John Bernard Schroeder (Dad) age 89, passed away on April 28, 2021 at his home in Alma Center, WI. The youngest of 5 children, Dad was born on February 16, 1932, in Freeburg, MN to Otto and Anna (Gerdes) Schroeder.
Dad went to school until the 8th grade when he was needed at home to help on the farm. In 1947, at the age of 17, he signed up for the Naval Reserves where he served for 8 years. This always seemed so ironic as he was not a water lover. Dad went to boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Base.
On July 26, 1955, John married JoAnn Capaul at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Alma Center. In 1959, with advice from John and Anna Capaul, they purchased the 200-acre Adam Statz farm outside of Alma Center. From that point on, their life of family, hard work and making memories truly began.
Dad worked at Allis Chalmers in La Crosse for 3 years. He then spent 3 years at the plastics factory in Black River Falls to supplement the farm income. Dad would often bring home leftover plastic for the children to play with. We were always excited to see what we could build with these random pieces. For 25 years, Dad enjoyed driving school bus for the Alma Center School District. There were many children he would greet when a new school year started, “Wow, have you ever grown! What did your mom do, put yeast in your shoes?” He also spent 30 years as an Equity Livestock Market officer. Another one of his favorite conversation starters was, “Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?” He used that line frequently to greet the many people he met while working at the car wash in Black River Falls after moving off the farm. Dad was an avid Green Bay Packer fan! When watching some of the most important games, he would light the blessed candle to help them to victory. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn’t.
Most important to Dad was his Catholic faith, attending mass numerous times during the week. When not going to mass, he would go to church just to pray. I can only imagine the number of rosaries he has said in his lifetime, be it as a family growing up always in the evenings during Lent or when he was alone in the tractor late at night doing field work. He spent many hours at home when retired praying from one of his many prayer books with a blessed candle glowing next to him. Dad took a lot of pride helping any new priest coming into Immaculate Conception with getting the altar ready for mass to start on Saturdays and Sundays. Dad was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and sold many, many tootsie rolls for them.
Dad is survived by his wife of 65 years, JoAnn; his six children, Barbara (Dennis) Leis, Carol (Glen) Mischka, Veronica (John) Grage, Julie (Rick) Storlie, Mary (Chris) Curran, and Michael; his dog, Buddy, which he loved; 10 grandchildren, Jaime (Brent) Cousin, Scott (Megan) Leis, Laura (Nick) Sheskey, Sarah (Justin) Griswold, Katie Mischka, Holly (Matt) Dale, Matthew Storlie, Michelle (Zechariah) Utecht, Zachary (Ariel) Curran, Grace (AJ) Walsh-Brenizer; 15 great-grandchildren; 1 sister, Mary Ann Bradley and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Anna Schroeder; three siblings, Earl Schroeder, Irene Simpson, and Clare Bockenhauer.
Loving Husband, Dad, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, we love you and will miss you.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, May 3, 2021 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Alma Center with Father Dan Thelen officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Alma Center. Friends may call on the family during visitation from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at the Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home and on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. The Rosary will be said at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home of Hixton, 715-963-2311, is assisting the family with arrangements. On-line condolences are available at http://www.jensenmodjeskifh.com.