American Veteran 04

Richard W. Schroen

September 14, 1945 ~ April 26, 2020 (age 74)


Richard W. Schroen, 74, of  Washington went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at his residence.

Richard was born on September 14, 1945, in Peoria, Illinois, to William Arvel and Lois (Crank) Schroen.  He was married to Alice JoAnn Meurn on December 12, 1970.  She survives.

Also surviving are brother Ronald Lee, son Derek Adam (Leslie) and grandchildren Paige, Claire, Jordan, and Owen McMahan all of Washington and Alex McMahan of Dunlap.  Additional survivors include surrogate (chosen grandchildren and great-grandchildren), which Richard also claimed as his.  They are Amanda (Matt) Cochran, Preston and Hadley of Mapleton, Rob (Bugs) Pearson, Lillian and Blake of Mossville, and Addison Rademaker of Morton.  Richard was preceded in death by his father in April 1979,  his mother in October of 1993, and his sister, Judith Kay Brewer-Bauer, in 2016.

He retired from the Central Illinois Light Company as a Purchasing Agent in January 2000.  While with CILCO, he worked at both the E.D. Edwards and Duck Creek Power Plant, the General Office Building, and the Pioneer Park Service Center.  After retiring from CILCO, he worked at the Pleasant Hill Antique Mall; as a Buyer for Inventory Technology, Inc (H.K. Production Logistics) in Mossville, and finally as an Assistant Manager at the Denhart Baking Company in Washington.  He fully retired in February of 2016.

Richard served in the United States Army from 1965-1967, first as a Clerk/Typist with Headquarters Detachment of the United States Training Center Armor Third Brigade and then as a member of the 158th Army Band both at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  He played locally with the dance bands of Biddie Biddison and Dave Burton in the 1970s and 1980s, and even though he had not performed for many years, music was still a very vital part of his life.

He was fond of antiques, Abraham Lincoln, and Civil War history.  His love for Lincoln and the Civil War began in grade school.  Having been caught throwing clay in Science Class, his punishment was to recite the GETTYSBURG ADDRESS to the school principal.

Richard’s great grandfather, Justus Schroen, left Germany in 1851 and fought in the Civil War with the Union forces from 1862 until the war’s end.  His unit was Company M, 9th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry.  He was wounded in the left leg above the ankle while on picket duty in Tupelo, Mississippi.   On February 19, 1864, during a battle with John Bell Hood’s forces at Florence, Alabama, seventy-five men were surrounded, and twenty-seven of those were captured, including great grand father, Schroen.  He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war confined at Cahaba, Alabama.  He was paroled in April of 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and was honorably discharged in May of the same year.

While with CILCO, business trips and family vacation to San Francisco, allowed him the opportunity to visit Alcatraz Island on three different occasions.  Richard found both the former prison and the island interesting and fascinating.  During his third visit, he met Phil Bergan, who had been a guard there when the prison was in operation.  His fourth visit was made by rail on the California Zephyr in August of 2012.

When he was sixteen, his wish was to own a car from the 1930s, and in 1965 he purchased his first Ford Model A.  That car is still in possession of his brother, Ron.  In May of 1968, Richard purchased his second 1930 Model A, in an almost complete original state, and he still has that car.  He often said that he and the Model A had grown older together.

Richard served in the capacity of best man at three different weddings – they were for Tom Gross in 1967; Carl Meurn in 1969 and son, Derek in 2005

Richard and Tom have been friends, going back to the third grade, and since we both have a fondness for our 16th President, Lincoln’s quote is very accurate – “The better part of ones’ life consists of his friendships.”

In 2016, when Tom retired from his medical practice, Richard had the honor of becoming a “Gross” for the evening so he could attend Tom’s retirement party.  He enjoyed spending time with both his immediate and extended families.

He was a former member of the American Federation of Musicians – Locals #301 and #26 and founding member of the United States Army Museum.  He supported the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, the American Legion; the Gold Gate Parks in San Francisco; the Seminary Ridge Museum in Pennsylvania; and the Abraham Lincoln Association in Springfield, Illinois. He was a member of the Washington Church Of Christ.  

Richard loved the Lord and the Bible.  His favorite Bible passages were:  Proverbs 3:5 & 6; Colossians 3:23 & 24; John 3:36; and 2 Corinthians 5:1 & 17.

A private graveside service is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Glendale Cemetery in Washington.  A celebration of life will be scheduled for a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be given to Washington Church of Christ  430 N Wilmor Rd, Washington, IL, or Gideons International.  Mason-White Funeral Home in Washington is assisting with arrangements. To send condolences, visit 

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