Richard Paul Schaedel was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 17, 1920, and he died of pneumonia and complications in St. Ignace, Michigan, on December 9, 2005. Richard was the son of Anna Louise Joseph Haug Schaedel and Joseph Schaedel. He is survived by his paternal aunt, Ms. Maula Muller, his wife, and children: Leoncio, Richard E., Daliah, Mark, and Delia Anna Louise.
Richard Schaedel was awarded the B.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin in 1942 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale University in 1952. During World War II, Schaedel enlisted in the army and served as a radiologist and linguist. He began his professional work in Latin America with the U.S. State Department. This position took Schaedel to Haiti, Venezuela, and Peru. It was in Peru that Schaedel found the environment and the work that challenged his skills and intellect and that would constitute his life’s work. Schaedel subsequently founded the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Trujillo, Peru, and as Doctor Honoris Causa pursued his studies of Peruvian anthropology and archaeology, focusing on the Muchik culture of the north and central coast.
In 1960, Schaedel became a member of the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at of The University of Texas at Austin and served as associate director of the Institute of Latin American Studies in the late-1960s. He was director of The University of Texas Latin American Anthropological and Archaeological Project in the 1980s. Schaedel spoke and wrote fluently in English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian, and was widely published in those languages. Richard Schaedel was an accomplished anthropologist, ethnographer, and archaeologist, and gained the reputation as a gifted researcher and teacher. His students at UT knew Schaedel as a stringent and demanding taskmaster. However, he was extremely fair with his students, and they were hard pressed to find a professor that was as supportive and would serve as a better advocate.
At the time of his death, Richard Schaedel was continuing his research on the Muchik culture as professor emeritus of UT and the University of Trujillo, where he was also Doctor Honoris Causa.
His absence is greatly mourned by his students and colleagues, as well as the field of Latin American anthropology.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memoriam resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Maria Wade (chair), Claud Bramblett, and James A. Neely.