William Raymond Schrader, age 85 years of Niles, Michigan, husband, father, grandfather, educator, traveler, and gardener died peacefully at 3:46 a.m. on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville, Michigan following an extended illness. He spent his last days with family and friends gathered at his bedside. His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the Hospice staff, especially Agnes, and Hanson Center.
He was born on February 25, 1936 in Wabash, Indiana to Cecil D. and Alice Y. (Schade) Schrader and was graduated from the Lakeville (Indiana) High School. He continued his education at Indiana University Bloomington earning a Bachelors degree in business, and completing his teaching certificate at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. He earned a Masters degree in Education from Michigan State University, and completed 6 months in the United States Army, and fulfilled his obligation in the Army Reserve.
Bill began his career as a teacher in the Penn Harris Madison School Corporation, Mishawaka, Indiana. He then moved to the Berrien Springs Public Schools to teach at Sylvester Elementary School. He retired in 1984, completing 30 years of teaching. He coached the elementary school basketball team, and coached his daughters in the softball program of the YMCA. He was a member of the local and state education associations, the retired teacher’s gathering, and the YMCA.
Bill was a member of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Niles where he also taught Sunday School for 25 years. He enjoyed traveling, having visited 48 of the United States, had taken several cruises including on the Queen Mary to England, and other cruises to Cuba and Alaska, and had visited much of Europe, and some sites in Russia and Greece. He was an avid IU sports fan, especially basketball, and a lifelong fan of the Chicago White Sox. He maintained a garden, specializing in tomatoes and sweet corn, and read daily newspapers both at home and at the Niles District Library where fellowship with friends sometimes exceeded the librarian’s sensitivities for quiet.
He loved animals, having a succession of dogs including “Hoosier”, and loved his “grand-dogs” who live with his children.
On June 7, 1958 in Marion, Indiana he married the former Janice M. Hays with whom he celebrated in June the remarkable 63rd anniversary of their wedding. The were sadly preceded in death by a daughter, Melinda Sue Norman on August 22, 2013; and by Bill’s parents, Cecil and Alice Schrader.
Surviving family includes his wife, Jan Schrader and their children, Desiree Kay (& Paul) Mooney of Bridgman, Michigan and Angela (& Herb) Caldwell of Bloomington, Indiana; grandchildren Courtney Rosser, Joanna (& Johnnie) Zuccaro, Christopher Wertz, Paul Mooney, Shawn Mooney, and Jackson Caldwell; and great-grandchildren, Harper, Leo, and Joachim “Jojo”.
The funeral service for William Schrader will be at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore Street in Niles with the Rev. Joseph Liss of the church officiating. The family will receive friends on Wednesday at the church beginning at 11:30 a.m. Those gathering in the church are respectfully asked to practice masking and social distancing.
Committal services will be at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, 15565 New Road, Mishawaka (near Wyatt, Indiana) with Rev. Liss officiating. Contributions in memory of Bill may be made to Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120, https://www.stpaulsniles.org/; or to The Yeager Family Pet Shelter of the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, 5400 Niles Road, Saint Joseph, Michigan, 49085, https://humanesocietyswm.org/.
Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Bill had a great passion for people, perhaps most evident by his desire to teach, and enjoyed lifetime friendships with students and staff. He had a great sense of humor, loved to tell stories and jokes, and always had a big smile on his face. He also sought to learn about the world and other cultures by traveling, and to learn more about current events through the newspapers, and learn more about creation through his gardening and love for pets. He was passionate about his family as a devoted husband, proud father, and wonderful grandfather. And quietly, faithfully worshipped the Creator of these blessings.
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