Richard Carl Schroeder

April 2, 1919 - April 1, 2009

Richard Carl Schroeder, born April 2, 1919, in Blue Earth, Minn., passed away April 1, 2009.

Son of Hugo W. Schroeder and Emma Tilton (nee Adams) Schroeder, he is also preceded in death by his life partner, wife Alice Mae (nee Mac Farlane) Schroeder; his brothers, Willard and Robert, and sister, Verna.

Growing up during the depression, Richard had a keen sense of the spiritual and material needs of those he touched. Graduating from Carroll College, Waukesha, in 1944, followed study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wanting to do his part for his country during World War II, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1947, serving 18 months until the end of the war.

He finished his preparation for the ministry at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.; was ordained as a minister of the Congregational Church (now United Church of Christ) and began his pastoral work in 1948 in Chebanse, Ill. He continued his life work at churches in Hartland, Lake Geneva and Appleton and in Newton, Iowa. Prior to his retirement in 1983, Richard was an elementary school teacher and employment counselor to displaced workers in central Iowa.

A creative, thoughtful and highly principled man, Richard easily shared his interests and practiced his beliefs with others - a good man to know and have as a friend.

Model and real trains were a consuming passion. A man of many interests, Richard would say that he loved to paint, draw, write, read, travel and camp. The Green Bay Packer and UW-Madison football and basketball teams took precedence over meal schedules for many years.

A lifelong commitment to the needs and issues of social justice and services to those less fortunate, Richard and Alice spent their lives together quietly doing what they could to be of service. Of special note is a trip Richard took in 1961 to Birmingham, Ala., to bring home a young civil rights worker who had been badly beaten by anti-civil rights demonstrators. It was a dangerous and life-changing experience that deepened his commitment to racial justice.

A resident of Fairhaven, a retirement center in Whitewater, since 1989, Richard was a significant presence in the resident community during his vibrant years.

Richard Carl Schroeder is survived by children, Sue A. Schroeder, Madison; Nan E. (Jerry) McCoy, Silver Spring, Md.; Richard P. (Karen) Schroeder, Lakeville, Minn.; and Margaret MacFarlane Schroeder (Paul Smyth), Fort Atkinson; grandchildren, Andrew Schroeder, Chicago; and Matthew Pruitt, Portland, Ore.

A small memorial service was held at 11 a.m. today, April 4, at Fairhaven, 435 Starin Road, Whitewater, with private internment at a later date. Memorial contributions in Richardís name can be made to Bethel House, a shelter for women in challenging family situations, 130 S. Church St., Whitewater.

End of life arrangements are being handled by Schmidt & Bartelt, Van Valin of Mukwonago.

In preparation for his 90th birthday, the day following his death, Richard concluded with the words, "and I thank you all for coming."