BARBARA MARIE STRAWITZ
(April 24, 1931 – April 18, 2019)
Barbara Marie Strawitz was born in Marksville, Louisiana on April 24, 1931 to Peter Bernard Strawitz and Marie Estelle Dupuy Strawitz. She grew up in Marksville and graduated from Marksville High School. Academics, particularly science, interested her greatly and her subsequent undergraduate work was at the College of Education at Louisiana State University. Her first teaching assignment was as a high school science teacher in Washington, D.C. She enrolled at Columbia University Teachers College where she earned her Master of Science degree. Her teaching career was continued at Louisiana State University Lab High School. That gratifying pursuit stimulated further post-graduate work at the University of Texas, Austin and the University of California, Berkeley and culminated in her being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Phd). Her work at LSU Lab School lasted for many years and she concluded her teaching career as Assistant Professor of Education at Louisiana State University. Numerous of her research studies in science teaching were published in Journal of Science Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and Science Education. Barbara was passionate about opening and sustaining high-level stimulating learning paths for her students.
An interest in music was amplified during her undergraduate days by attendance of operatic performances at the New Orleans Opera. Her passion for opera and vocal music, while subordinate to her teaching career, continued with performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro dell’ Opera, Rome and various other Italian theatres, Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, the Wagner Festival at Bayreuth, et cetera. She was particularly interested in singers’ musical and dramatic ability and became personally acquainted with a number of artists. She was a long-time friend of soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and her husband Walter Legge, a relationship that continued until their deaths.
To relatives and close friends, Barbara was known affectionately as “Baboo”. Warmth of personality was immediately apparent to anyone who met her. Kindness and sincerity were ever present in her personal and professional relationships. She possessed radiant beauty and a dazzling smile. Her religious conviction was strong. Devotion to her family was of significant importance. She took particular pride in her nephews and their children and grandchildren. Her refrigerator door was plastered with an evolving photographic kaleidoscope of those children and she relished recounting adorable stories about them. As an avid sports fan, particularly of LSU and the Tigers, in later years she took great delight with her relatives in making and receiving long distance telephone calls to share excitement while she was watching games on television.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Marie, various aunts and uncles, and is survived by her brother, Peter Bernard Strawitz II and his wife Barbara (“Pie”), nephews Peter B. Strawitz III, Kyle Anthony Strawitz, Kurt Thomas Strawitz and great nephew’s Kyle Anthony, Alex, Peter, Hayes and great niece Blair Marie Strawitz and close friends who were devoted to her.
In lieu of flowers, Barbara left a request for donations to one’s favorite charity. Visitation will be on Friday April 26, 2019 from 9 am until 10:30 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home, Marksville, Louisiana. A Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Marksville.