Dr. James Morse Schooler, Jr. (Jerry)

March 22, 1936 ~ July 1, 2020 (age 84)


Dr. James Morse Schooler, Jr.  (Jerry) was born March 22, 1936 in Durham, NC. He passed away peacefully on July 1, 2020. He is survived by his wife Mignon Schooler (Miller), his older son Dr. Wesley G. Schooler (Laurel), his younger son Dr. Vincent C. Schooler (Karen), his four grandchildren, Kendle, Mason James, Bella, and Adrian James; brothers Dr. W. Ronald Schooler and Kyle Schooler (Tawana), and sister Doris Schooler Penn (Jesse). He was preceded in death by his sister Sheryl Schooler Jordan and his parents Frances and James M. Schooler, Sr. Both of his parents were educational leaders in the Durham community.  Jerry was valedictorian of the Hillside High School class of 1953, and received his undergraduate education in chemistry at his father’s alma mater, Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio. He earned a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Physiological Chemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964. He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.

In 1966 he began his tenure as a chemistry professor at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, where he remained for four years. During his tenure at Tuskegee he met and married Mignon Miller in 1968. In 1970 he was offered a teaching position in chemistry at Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In 1975 he became Chairman of the NCCU Chemistry Department, where he remained until retirement in 2006.

He was a member and legacy of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Eagle Scout and recipient of the Silver Beaver Award of Boys Scouts of America, Scoutmaster of White Rock Baptist Church Troop 55, dedicated member of the James E. Shephard Sertoma Club, longtime supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties. He also was a member and president of the Hillside High School Class of 1953.  Jerry was a lifetime member of White Rock Baptist Church where he enjoyed singing in the choir often as a tenor soloist and playing the hand bells. He enjoyed listening to jazz music, fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He leaves behind to cherish his memories family, friends, colleagues, fraternity brothers, Scouts, and former students.

The family offers a special thank you to the Duke University Coronary Intensive Care Unit, West Pettigrew Dialysis Center, and Go Durham Access. 

Public viewing is scheduled for Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor Saturday, July 11, 2020 12 pm – 6 pm.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 2 pm White Rock Baptist Church, 3400 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707. 

Social distancing of 6 feet, facing covering or mask are REQUIRED and capacity limited to 50 persons.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Beta Theta Lambda Chapter Scholarship Fund of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at PO Box 12184, Durham, NC 27709 and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties at 1010 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Suite 300, Durham, NC 27713.

A livestream of the service will be available on the Facebook page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. James Morse Schooler, Jr. (Jerry), please visit our floral store.


July 11, 2020

12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

Funeral Service
July 12, 2020

2:00 PM
White Rock Baptist Church
3400 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

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