Clarence Ray Schroeder, 90, of Aberdeen, Idaho, died Feb. 14, 2022, from complications caused by COVID-19. He was born July 24, 1931, to Armin and Katherine Schroeder in American Falls.
He was raised in the old rock house on the Blackstone Ranch between American Falls and Aberdeen. Farming in those days required hard work from the whole family. This work ethic would later serve him well in his work in Europe.
He graduated from high school in American Falls. In his junior year, he was the starting center for the American Falls basketball team when they won the 1948 state basketball championship. He went on to play football and basketball at Bethel College in Kansas, where he attended for 3 semesters.
After returning to the farm, he felt called to alternative voluntary service work, and he joined with Mennonite Central Committee’s Pax program in Europe. He spent two years cleaning up after a devastating flood in Holland, building an earthen dam in Yugoslavia and building refugee housing in Germany. When he returned from Europe, he married Sylvia Hege on Jan. 4, 1957.
He worked hard farming with his dad and brothers. He also served on the boards of directors for Aberdeen Springfield Canal Co. and American Falls Reservoir District. He had a passion for water policy and was firmly committed to serving the company’s interests over his own. He was inducted into the Idaho Water Users Hall of Fame.
He trusted that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was sufficient for the forgiveness of his sins. He was a lifelong member of First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Sylvia; a daughter, Linda Roberts; a son, Philip (Lura); a brother, William (Anne); a sister, Bonnie Kaufman; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Steven; a brother, Kenneth; and a sister, Anne.
Funeral services were held at First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen. Memorial donations may be made to MCC for world relief projects or to First Mennonite Church for installing handrails in the fellowship hall.