My father has not been himself lately. He is just a few days out of a hospital stay where he received IVs and was not a particularly good patient. This morning I took him to the clinic for a follow-up appointment and labs. He is not eating or drinking well. At lunch I scooped up a few bites of cottage cheese into a spoon and fed him. My slight father is now gaunt and thin. Here on this path walking he is more himself. His walk is steady and firm. We talk little. “I don’t want to go to the nursing home,” he says. I know. But I can’t promise. Our path winds around a tall cottonwood tree with a rugged trunk. Nearby a fallen limb melds into the soil. We have entered a hidden meadow surrounded by trees.There are remnants here of happy times, of picnics and bonfires. At the far end of the clearing we come to the spot where we often turn around. Surely he is tired. We are a long way from the house. My father acts as if he is going to continue on. But when I ask him he turns and returns to the house with me.
At the house the light on the answering machine is blinking. Just as I am trying to listen, the phone rings. It is the clinic. Lab tests showed that he needs another IV but they are closing soon. Can we come right away? We hustle to the car and return to the clinic. Lying on the bed receiving the IV he seems so small and weak. His PA, a pleasant, compassionate young woman comes by to check on him. “He’s always been so strong,” I murmur. She pauses and her voice catches a bit, “Ninety sucks.”
There’s an errand I need to do before we go home. We stop at the store and Dad stays in the car. At the checkout I notice some grape pop in the cooler. The bottle looks frosty and cold. Good. So I grab a couple of bottles and purchase them. My father is a child of the Depression. He is not given to self-indulgence. Ever. His current condition has highlighted this propensity with cloudy thinking. Just today as we were preparing for our walk he said, “We mustn't waste our coats.” So when I show him the pop, he shakes his head. But I remove the lid and place the bottle in his hand.
Driving home I watch him out of the corner of my eye. He shifts the bottle in his hands. Then lifts it to his mouth. “Um, tangy,” he says. He takes another sip. By the time we return home almost half is gone. A bit of encouragement.
On that day, my father had less than a month to live. We had always told each other that our healthy, active father would live to be a hundred. I was only beginning to understand and I was certainly not ready to accept that he would not recover.
born August 28, 1835
died October 1921
|Back row: John, Pauline, Leonard, William, Mary|
Front row: Sarah Tiahrt Schroeder, Jacob, John Schroeder Sr.
Photo was taken before 1895, probably closer to 1890
- John Schroeder, Sr. (8/24/1835 in Prussia) married Sarah Tiahrt on August 28, 1862 in Prussia, Germany. He died in October, 1921 at the home of his son, John T., in Dolton South Dakota. Buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Lot 24, no marker.
- Sarah Tiahrt Schroeder died in April 12, 1909 in Canada
- Mary (1867? in Prussia) married Henry Schmidt. She died at the age of 73 in June 1940. I believe she lived in Canada.
- William (12/11/1867 in Prussia) (my great-grandfather) married Kathrina Vogt (9/13/1865-10/7/1945) on January 3, 1889. He died 10/17/1945. Both are buried in Tieszen (Bethesda) Cemetery, Marion, South Dakota.
- Leonard (9/15/1870 (in Prussia), He died 1/4/1952. No information on marriage.
- Pauline (1876? in USA) married Frank Vogt. She died January 1905 at the age of 29.
- John T. (1879? in USA) married Helen Schulz. He died at age 55 June 1934.
- Jacob (11/28/1890 in USA) only lived to be 15 and died 12/19/1895. Buried in Rose-Hill Cemetery.
Newspaper Article (TOTC)
John Schroeder. The name is borne by a prominent citizen of Dalton township, Turner county, who has spent the last fifteen years of his life on the farm whereon he now resides. During this time he has been found standing on the side of truth and justice, and manifesting much interest in his business affairs, and his connection with the advance of civilization. he is engaged in general stock-raising and is well-versed in the peculiarities of various breeds of domestic animals, and, therefore, well able to care for them.
Our subject was born in Prussia, Germany, August 28, 1835, and grew to sturdy manhood in his native place, attending school until he was seventeen years of age. He served three years as an apprentice at the carpenter's trade, and after becoming proficient, went to the large cities--Hamburg, Berlin, and Vienna, Austria--to work, and in 1871 started for America. He landed in New York city, February 19th, and from there went to Utica, where he found employment for eight months at his trade, leaving there to go to Detroit. In 1874 Mr. Schroeder arrived in Dakota territory and located at Yankton. The town had but recently been started, and he readily found employment as carpenter and builder, which occupation he followed for five years. May 20, 1879, he entered as a homestead 160 acres in section 10, of Dolton township, Turner county, on which he erected a 10 x 12 foot shanty, and then bought another quarter section in section 11: this constitutes his present estate. In connection with his agricultural pursuits Mr. Schroeder had also engaged quite extensively since locating on his farm in contracting and building. he built the first dwelling in Freeman, Hutchinson Col, S. Dak., also the first schoolhouse in the same county, and has since erected as many as sixty-two good buildings there, besides the school-house, churches and bank. Turner county has also many monuments of his skills in the shape of twelve school-houses, four churches and various other structures, and his own property has been embellished with every building which will add to the comfort and convenience of the occupants.
The marriage of Mr. Schroeder and Miss Sarah Tihart, who was born in West Prussia, Germany, was celebrated August 28, 1862, and six children have come to bless their happy married life, five of whom survive. Mary is the wife of Henry Smith, and now resides in northwestern Canada; William farms in Rosefield township; Leonard, Paulina and John T., are at home; and Jacob, is deceased. Both himself and wife belong to the Mennonite church, and have high standing in that religious society, Mr. Schroeder being the choirmaster. He has been director in the school board for eight years, three years was chairman of that body, and has served as road overseer for ten years. Politically he affiliates with the Republicans, staunchly supporting that party's doctrines, and he is esteemed by his fellow-citizens in general as his intelligence, fine character and general usefulness merits.
William and Kathrine Schroeder Family Record, 1945 compiled by John and Gustav Schroeder. 1979 compiled by David J. Becker
The Roots of our Heritage, notes from a talk given by G.W. Schroeder, June 1988
TOTC Newspaper article on John Schroeder author and newspaper name unknown, written around 1895
West Prussian Mennonite Villages Compiled by Glenn Penner Mennonite genealogy.com
|On their wedding day May 31, 2003|
By observing Rose's life I've learned several keys to vibrant and joyful aging.
Be open to love