Cornelius Schroeder

Cornelius Schroeder

Monday, December 10th, 1917 - Friday, November 20th, 2020
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Cornelius Peter Schroeder was born to Peter and Anna Schroeder on Dec. 10, 1917 in Milerova, Russia, the 2nd youngest of 9 children. His great, great grandfather had immigrated to Russia in 1804 and settled in Ukraine where the generations were involved in farming. His father began farming with horses and later operated a flour mill and a sunflower oil processing mill together with his brothers-in-law. Due to the famine in some areas of Russia, and also due to the terrible conditions caused by the rebel bands who burned houses, shot the men in the family and raped women, Dad’s parents also applied to immigrate to Canada. They were refugees for 7 years prior to arriving in Quebec City on May 10, 1925. Due to his young age upon immigration, his memories of life in Russia are limited but what memories he did have, always caused him to become emotional when he spoke of them – it must have been traumatic for a boy of 7 years of age.

When they arrived in Canada, the family eventually settled on farms near Elm Creek as they had been involved in agriculture in Russia.

Dad began his education at Dakota school and completed it at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna. He didn’t graduate as he had to come home to help on the farm when his brother, George, was conscripted to Conscientious Objector status during WW 2. Dad remembers eating Corn Flakes for breakfast with water rather than milk due to a shortage during the war years.

Dad was baptized as a follower of Jesus on Aug 10, 1941 and joined the Elm Creek Mennonite Brethren Church where his faith was nurtured and he served the church as treasurer for 25 years. Dad was a man of few words and followed the belief of St. Francis of Assisi “Preach the gospel always and if necessary, use words.” He was a man of integrity, concerned with those in need, had a generous heart and hands, and was quite willing to forgive others who had wronged him without seeking to retaliate. When they moved to Winnipeg, they were involved in the Portage Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church.

During the winter of 1945/46, Dad was employed in BC for the winter, together with his friend, Frank Bargen. On their way back to Manitoba in spring, they stopped in Coaldale to stay with relatives and this was the first time he met Mom. This friendship was renewed in the fall of 1946 when Dad took a trip with 3 friends to California and again stopped in Coaldale. This friendship resulted in their marriage in Coaldale on Sept 28, 1947.

Dad began farming with his brother, George, in 1942 and when Dad married, they settled on his father’s farm east of Elm Creek and actually lived together in the same house for 6 months after George married. In 1950 Dad hired a contractor to frame a house and cement the basement and then with help from others, finished building the house. Here they raised 5 children, Carol 1949, Ed 1951, Alvin 1952, Willie 1956, and Rob 1959.

After marriage, Dad and Mom travelled often to Alberta to visit his in-laws and vacation in the mountains. After retirement, Dad and Mom took many trips travelling to various parts of the world, often with friends.

Dad enjoyed sports – downhill skiing on the hen house roof or skiing in the ditch being pulled by a truck – skating on the dugout – swimming – parasailing and snorkeling on vacations, and shooting pool till his late 90’s.

Dad taught by example the work ethic required to have a successful farming operation. In 1967 Dad expanded his mixed farm by having a 5000 laying hen barn built. When grain quotas were not sufficient to dispose of the grain, he joined with 5 others to have a hog barn built in 1969 which stayed in operation until 1975.

Dad worked hard on the farm but also knew time was needed for relaxation. He enjoyed taking his family to Delta Beach on hot days – this sometimes meant that Mom had to take the peas along and shell them at the beach while the children were swimming.

Dad was involved in the Elm Creek community by serving on the Pool elevator board and as school trustee. He was very principled in his decisions as trustee, always keeping in mind what was best for the students.

Dad and Mom sold the farm to Willie and Rob and in 1986 they retired to Winnipeg. Dad continued to drive out to the farm, helping with seeding and harvesting until the age of 85 – he really enjoyed driving the combine.

In retirement, Dad enjoyed bowling, golfing, travelling and watching his grandchildren in their sporting events and musical endeavours. Dad and Mom enjoyed the Winnipeg Symphony and operas. They enjoyed camping in their motorhome for many years, often inviting grandchildren to camp with them.

Dad was very generous, helping his children financially when they were building or buying their homes. What a blessing to receive this help when it was needed, rather than waiting until after death.

After Mom passed away suddenly in 2008, Dad continued living in their apartment. He surprised us with his culinary skills as he had not spent much time in the kitchen. When there was no more apricot jam in the freezer, he learned to make it himself after the age of 90.

Dad saw many changes in the world and in the occupation of farming in his lifetime. He was blessed with good health throughout his lifetime. When he developed pneumonia in 2015 and was hospitalized for about 3 weeks – this was the first time in hospital other than a previous night when he had carpal tunnel surgery. After this bout of pneumonia, Dad moved into Lindenwood Manor and enjoyed his time there. He broke his hip in April 2019, had surgery and then moved into Tuxedo Villa Care Home. We are thankful for the excellent care Dad received in both of these places.

Dad was predeceased by his parents, all of his siblings and his loving wife, Anne, of 61 years. He leaves to mourn his children: Carol (Walt Unrau), Ed (Lisa), Al (Ethel), Willie (Lori) Rob (Karen), his grandchildren Chris Unrau (Debbie), Scott Unrau (Joanne), Charles Schroeder (Christine), James Schroeder (Alana), Bryan Schroeder (Amanda), David Schroeder (Nicole), Becky Schroeder (Nathan), Fran Schroeder (Cathy), Amy (Aaron Klassen), Shawna Schroeder, Cody Schroeder (Kaija), Holly (Joel Janke), Carla Schroeder, Kaylin (Jordan Townsend), Corinne Schroeder, Megan Schroeder and Mark Schroeder, and his great grandchildren, Carsen, Lexi, Owen, Charlotte Unrau, Seth, Oliver Unrau, Emma, Nolan Schroeder, Mayla, Callie, Hudson, Deacon Schroeder, Atticus, Colton Schroeder, Travis, Cole Schroeder, Conway, Levi, Miriam Klassen, Eli, Carter Schroeder.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, November 26th, 2020 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, November 26th, 2020 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friends Funeral Service
    2146 Main Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Marilyn Lennox (Loewen)

Posted at 08:20am
So sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. It is so hard to loose a loved one. Even more so now with the Covid restrictions and families gatherings are limited. May God comfort you in the months and years to come.

Clara and Erwin Butikofer

Posted at 10:29pm
My sympathy to the Schroeder siblings and their families. I remember your parents well and your dad had that lovely smile. I know he was always proud of all your athletic and academic achievements.

Ed & Jeanette Schmidt

Posted at 12:55pm
May you be comforted by God during this time as you remember the life and example of your father and grandfather. A legacy to carry forward. It was a privilege to be neighbors of your parents for many years and to continue to connect with most of you from time to time. Ed & Jeanette

Robert Kenyon

Posted at 08:52am
My condolences to Carol and Ed and Alvin and Willie and Rob and your families for the loss of your father. I didn't know him well but I remember each of you through our school years in Elm Creek, particularly Ed and Alvin who were sightly older than me. You were blessed to have a father who lived such a long and productive life and who obviously had such a positive influence on all of you. The story of "laundry day" brought back many similar memories from my own upbringing, some time ago.

Robert Kenyon

margaret Kasak

Posted at 10:27am
Sympathy to you Al and Ethel and family !! May your memories be of comfort to you of a long life well lived!!

Margaret Kasak

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