It was always so rewarding to make Gdad laugh! He taught us about the importance of caring for others tangibly and also an appreciation for the outdoors and God's creation. He is and was so loved and will be missed at Christmas and around the year.
I know this man I call my friend. He never lets me down. I know this man who is kind to all. He will never let a poor soul pass by. I know this man who achieves high standards. He is as smart as any can be. I know this man who has a plan. He will not let anything go undone. I know this man... He is hard not to love. I know this man.. He is my Granddad. by Emily Germann, 7th gr. 2000
I loved how my FIL, Bert, dubbed his youngest grand-daughter, Caraline, "Torpedo." It was and still is an apt description.
I also appreciated when our daughter, Jane, passed away at 10 days of age, the first thing Bert said to me was: "I wish that there were some way for me to take your pain for you." I'll never forget how heartfelt and eloquently that was said.
Most of my time with Bert was spent in his home when he was not feeling his best but he still welcomed me, in his way. I will always remember Bert with Caroline and how he would just watch her with a sparkle in his eye and enjoying her little antics, like getting up into Helen's chair and "reading" her journal. He also enjoyed looking at family pictures. I realized how much he loved his family. Bert and Helen created a wonderful home, where their family could come and be loved. My heart goes out to Helen and each of you as you try to help her through this time. I am blessed to be part of the Schroeder circle.
Love to all,
When I was a young boy visiting at 3790 Oatty Court, one day Uncle Bert called to me in the back yard and said " Robert, Would you like to help me fix the TV antenna on the roof? What boy wouldn't want to climb up a ladder and work with his Uncle on the roof? During the school year while at the school library I did a little research about Long Island NY, knowing I would be visiting my cousins during the summer. While on the roof holding onto the antenna and gazing into the distance I said to Uncle Bert, "Just think a few years ago this area was all Duck farms before they built all of these houses." He smiled at me and said Robert, "How the heck did you know that?" I was happy to have amazed him with my knowledge!
Just before I went to Vietnam I was talking to Uncle Bert and told him that I was going to Vietnam on a Troop Transport, "The W.H Gordon" (you can see the ship if you google the name and Vietnam war). He told me that he was an officer on it in the past and he gave me a letter addressed to the Captain of the Gordon. He told me to hand it to the first seaman that I saw on the ship. My whole battalion, over 4,000 men were on the ship. While in route to Vietnam about a week went by and all of a sudden an announcement came over the loud speaker system,
"Spec 4 Robert Gillespie report to the Captain of the ship - Spec 4 Robert Gillespie report to the Captain of the ship." I reported to him and he had one of his assistants give me a full tour of the entire ship including the Engine Room. It turned out that the Capt knew Uncle Bert. When I reunited with my friends, my F/Sgt gave me the 5th degree wanting to know what that was all about. Uncle Bert was a great man and always was good to Russell and me. Love Robert
I always loved coming to California as a kid, and most of that was to see Grandad and Grandma in Novato. It has been precious to see how excited my three girls are now to visit their great grandparents. Grandad loved watching their antics and was patient through their loudness and silliness. He will be greatly missed but we have the great hope that he is with the Lord now. So thankful for a biblical heritage that started with this man's leadership!
Martha Dallas, was a childhood friend of Bert's brother, Herm, in Washington, DC. Her brother was John Dallas, Bert's good friend. The neighborhood kids ran around playing games together. Once Bert and John, grabbed Martha's sister by the legs and dragged her across the field until her "high heels fell off." Martha reports that all thought this was funny, including her sister. Martha's father was an engineer in charge of maintenance at Garfield Memorial Hospital in their neighborhood. There were 2 sheep kept on the hospital grounds whose blood was drawn regularly for use in the lab. The kids were allowed to hold the bottles of sheep's blood and shake them to keep them from coagulating. Once a custodian at the hospital took a gang of kids up to the morgue! All the kids knew that they could get into the Dallas home any time of day by climbing up their fire escape, and Bert did that regularly. Martha's father loved to work on machinery and even invented an early version of a tiny TV and an EKG machine. He would let Bert watch while he tinkered. Once there was an advertisement about a play being held on the Mall in DC and that a dog was needed. All the kids in their gang reported for the audition with pet dogs in tow. Bert had "Sport" and was sure he would get the part. But Sport was deemed too pretty for the role and was turned down. None of the kids's doggies were chosen in fact....all too cute apparently. Martha remembers Bert fondly as a child. She looked up to him as bigger and older. But she also commented that he was messy when he ate oranges, and a bit on the chubby side! Martha is 89 and reported these memories to me (Cheryl) a few days ago on the phone after learning that Bert had passed away.