1/20/2010 12:30 p.m., Bear Valley Christian Church, 6800 W. Hampden Ave., Lakewood, CO 80227
1/20/2010 1:30 p.m., Bear Valley Christian Church, 6800 W. Hampden Ave., Lakewood, CO 80227
1/20/2010 2:30 p.m., Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Staging Area “B”, Denver, CO
Fred W. Schroer
June 12, 1916 :: Walsenburg, Colorado
January 14, 2010 :: Denver, Colorado
Where do you start, and how do you put 93 years of living into words?
Born June 12, 1916 to parents that came to America from Germany via Ellis Island and settling in Southern Colorado, Dad has seen and experienced amazing things. He lost his parents early in life and was adopted by an Uncle where he then moved from Walsenburg to Denver, but not before having had the opportunity to see the great Houdini perform on top of the bank building in Walsenburg. He was about 12 and that would be about a year before Houdini died. Of course he was in trouble when he got home-late- with the loaf of bread his mother had sent him to town to buy but at least he didn’t forget the bread!
Once in Denver, he held a number of jobs, one of which was a chauffer to an eccentric elderly lady (I think he enjoyed that job) and then finally getting a job with the City and County of Denver Highway Department from which he retired in 1978.
Dad lived through the depression and prohibition, lived through the stock market crash of 1929, several wars and served in WWII in the Navy and experienced the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He saw the television born and move to color TV, the progression of the airplane (and at 93 still had not been on one), saw man land on the moon and marveled that we could actually watch it here on earth, saw the invention of cyberspace and the turn of the century. Just think of how many presidents he has seen come and go, and the politics and scandal with it. He too wonders “just where is Jimmy Hoffa”? He saw the power of the mob rise and fall, including Denver’s very own. He could tell you just about anything you wanted to know about the history of Denver-including the street car. And let’s not forget the movie stars when they were true STARS……..
Dad has always been a kid at heart, never having forgotten that he too was once a kid. You could listen to his stories for hours. He was a social person who loved to dance and the ladies loved to dance with him, animals have always held a special spot in his heart whether it be dogs, squirrels or bunnies. After his dog Cricket passed away, I decided he should have my bird Alex. Dad took care of Alex while I was in NY on business and when I got home I asked him to keep Alex until I moved which wasn’t for another 3 months but it was in the dead of winter so I didn’t want to take him out in the weather… well, about 2 weeks after I did move, Dad asked me when I was going to come get this bird and said OR ARE YOU?. Point being, by this time he loved this little bird that had become a companion to him so yes it worked…. he kept Alex. He trained Alex as though he was a dog -he always flew to dad whenever dad would whistle. Alex would even sit and share Dad’s breakfast with him. Shortly after Alex died, Daphne came to live with me in 2002……….Dad commented that had he known he would live this long after Cricket died he would have gotten another dog. Well before long Daphne had stolen Grandpa’s heart. He would tell me how I spoiled her but you know when she was 6 months old and I went to Cyn and Ken’s to watch their kids, Dad told me that Daphne wouldn’t eat. I told him not to worry as she really didn’t eat much but he replied—–that’s ok- I’m making spaghetti for her……….. So, just who spoiled who…… Dad loved Daphne and got a kick out of her many outfits. He enjoyed her staying with him as often as I would bring her………. They’d sit out in the sunshine together and pass the day away and then go in and take a nap together……….Daphne misses her grandpa!
Dad was always determined to stay independent, a couple of days after his hip surgery , Candy, Eddie and I were doting on him. Asking if he was comfortable, did he want to sit up, or lay down, did he want water, was he hungry……..finally he just said “if you girls would get a life of your own, you could quit messing in mine”. While meeting with the palate team (which was comprised of a doctor, social worker and a chaplain) at St. Joseph’s to determine what the next steps would be, he had them all laughing-yes at 93 nothing was getting past him……..Yes, Dad had a good long life, I can remember him saying that he he’d had a good life, he raised two families and maybe he hadn’t made a lot of money but he had some nice vacations.
This doesn’t even begin to touch what his life has been and with all that said and done, Dad was a good, kind man, a great father, a teacher of life…… I am so thankful for him and to him for I would not have accomplished all that I have without him. My Dad will live in my heart and memories forever.
Arrangements by All-Veterans Burial and Cremation