On December 27, 2020, Harley Schroeder, 94, spread his wings and flew to glory following complications from multiple surgeries due a fracture of his left femur.
He was born on August 14, 1926 in Akeley, Minnesota and was predeceased by his parents Sam and Mable (Anderson) Schroeder, his brother Jack Schroeder, his companion and best friend of over 12 years, Ruth Stewart, and his good friend Richard Griswold. Harley was also predeceased by his beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, Pepper.
When Harley was a young child his family and his father's brother’s family moved to the Binghamton area where they lived next door to each other for many years on Front Street. He was adored by his cousin June who was 10 years younger than him. She remembers growing up next door and playing together despite the age difference.
He joined the Army September 26, 1950 and was Honorably Discharged on July 20, 1952. He was a Korean War Veteran where he was “boots on the ground” in Korea climbing the mountains and fighting in defense of the country he loved.
Following his service in the Army he worked at Vail-Ballou Press in Binghamton, NY
In 1964, Harley graduated from Broome Technical Community College and joined IBM in East Fishkill, NY, where he had rave reviews all throughout his employ and was promoted to Senior Associate Engineer in June of 1986. He retired March 1, 1990. He had multiple patents in his name over the years.
Harley was awarded an appreciation award for 30 years of service as a member of the Southwest LaGrange Fire Station #3 on March 21, 1998.
Prior to moving to the Poughkeepsie area to work at IBM, Harley and his cousin June’s husband Fran were avid hunters and fishermen and were best friends. They were often found together at their favorite activity - hunting and fishing. Harley always had a well trained hunting dog by his side.
Following his retirement from IBM, he moved to Binghamton and bought a beautiful home where he worked to improve the home and property and tended to his multiple gardens. He had a passion for Lily gardens that also included Daffodils and tulips. He also had a small vegetable garden and loved to start his own plants from the seeds he kept from the previous year’s harvest. He also loved working with his hands and loved building things.
He loved to play cards and did so weekly at both the Binghamton and Johnson City Sr. Centers. He met and established a 12 year relationship and companionship with Ruth Stewart at the Johnson City Sr. Center. It was a relationship that grew deep and lasted until Ruth passed away on Valentine’s Day 2018. His tremendous sense of humor won her over as it did most people he met. He kept her in his heart to the end of his life.
He is survived by his dear friend and legal caregiver Jackie Blakeslee, his cousin June (Fran) Carlin, his daughter Cindy Schroeder, son David Schroeder, grandfather and great-grandfather to Jonathan Schroeder; Jason Schroeder and his children Faith, Jason, and Daniel; and Jennifer Schroeder and her children Ronan; Alexander; Evan and Ethan.
He lived at Elderwood Village of Vestal from November of 2016 until early January of 2020. Many thanks are extended to all the wonderful caregivers and staff that gave him excellent care during his stay.
January 16, 2020 he became a resident at the NYS Veteran’s Home at Oxford, NY, where he lived out the rest of his life under the attentive care of the wonderful staff. It was a tough year for him and all the residents because of the isolation caused by the Lockdown for safety reasons due to Covid-19.
Harley will be interred in Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, NY so he will receive the honors he earned during his service in the Army.
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