Donna Kay Schroeder

November 11, 1939March 23, 2019

Donna Kay Schroeder made her grand entrance in this world on November 11, 1939 in the small town of Marked Tree, Arkansas. She departed, surrounded by family, on March 23, 2019, in Rogers, Arkansas. She was predeceased by her parents, Elmer James Herman Schroeder and Johnnye Winston Shaw Schroeder, an infant brother and her son-in-law, Ralph Emery.

As a young farmer’s daughter, she enjoyed many activities such as horseback riding and fishing. Some of her favorite memories were spending time at the family’s old log house in Sardis, Mississippi. Her love for the outdoors continued through life. After graduating from high school, she attended Ole Miss and enjoyed being a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

As a young mother, she was Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Room Mother (x4), expert Chauffer and occasional emergency driver of the family station wagon (complete with wood paneled siding), School Secretary, Cub Scout Leader, Cheerleading Mom, Basketball, Football and Band fan. She enrolled her children in every conceivable activity including piano lessons and art classes; continuously reminding them that there is a great big world out there!

Kay was an artist and often painted the people and places that she loved. She was a founding member of the Lepanto Arkansas Museum and enjoyed working on displays, securing artifacts and history of the local area. She delighted in being outdoors whether gardening, hiking, bird watching, camping or canoeing her beloved Buffalo National River. She was a dedicated member of the Ozark Society and a dear friend of Dr. Neil Compton who led the campaign to save the Buffalo River, designated as the first National River. For a number of years, she worked at the State Capital in Little Rock and later served as a Kappa Sigma house-mother at the University of Arkansas. She became very proficient at furniture and lamp repair. She loved entertaining her dear friends, museums, history, art galleries, British comedy and reading. She also enjoyed writing funny poems and songs for various functions. The Methodist church was an important part of her life and she shared that foundation and love for God with her family.

She deeply loved her children and grandchildren; especially the time spent teaching them funny childhood folk songs and the secrets of nature such as finding fossils, naming wildflowers and catching a squirrel with a paper bag and a salt shaker. She was passionate about the environment and making sure that they understood the importance of being good stewards of nature.

Kay is survived by her daughters, Kim Emery, Kelley Richardson, and Karen Richardson all of Rogers, Arkansas and her son, Rich Richardson and wife, Cindy, of Garfield, Arkansas; 11 grandchildren, Whitney Hunt, Mary Simpson, Neldalourne Fox, Kevin Emery, Kaylie Boullester, Kelsey Johnson, Miranda Johnson, Sarah Richardson, Ryan Veit, Carli Firestone and Ella Firestone; 9 great-grandchildren and numerous extended family and friends.

At her request, there will be no formal service. If you would like to make a donation in her memory, please consider the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or Another way to honor her memory is to write the Arkansas Legislature asking them to protect the fragile eco system of the Buffalo National River for future generations.

Arrangements are under the care of Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, Arkansas. Online condolences may be expressed at


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Donna Kay Schroeder

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Lowell Collins

April 2, 2019

Mother, Clare Collins, loved Kay and their friendship. Kay was always a joy to be around with her laughter and smile. Such a lady of east Arkansas. I enjoyed outings on the lake, luncheons and Ozark Society events with her.

She loved the spring flowers, walks in the wood, time on the lake and her family.

I'll remember Kay and Mother out on the pontoon on a sunny lake afternoon. Peace.

Ellen Compton

March 31, 2019

To Kay's children, My son, Neil, sent a text this morning about Kay's death. We are both sorry and sad. Her life ended too soon, but she certainly made the most of it. The obituary reflected that. Kay added 8 fine years to Neil Compton's life. Thank you for sharing her with him. ellen compton

Betty Brown

March 31, 2019

I knew Kay through the Ozark Society and Dr. Compton. I would see them together on OS events. Dr. Compton called me one day because he heard I knew how to get to Twin Falls at Richland Wilderness area by the old cemetary way. I told him I did know the way and I agreed to take them on a warm October day. Dr. Compton told us tales along the way and Kay recorded them as I drove. Well, it was an adventurous hike since Dr. Compton and I were the only two in the group of about 9 or 10 who had ever been to the falls. Dr. Compton wanted to explore one creek that led to the falls and he did find an old grist stone in the waterway. We had a photographer in the group who was busy taking photos and that was slowing us down. Dr. Compton had to rest now and then, too. Kay and the photographer stayed with him the whole day while I took the others down to the falls. I knew there was not enough daylight for all of us to get there and back when we stopped to take so many photos. I gave the ones who stayed behind directions NOT to get out of the stream bed because it would be easy to get lost and we would find them on the way back. It all went as planned and we hurried to the falls and back and found them and started back to the cars, but Dr. Compton was a little slow going and when we got to the cars, I had to use headlights to get to the main road. It was probably the only time in my life, I thought I might have to spend the night in the woods with a group I was leading. Kay really took care of Dr. Compton and they both added a lot to the other's life. They had similar interests. I always enjoyed visiting with Kay. She will be missed by so many.

Sharon Hasenbeck

March 27, 2019

Our deepest sympathy to the entire family. I know how much she was loved by all.

Timothy Hughes

March 27, 2019

A women of great elegance not only in her demeanor but how she treated everyone that came into contact with her. I am honored to have had if only for a breaf moment in her life the prevaledge to be able to call her my mother-in-law. I love KK and always will. She made me feel so welcome in her presence, even after her daughter and I separated she was kind to me. Once I was visiting her at her lake house and she asked me to join her in her kitchen. She placed her hand on mine and said, "life isn't always far and time waits for no one". I was confused at her statement and asked, what do you mean by that and she said. Tim your a good person and talented, but I feel you holding on to your past as your present slips away from you. Even as I walked away from the kitchen I was confused but now years later I look back and see what she was telling me. I wish I could rewind time to that day and make better choices. I love you KK, and I love and respect her entire family. Rich, Kim and Karen my heart goes out to you all. Kelly I wish I was near you, I would give you a big hug and let you know everything is ok

Sabra Howard

March 26, 2019

Kim, Kelley, Rich & Karen,

My thoughts and prayers with you during this difficult time.


Rhonda Sanders

March 26, 2019

I loved Mrs.Kay she was a very beautiful lady and she put up with a bunch of us teenager's almost every weekend...and she could make the best noodles and tomatoes and dog bread... sometimes she would look at us and say aren't you guys ready to go home😂😂...but she was the sweetest and was always smiling...I could go on and on....I'm Praying for all of y'all and love y'all like my own family....

Tracy Teer

March 26, 2019

I remember the first time I met Kay in LePanto. She was so gracious and lovely. She was the epitome of the southern belle. Her smile was contagious and she was always ready to laugh. I regret that I did not know her better, but through loving two of her daughters I always felt like I DID know her better!