Thomas Harvey Schroeder, a long-time resident of Billings, passed away March 2, 2016 at Valley Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Billings. He was 87.
Thomas Harvey Schroeder was born April 13, 1928 in Fargo, North Dakota. At the age of two, he and his family moved to Billings, where he lived out the rest of his life. He was the second child of six born to Harvey and Higgie Schroeder.
Thomas went to school in Billings, but before he could complete his education, he was needed to help run the family dairy farm, called Schroeder Dairy, which was located where Lowe’s is now situated. That was in the early 1940s.
He helped with all the duties and chores of a dairy farm, including deliveries and milking, which they did by hand at that time and proudly boasted the “best milk” as it had the lowest bacteria count that could be tested during those years.
In 1950, he was drafted into the Army to serve his country in the Korean War, where he worked as a field wireman, laying phone lines at a supply division for 18 months. He returned home with an honorable discharge and a GED, which he obtained while in the service.
For a time, he worked for Gamble Robinson and a short time later, became an apprentice plumber for Christianson Plumbing and Heating. He completed his apprenticeship with that company and in 1955, took his journeyman’s plumbing test and got his plumber’s license. He went to work for Midland Plumbing and Heating, where he met Eldon and Marlin Carlson, who then started their own business, Star Service Plumbing and Heating and ask Tom to come work for them. He retired in 1990.
He met the love of his life, Joan Selleck, while attending Broadwater Elementary School and while he did not know it at the time, she would later become his wife on July 10, 1954. The two would remain married until Joan (or Jan, as she was known) passed away from cancer on December 2, 2000. Their marriage lasted 46 years and they had four daughters from that blessed union.
Outside of spending time with his family, Thomas enjoyed golf, hunting ducks and pheasants, playing cribbage and having coffee time with all his buddies and friends.
He is survived by his four daughters, Chris (David) Hastings of Seattle, Peggy (Herb) Jones also of Seattle, Linda (Mike) Bruch of Cut Bank and Tami Schroeder of Billings; three grandchildren and a number of nieces, nephews and good friends. Preceding him in death was his wife Jan and his five siblings; one grandchild; and his parents.
A memorial service will be held, Thursday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary in Billings, located at 1001 Alderson Avenue. Cremation has taken place. Memorials are suggested to the charity of one’s choice.
Many thanks to the caregivers at St. Vincent’s 3-Tower, Valley Healthcare, the wonderful folks at Westpark Village and Dr. Neal Sorensen for taking such good care of our Dad. Your kindness will not be forgotten.