John B. Schroeder, age 77, of Caledonia, Minn., passed away in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family on Sunday, November 12, 2023.
He was born in Caledonia to Irwin and Rosemary Schroeder on December 28, 1945. He grew up with two wonderful, older sisters, Ramona and Margie, and while he didn’t have any brothers, he was lucky enough to have a group of amazing childhood friends who continued to visit him weekly right up until his passing. Thank you Joe, Tony, Pat and Jim for demonstrating what true friendship looks like. John had many other friends who supported him through the years. He was a lucky man in the friendship department. John graduated from Loretto High School in Caledonia in 1963 and worked at his parents’ feed mill for a couple of years before attending Western Technical school for accounting. Before leaving for Vietnam, he married the love of his life, Gloria Bekkum, on March 29, 1969. Shortly after that, he left to serve our country in Vietnam. After returning home he finished up his education and graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis., in 1972, with a degree in business. He worked for the city of Caledonia for a couple of years and then moved on to the Houston County Courthouse, where he worked in the social services department until he retired.
John was a member of St. Mary’s church, the Legion, and the VFW. He volunteered for the Caledonia Charities and helped with several community projects. John loved sports and played for various teams over the years. He was a fierce competitor in anything he participated in. From baseball, softball, basketball, golf, volleyball and even card games… he gave it his all.
John loved woodworking, decorating and listening to his country music in his beloved basement. He was an avid fan of the Dodgers, the Vikings and the Timberwolves and had alarms set around the house to remind him of when all the games were on. John was not a big talker, but he had a wicked sense of humor that could take you by surprise. After becoming disabled, he was able to stay in his home due to the loving care of his wife Gloria, his family, friends and some very capable and kind staff who helped out over the last several years. We are also grateful to the VA and the Mayo Hospice program for the support they provided while more intensive care was needed. John had been confined to a wheelchair with very little movement the last five years of his life. While this was very difficult for someone who had once been so active, he never complained. He was always so gracious for any help he received.
John is survived by his wife Gloria, his children Chris (Brooke) Schroeder and Sarah (Jeff) Hudson, grandchildren Miles and Stella Hudson, brothers- and sisters-in-law Kermit Bekkum, Garnet Bekkum, Audrey Tollefson, Bill Anderson, Daniel (Liz) Bekkum, Peter (Marsha) Bekkum, Lillian (Donald) Primmer, Sherman (Geri) Bekkum, Conrad (Terese) Bekkum, Trish (Aaron Fagen) Helgerson, Anton (Mary) Bekkum and Emily (Mark) Granlund; and many nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents Irwin and Rosemary Schroeder, his in-laws Melvin and and Amanda Bekkum, his sisters- and brothers-in-law Ramona (Roger) Hoff and Marguerite (Don) Rommes, three additional brothers-in-law: Marvin, Robert Bekkum and Myron Tollefson; four sisters-in-law: Sandra Anderson, Elvera Bekkum, Lou Ann Bekkum and Linda Bekkum; one niece, Julie Connor; and three great-nephews: Jake Nundahl, Alex Everhart and Dustin Amundson.
A celebration of John’s life will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 12-4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Holy Family Hall, (behind the church) where there will be a prayer service at noon with military honors given. Fellowship and a luncheon will follow at the hall A private burial will take place at a later date. McCormick Funeral Home is entrusted with his services.