Schroeder, William "Bill" (1933-2013)
William (Bill) Schroeder: teacher and historian; born 2 December 1933 to Wilhelm (3 November 1903-10 August 1906) & Gertruda (Wiebe) (4 September 1902-21 July 1999) Schroeder in Horndean, Manitoba, Canada. He was the third of four children in the family. He became a Christian in his youth and was baptized on 30 June 1948. On 9 October 1958, he married Augusta Voth, with whom he had four children. Bill was a teacher and mapmaker known for his publications on Mennonite history and for his volunteer work with various organizations. He died in Winnipeg on 11 December 2013.
In his early years, William Schroeder lived with his parents and three siblings on a farm near Horndean, Manitoba. He attended high school in Winkler, Manitoba, before taking training in Winnipeg to become a teacher. Later, he also completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Manitoba. He taught high school in Clover Plains, Manitoba for many years before moving back to Winnipeg. Meanwhile, he met Augusta Voth, daughter of Abraham J. (4 January 1891-1966) and Helena (Wiens) Voth (1894-1944) and the two married on 9 October 1958. They had one daughter and three sons, all of whom survived childhood.
One of Bill Schroeder’s primary interests was Mennonite history. When the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies first opened in 1969, he helped to organize the material, as well as building shelves, binding books, and helping in many other ways. He continued to help at the centre for many years afterwards, besides volunteering with the Mennonite Central Committee, the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, and the Mennonite Brethren Historical Committee. In addition, he helped at a local thrift store and at an annual music festival just outside Winnipeg. Touring historic sites was one of his interests, and he traveled to the former Soviet Union eight times, including several trips as a tour guide.
William Schroeder also published several books, including The Bergthal Colony in 1974 (revised edition in 1986) and Kornelius Erdmann Buhr, 1826-1885 (published in 1976). He also published an English translation of The History of the Church in Chortitza: Towards an Understanding of the History of the Church in the Mennonite Colonies in South Russia by Johannes van der Smissen.
However, Bill Schroeder is possibly best known for his collaboration with Helmut Huebert on The Mennonite Historical Atlas, published in 1990 and revised in 1996, which made use of his extensive skills as a cartographer. In January 2013, he received the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada Award of Excellence for his contributions in over thirty years of research.
Besides his historical work, William Schroeder was an active participant at the Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church, where he was a member, and was involved in many other pursuits, including gardening. He also enjoyed interacting with his family, which came to include ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His health began to fail in his last years, and he died in Winnipeg on 11 December 2013.
William (Bill) Schroeder was a dedicated teacher and amateur historian, known for his humble attitude to life as well as for the excellence of his research. Through his faith and his commitment to his church, his family, and his work, he provided a good example for others to follow.
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Obituary. Winnipeg Free Press. Web. 14 March 2017. http://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-208646/SCHROEDER_WILLIAM \.
|Date Published||March 2017|
Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "Schroeder, William "Bill" (1933-2013)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2017. Web. 26 Mar 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Schroeder,_William_%22Bill%22_(1933-2013)&oldid=147337.
Huebert, Susan. (March 2017). Schroeder, William "Bill" (1933-2013). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 March 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Schroeder,_William_%22Bill%22_(1933-2013)&oldid=147337.
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