Darrel John Schroeder, 85, of Le Mars, died Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, at Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars in Le Mars.
Darrel was the firstborn son of Clarence J and Florence (Warborg) Schroeder. He was born on a farm south of Remsen on Jan. 13, 1932. When Darrel was a toddler they moved to a farm south of Oyens where Clarence and Florence lived for nearly 70 years. Darrel grew up attending country school, St. Catherine’s School in Oyens and was a proud member of the Union High School Class of 1949.
He was a typical farm kid of the 1930s and 40s and helped milk, pick corn, do chores and whatever else was needed.
In the early spring of 1953 Darrel was drafted into the United States Army and proudly served his country. He came home for leave in late summer after completing basic training and that is when he met Cloette. Darrel returned to the army and was stationed in Korea, where he was in charge of the motor pool. He often tells the story of how thankful he was when the armistice was signed while he was home on leave. He was honorably discharged in the spring of 1955. He hitchhiked to his parents' home from the train depot, crawled into bed and surprised his mom for breakfast the next morning.
On Jan. 31, 1956 Darrel married Cloette Marie Harpenau at St. Mary’s Church in Remsen. They raised their family and farmed south of Oyens for over 50 years. Darrel and Cloette were very proud of their family and their farm.
They were blessed with many travel adventures, loved to square dance and were avid fans of their grandkids' activities.
Darrel was a lifelong member, along with Cloette, of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Oyens.
With the support of his wife and family, Darrel was also involved in the community including serving on the Plymouth County Farm Bureau Board, Plymouth County Zoning Board, a lifelong member of the Oyens Columbus Club and served 28 years on the Remsen-Union School Board. He was a Plymouth County Election worker for over 30 years. It was not possible to take Darrel anywhere in the area that he would not know somebody or find someone to visit with.
Cloette died Nov. 25, 2012. Darrel remained on the farm for one more year. He then made the move to Bavarian Meadows Assisted Living in Remsen. In 2014 he moved to Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars where he put up a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.
He is survived by five children: Tony (Shirley) Schroeder, Marge (Ken) Hansen and Lori (Del) Kellen, all of Le Mars, Rose (Kevin) Weiss of Vermillion, South Dakota, and Anita (Russ) Hopp of George; 17 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings: Lyle Schroeder of Remsen, Mark (Jeanette) Schroeder of Le Mars, Bill (Janys) Schroeder of Kingsley, Doris (Bob) Gengler of Remsen, Betty (Dick) Homan of Remsen; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Clarence (Veronica) Harpenau, Jim Harpenau, and Rich (Pauline) Harpenau, all of Remsen, Rosemary (Denis) Schilmoeller of Granville, Ann (Larry) Galles of Remsen and Carol Harpenau of Omaha, Nebraska; two brothers-in-law, Ervin Ahlers of Remsen and Jim Gergeni of Le Mars; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Darrel was preceded in death by his wife, Cloette; daughter Sharon; his parents and in-laws (Henry and Mildred Harpenau); granddaughter Emily Schroeder; his infant sister, Marjorie Schroeder; sisters-in-law, Marge Schroeder, JoAnn Ahlers and Phyllis Schroeder; a brother-in law, Paul (Mary Lou Gergeni) Harpenau and a one sister-in-law, Mary Lea Harpenau.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen, with the Rev. William McCarthy officiating and Deacon Rick Roder assisting. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Remsen. Graveside military honors will be conducted by Wasmer Post 241 of Le Mars, Post 3328 VFW and Post 220 American Legion, both of Remsen. Visitation with family present from 4-7 p.m., today (Wednesday), with a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., all at the St Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen. Services have been entrusted to Fisch Funeral Home & Monument of Remsen.
Casketbearers will be Kyle Weiss, Kendra Hansen, Pat Kellen, MacKenzie Kellen, Derek Kellen, Alex Hopp, Scott and Nick Schroeder. Honorary bearers will be the rest of Darrel’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be donated to Good Samaritian Society-Le Mars, Hospice of Siouxland, Bavarian Meadows of Remsen or the Alzheimer’s Asscoiation.
Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.