Walter G. “Walt” Schroeder

Walter G. “Walt” Schroeder

Walter G. “Walt” Schroeder, 94 went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Dallas, Oregon. He was born October 20, 1927 in Hackensack Hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey. His parents, Walter H. and Emma Auguste Elise Greiff Schroeder lived in the nearby town of Lyndhurst, NJ.

Walter attended elementary and grade school in Maywood, NJ where the family settled in 1939. Maywood did not have a high school, so he attended secondary school in Bogota, another small neighboring town. At Bogota High, he was a member of the rifle team and the service club. The latter did projects around the school and served as a linesmen and scorekeeper at football games. He was active in the Boy Scouts achieving the Eagle Award with Gold and Silver Palms.

His high school years were during the four years of World War 2 and he won awards for his Victory Garden and wastepaper drives. He graduated in 1945 at age 17 just as the war was winding down and immediately enrolled at Rutgers University in the agriculture curriculum in the summer session. While at Rutgers he was elected to Alpha Zeta, the Agricultural honor fraternity. During summers and school vacations he worked on the college Horticultural Experiment Station.

Following his sophomore year, his family moved to Corvallis, Oregon and he transferred to Oregon State College with a major in agricultural economics/farm management. While at Oregon State, he was active in the Agriculture Club, Promenaders Square and Folk Dance Club, Lutheran Student Association, and served as Chancellor (president) of Alpha Zeta.

Upon graduation in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree, he worked as a field supervisor for the Production and Marketing Association in Jefferson County, working out of the Extension office in that central Oregon county and assisting as a volunteer with the 4-H program.

That fall he was hired as Coos County 4-H agent and served in that position from Coquille. In addition to his 4-H duties he taught folk and square dancing in Myrtle Point and Bunker Hill.

He was called into the military near the start of the Korean War and served as a rocket launcher (bazooka) gunner in Company F, 22nd Regiment, 4th Infantry division stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany in the NATO forces and later as a weapons squad leader in the 1st Division in Bamberg, Germany. While in Germany, he took advantage of 45 days leave time to travel over much of western Europe. He was honorably discharged in September 1952.

While awaiting final papers he hitchhiked from Ft. Lewis to visit his family in Corvallis. As he passed through Salem, he saw the State Fair was in progress and stopped by to see some of his Extension friends. One of them introduced Walt to a new 4-H agent who had joined the staff a few months earlier. Sally Hartz had transferred to Oregon after serving as County Home Economics and 4-H Agent for two years in her native state of Nebraska.

On April 23, 1953 Sally and Walt were married as he continued his 4-H position in Coos County. Working the 4-H program with wonderful leaders and kids was truly enjoyed by the young couple.

After seven years on the OSU staff Walt was eligible for a sabbatical and was certain that all agents would soon be required to have a master’s degree. With no children it seemed an appropriate time to pursue that degree and Walt was accepted in the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While he worked on his education, Sally served as 4-H and Home Economics agent in neighboring Green County. In June 1957 he was awarded a master’s degree in Extension Education.

With two remaining months on his sabbatical, they decided to travel in Europe and bought a car in London. Their travels took them to England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France.

When he arrived back in Oregon, Walt was assigned to open an Extension office in Western Lane County in Florence. Sons John and Robert were born in Florence. When a new highway was completed between Florence and Eugene, the office was closed in 1961 and Walt transferred to Corvallis where he served on the State Extension staff as the 4-H Camping specialist, School forestry tour specialist and 4-H forestry project writer. In 1964 he was offered a position on the state staff but decided to go back to county work and transferred to 4-H agent in Washington County where he served until 1967. While in Hillsboro their third son, Douglas, was born in Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

In 1967 Walt was offered the chairmanship of the Curry Extension Office and started in the spring as agriculture, 4-H, forestry, marine science, and community resource development and staff chair. Walt was promoted to Full Professor in 1974.

Curry County was a delightful place to work with excellent Extension cooperators, a good staff, and many outdoor activities. His entire family was involved in 4-H activities and often accompanied him to 4-H camp, tours, trail rides, super tours, and county fair. It was an ideal family situation.

Walt retired from Extension on February 28, 1983.

In 1984 his friends convinced him to run for the Oregon House of Representatives in District 48 which covered most of rural Coos and all of Curry County. He served in that position for eight years, (four terms) until 1993 when he retired.

He was appointed to the Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Committee where he served as Vice-chair and then Chair. His other assignments were Education and Water resources committees. He introduced a number of bills that passed including one of the four sponsors of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, chief sponsor and carrier of the bill that established the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, as well as introducing bills requiring disclosure of certain information in resident real estate sales, a bill creating a crime in the interfering of animals in legitimate research projects at universities or government research facilities, labeling of salmon products for human consumption, permitting the sale of salmon and tuna directly from fishing boats, acquire fire-fighting equipment for towns of 5000 or less, extending the statute of limitations for certain felonies, and many more.

Following retirement, he enjoyed hiking, fishing, finding, and rebuilding old trails, working with other volunteers to build the Oregon Coast Trail in Curry County, gardening. Serving God as a Gideon and volunteering for many other projects filled his remaining years. He wrote 16 books and monographs in his retirement years.

His wife Sally was the best thing that ever happened to him. She was the love of his life and the best helpmeet any man could have. His family of wife Sally, sons John, Bob, and Doug and their wives and children were the joy of his life.

Sally Hartz Schroeder and Walt were married sixty-one years and are survived by son John and wife Frances, Bob and Wife Sally, Doug, and wife Cindy, and six grandchildren: Paul, Anna, Grant, Victoria David, and Christine.

Memorials to Walt can be sent to The Gideons International, Curry Camp, P.O. Box 2674, Harbor, Oregon 97415

Bollman Funeral Home in Dallas, Oregon is handling private family burial at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland Oregon on November 23 with full military honors and a planned celebration of life service in Gold Beach in February 2022.

To plant a tree in memory of Walter Schroeder as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

Online Poll

What winter activities do you enjoy?

You voted:

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

1. Be Civil. No bullying, name calling, or insults.
2. Keep it Clean and Be Nice. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
3. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
4. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
5. Be Proactive. Let us know of abusive posts. Multiple reports will take a comment offline.
6. Stay On Topic. Any comment that is not related to the original post will be deleted.
7. Abuse of these rules will result in the thread being disabled, comments denied, and/or user blocked.