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Robert J. Schroeder

September 19, 2020 | 26 comments

He lived for his family, friends, and sports. Robert J. Schroeder, 96, of La Crosse/ La Crescent passed Sept. 18, 2020 in his home in the presence of family. He was passionate towards his family and never turned down an opportunity to spend time with them. He valued and appreciated his many friends, entertaining them at his river home on Shore Acres which included boat rides, swimming, fishing, and hosting annual golf outings on Memorial and Labor Days.

Bob, an only child, was born Nov 15, 1923, in his cousin’s house in West Salem. He grew up in West Salem excelling in sports, particularly basketball and baseball.  After high school, he worked during the week at the local General Store and played baseball on Sundays. A year later he enrolled in La Crosse State Teachers College. During his first semester he enlisted in the Army Reserves and was called to active duty during his second semester. He served three years in the infantry during WWII and was fortunate to play sports for Army teams. After the war ended he resumed his schooling at La Crosse and graduated with a teaching degree.

Bob met Jeanne Hardiman on a blind date in 1945 and they were married Sept 06, 1947 in La Crosse at Christ Episcopal Church. He started his teaching/coaching career in 1949 in Cashton and moved to LaCrosse in 1950 to teach at Washington School. Four years later he transferred to Longfellow where he found his niche, teaching math/science and coaching basketball. During his early years at Longfellow he attended UW-Madison in the summertime, eventually getting his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration.  After that, summers were filled with working for the La Crosse Little League Baseball program coaching at various playgrounds, and ultimately becoming the Director of the program. In 1975, his last year coaching basketball, his team went undefeated. He retired from teaching in 1986.

His interest in sports stayed with him his entire life. Before picture in picture and DVR were available, he was known to put one TV on top of another in order to watch two sporting events at the same time.   After retirement, he and Jeanne wintered in Panama City Beach Fl., going there with the same friends for 17 years. He looked forward to his Monday golf outings at Valley High and his Wednesday breakfasts with fellow retired teachers, as well as Friday and Saturday breakfasts with friends. His recall of names of past students and/or “little leaguers” was uncanny. Our Dad was every bit a gentleman and will be fondly remembered.

He was preceded in death by his parents Elmer and La Verne (Battis) Schroeder, his wife of 69 years Jeanne, his brother-in-law Bill Hardiman, and his nephews Bill Hardiman Jr. and Jim Hardiman.

Bob is survived by his children Dan (Carol) Schroeder, Jayne (Dave) Geissler, John (Jenny) Schroeder, Mary (Mike) Vaughan; sister-in-law Beth Hardiman; grandchildren Amy (Nate) Keller, Ben (Vicki) Schroeder, Jake Schroeder, Kyle Geissler, Jessie Loken, Alison (Ted) Zieman, Abra Geissler, Kevin (Katie) Geissler, Madison Vaughan, Matthew Vaughan, Wendy (Chris) Horn, Sara (Scott) Franzose; numerous great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

Although services will be held as a private family gathering, remembrances are welcomed and can be submitted to www.couleecremation.com for family to read and reminisce.

Memorials may be made to the La Crosse or La Crescent Humane Society, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.



  1. Richard & Bonnie Meinzer

    John, Jenny & children,

    How blessed you were to have such a great dad and/ or grandfather! He lived a long and fulfilled life and can now be reunited with you mom/ grandmother.
    We feel your sadness.
    Dick & Bonnie

  2. L Hagar

    My sympathies, Dan, to you and your family for the loss of your dad.
    While I was not fortunate enough to know him personally, his obit certainly describes a life well and fully lived.
    Who will make our popcorn now?

  3. John Dickson

    So sorry to read about Bob. Great guy. He always stopped to talk on his way in or out of Shore Acres. Liked to talk about Butch Hundt, his old friend from Cashton. I got real used to watching for that little blue car everyday. He is missed. John Dickson

    • Rachel Kinney Schwandt

      Dear Schroeder children,

      What a beautiful tribute you wrote about your beloved dad. They say it takes a village and I feel like “the Poker Club” raised all of us! So many years of shared events we had as young children so the passing of your dad reminds me how precious each of those people were. Your dad was not only a friend to so many of us but he was also one of my favorite teachers. How wonderful to have 96 years on this earth! Thinking of all of you and family members as you celebrate his life.
      Rachel Kinney Schwandt

  4. Doug Gardner

    Bob Schroeder was one of the finest men I ever knew. He was my math teacher and basketball coach at Longfellow Jr. High in 1963. His knowledge of the game, how he taught it, and how he treated people left me with admiration and respect for him my entire life.

    Bob was one of my favorite people of all-time. Whenever our paths would cross over the years, Bob always took time to visit with me, especially teasing me about a teacher I didn’t get along with I at Longfellow.

  5. Allan R Brague

    I remember “Mr. Schroeder” from my years at Washington Jr. High in the early 50’s. He was a “natural” when it came to teaching and I have nothing but great memories of him as a teacher. A nice man.
    My sympathy to his family as you say your “goodbyes.”

  6. Doug (Dudley) Cox

    Dan and Mr. Schroeder’s family, I’m so sorry for your loss. I always appreciated running into your Dad around town and being greeted by name. I still remember Mr. Schroeder “waking up” 7th grade students at Longfellow with a whack of the meter stick on the desk.

  7. Jeff Koeller

    So sorry for your loss. I was very fortunate to have Bob as a teacher and basketball coach while attending Longfellow. His guidance in both were so helpful in my development as a young man. It was always a joyous experience when our paths crossed because he always made me feel like a true friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  8. Pamela Kelley

    My condolences to the Schroeder Family. As a former Longfellow student….I remember and have always remembered Mr. Schroeder through the years as he’s come to mind in different conversations. He was one of my very favorite teachers and I truly do remember his teachings and off the cuff conversations! He was adamant about smoking and always stressed that we would get the “yellow finger” if we did. RIP Mr. Schroeder….
    Pamela (Hutchens) Kelley

  9. Jane & Ed Ryan

    Our deepest condolences on the loss of your father. He was a good father, husband, teacher, grandfather and friend! I’m sure Beth & Ed and your Mother will meet him at the gates!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with ALL of you at this time!

  10. Steve "Moose" Korger

    The La Crosse Central Class of ’79 thanks God for blessing us with Mr Schroeder as a teacher and coach at LongfellowJH! His last year coaching basketball, 30 kids on the team, everyone got to play, he made it enjoyable, just like he did in the classroom, with a thousand students at that time, and boys like me making him try every trick in the book to have us learn – it worked! God, please bless his family and friends with peace and comfort, while he enjoys his new digs in heaven!

    • Bud Miyamoto

      My prayers and thoughts go out to all the family members in their loss of Mr. Schroeder. I was one of his Little Leaguers years ago. He was one of the nicest, kindest souls that I ever had the pleasure of knowing.
      When I moved back to La Crosse in the 80’s, I met him a number of times. He always remembered me and with his super smile always said, “Hi Buddy” and talked about those days long ago when he coached me.
      He was so kind and a great human being. May he Rest In Peace and God bless his memory.
      Wonderful, wonderful man.

  11. Robert E. Kerska

    Dan, Jayne, John, Mary and family,

    I had the privilege and honor to serve as a student teacher for your dad at Longfellow in 1967! I learned so much from him and he became my mentor during my 2 1/2 years at Longfellow. He was not only an excellent teacher but a great role model for all of the students that entered his classroom every year. I would never have had the successful career in education that I have had without his influence and example to follow. May God bless all of you & comfort you. A wonderful man is in a better place!

    Bob Kerska

  12. Diane Waller

    Jim and I were very sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I have known Bob my entire life since he was a classmate and good friend of my mother and father, Bob and Fran Leicht. Mom at 96 is still with us in West Salem. RIP Bob. God Bless the family as they go through the grieving process. We all will miss this wonderful, family man. We send our love and sincere sympathy, Jim and Diane Leicht Waller

  13. Dan Kinney

    To the Schroeder Family, Although I have been gone from La Crosse for years now, I clearly remember Bob and Jeanne …. close friends of my parents, Don and Carol Kinney. When I was a budding baseball pitcher in junior and senior h.s., Bob spent hours with me, teaching, coaching, I’ll never forget.

    • Greg Voss

      My condolences to the Schroeder family. While attending Longfellow Jr. High, Mr. Schroeder was my 7th Grade basketball coach and Math teacher. He was an amazing coach and teacher and his positive and effective approach in the classroom and in the gym will be remembered and cherished by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Greg Voss

  14. James Perry

    To Dan, Jayne, and All of the Schroeder Family:

    I am very sorry to learn of you loss.
    I knew Bob Schroeder across many years, and he was always a pleasure to be around.
    A very thoughtful and Classy Guy who knew for whom he spoke, and did so honestly and directly.
    What an excellent Guy.
    I, for one, know that the world was a far better place when he was a part of it.
    And, as OT has a history of saying: “I was proud to know him”.
    Bob Schroeder was A Very Good Man.

  15. Rev. Robin Whitlock

    I was honored to enjoy the friendship of Jean and Bob for several years. Their honesty, friendship, and sense of humor helped sustain me while a new assistant at Christ Church. Their character and dignity will be a constant reminder of the honesty and integrity of heartland people who have a great deal to give through their example and choices in Life. Their memories will always remain dear to me.

  16. Mrs Jeanie Garner

    My condolences to the family of Mr Schroeder, as I would call him when I saw him out with his wife. I remember always telling him I felt I needed to apologize for my bad behavior in his class, when I was a student of his at Longfellow in the mid 50’s. He would be so gracious to me, reminding me ,”we were all kids at one time”…. and he remembered my name as well as students that were in my class at the time. I’m thankful I had opportunities like that to make amends….for being a brat. Blessed be the name of Mr Schroeder

  17. Jack Grupa

    God used His top drawer mold on Bob. Always an A-1 CLASS GUY- I know no better,

  18. Lisa Rogerson

    I am so sorry, Jayne. I know how hard it is to lose a wonderful “Daddy” and I am so glad you have had this time with him. I promise to keep you and yours close in thought and prayer. I miss you, friend!
    Much love.

  19. Paul M Dunham

    Bob was such an important person in my life. He was so friendly and personable. Probably 66 years ago I meet him at Copeland Park when he ran Little League. Every year thereafter I would be there bright and early to get in line at the door under the Old Bleachers at Copeland BB to play ball. Bob was a great leader and taught us a lot. I remember waiting in the Bleachers with him and other kids for the Rain to stop so we could fix the fields and play Ball. Later in Life he would stop into my Insurance Agency after he visited Optical Fashion to say Hi and talk. I will miss him. A true gentleman and I think he took pride in all the kids lives he touched. God Bless you Bob.

  20. Tom & Sandy Kapellas

    We’re so sorry that Bob has passed away. He was such a good guy. He always remembered everybody. We both have good memories of our conversions with him. Tom really enjoyed him as his teacher at Washington. We know that you will miss him a lot.
    Tom & Sandy Kapellas

  21. Mike Jorgenson

    I send my condolences to the Schroder family. Mr. Schroeder was my basketball coach in 1970 at Longfellow and I have the utmost respect for him. Years after school, anytime that I saw him him, he always remembered me and called me by name which amazed me considering all of the students that he taught and coached. I was not the best player on the team and he always made me feel an important part of the team. He was always positve and definitely made an impact on my life. He always treated everyone with respect and he made all of us better people.
    Again my deepest sympathies to the family,
    Mike Jorgenson

  22. Ursula E Cejpek

    To Jayne, Dan, John and Mary,
    From all my family sincere condolences. How well we all remember the wonderful, innocent times we all shared on 14th St. Your Dad and Mom were such a big part of it.
    Ursula Cejpek

  23. Violet Belter

    My condolences to the entire Schroeder family. I haven’t seen Bob in years but remember his kindness and sincerity. He was a true gentlemen who was genuinely interested in others. What a privilege to have Bob with your family for all these years. Rest in Peace Bob.


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