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We have lost the presence of Dr. Robert J. Schroeder, an exceptional man, loving husband, supportive father and grandfather, and accomplished veterinarian. He was the son of John and Mildred Schroeder; and is survived by his loving wife Jan Schroeder; daughter Jeri Barry and son-in-law Bill, of Palm Springs; son Craig Schroeder and daughter-in-law Debbie, who sail the seas in their boat; and, son Curt Schroeder and daughter-in-law Lorna of Phuket, Thailand. Born into a farming family in Fort Collins, Colorado, he rose to the pinnacle of the veterinary profession. He was engaged in regulatory veterinary medicine and public health since graduating from Colorado State University in 1947. After graduation he joined the United Stated Department of Agriculture and went to Mexico as a veterinarian in the Mexican-American campaign against foot and mouth disease. A year later he joined the Los Angeles County Livestock Department where he was named Los Angeles County Veterinarian and later appointed Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Department of Health Services. He was very active in local, state and national veterinary medicine. He served as President of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association in 1960 and in numerous other professional positions before being elected as President of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1967. Colorado State University bestowed their Honor Alumnus Achievement Award and their College of Veterinary Medicine Honor Alumnus to him in 1969. At the University of Southern California, he was appointed Clinical Professor of Pathology and Clinical Professor of Community Medicine and Public Health. In 1979, he was named Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine. He also received the Extraordinary Service Award from California Regional Medical Programs and a Distinguished Service citation from the Los Angeles Country Board of Supervisors. He served his country as a 1st lieutenant in the Paratrooper Field Artillery in WWII and as a 1st lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Corp during the Korean Conflict. In 1947, Jan Dringman joined him in Mexico where they were married. They returned to the States for the birth of their first child and settled in Southern California. They lived in Downey, California for over 60 years where they raised their three children. Eventually the family expanded to include grandchildren Tyson Schroeder and his wife Susan; Chelsea Greilach and her husband Steven; Megan Daily, Crystal Schroeder, Kerrie Schroeder, and three great-grandchildren — Andy, Abby and Alex. Last year, he and Jan celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. He transferred his love of fishing from the streams of Colorado to the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Jan shared his passion for fishing, clamming, crabbing and camping, which lead to a series of boating and RVing adventures that spanned more than 25 years after his retirement in 1979. Their crowning achievement was fishing all the way from the tip of Baja California to the coastal shores of Alaska. He passed away peacefully in Palm Desert, California where he and Jan recently moved. He was fond of saying that he had a wonderful life, he’d done everything he wanted to do, enjoyed everything he did, and had no regrets. He set a great example of generosity, support, love and care for generations to come. Private Services were held at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.
Published: June 13, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 09