Melvin W. Schroeder, 97, of Bridgewater, NJ died peacefully December 7, 2019 at Brandywine Senior Living with his family by his side. He was born November 29, 1922, in Franklin County, MO, eldest of Henry and Emma (Ahlemeier) Schroeder. He was preceded in death by brother Erwin, sisters Alice and Mildred Smith, and beloved great-grandson Kyle Landwehr.
At the age of 13, after losing his father, Mel helped support his young family during the Great Depression. It was those early years that instilled in him a strong work ethic that would be the cornerstone of his character and values throughout his life. He would go on to instill in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a strong sense of love, respect and family.
As the Depression was ending and WWII was beginning, he attended the National Defense Electrical School and in 1940 was employed with Curtis Wright in St. Louis, MO. He was responsible for electrical wiring on planes used in the war effort. In 1944, he married his sweetheart, Betty Jane Meyer, in St. Louis, MO. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1945 to 1946.
Mel worked for 52 years in the LP Gas industry. He was employed by Suburban Propane as manager of Safety and Regulatory Services, and later was Director of Safety until his retirement in 1988. The very next day, he founded M.W. Schroeder Corp. as an LP Gas safety consulting company for the next 14 years, until his second retirement in 2002 at the age of 80. It was during those years Mel and Betty were blessed with good health and the ability to travel the world. They shared their experiences and stories at the many family reunions held throughout the years.
Mel was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Somerville, NJ where he served on Church Council, the 60Plussers, Lutheran Men in Mission and chapter liaison for Thrivent Financial. In his spare time Mel enjoyed genealogy and “fixing everything”.
Mel and Betty were married 74 years until her passing August 31, 2018. He is survived by his children Gail Landwehr (DeWayne) of Anderson, IN, Keith Schroeder (Vicki) of O’Fallon, MO, and Cynthia Fitzpatrick (James) of Branchburg, NJ, six grandchildren, Brian Landwehr (Jessica) of Winchester, KY, Mark Landwehr (Michelle) of Cicero, IN, Kate Weinkauf (Mike) of Lawrence KS, Kristopher Schroeder (Tara) of Wildwood, MO, Eric Jacquish (Christeen) of Bridgewater, NJ and Scott Jacquish (Jessica) of Flemington, NJ. Also surviving are 12 great- grandchildren, Denise, Kevin, Zachery, Colin, Lydia, Emily, Gretchen, Sean, Caleb, Charleigh, Mason and Cole and two great-great grandchildren, Silas and Harlan.
A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 300 Union Ave, Somerville, NJ on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice.
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