments. No one could have a better husband or parenting partner than you. I love and miss you so much. Debby

Steve Finley Posted at 02:21am

My goodness. We should all hope to be thought of and remembered so well by the people we love.

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