Robert Schroth (1927 - 2014)

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Bob Schroth, 87, was born in Oregon City, Oregon on August 3, 1927 to John and Antoinette Gertie Schroth. She preferred to be called "Gertie" as she was afraid folks would shorten her first name to "Tony." Bob was a "Child of the Depression," as many of his generation was dubbed. His younger brother, George was born in 1929.
His father served during WWI and was in and out of Veteran 's Hospitals throughout most of the boy's childhood.
Bob was an ambitious kid: he had three paper routes and by the time he was 12 worked in a Paper Mill by the Willamette River, setting type. As soon as he could persuade his Mom to sign, he joined the Navy in 1944, went to a Marine training camp then stationed in the South Pacific. All our armed forces in WWII were called the "Greatest Generation." On the troop ship headed for Tokyo, his hero, President Truman dropped the atomic bomb, thus ending the War, but Bob was stationed in Guam and Saipan building air strips and guarding Japanese prisoners.
When he returned to Oregon City, he finished high school then attended Oregon State for less than three months as he began logging and making good money; he worked the Tillamook Burn, then decided to go to Alaska with a friend and worked for "Gyppo" logging companies (not associated with the big timber companies). He logged Montigue Island (out from Yakutat), then in Yakutat, down to Thorne Bay around Petersburg, and then up to Juneau to cut the North Douglas Highway right-of-way.
In 1958, Bob quit logging and began tending bar in various bars along South Franklin Street. He bought Alaska Food Specialities from Joe Thomas, owner of the Triangle Bar that sold sandwiches, fried chicken, popcorn. He also smoked salmon in partnership with Harvey Hildre to be sold in the bars.
Bob met his future wife, Vivian B. Ericksen in 1960 when she came to Juneau with her Dad on his halibut boat, Vivian. Ralph C. Ericksen then headed up to the Bering Sea, leaving her in Juneau. She arrived Thursday, got a job with the state Friday, met Bob at the Triangle Bar where he was working on Saturday. Because he didn't like her first name, he nicknamed her "Norski," and the name stuck. In 1962 Bob and Norski were married in Ballard followed by a big reception. Wally Michl (a fellow Alaska Logger from Petersburg) was one of the ushers. The following year Bob and Norski were blessed with a son, Robert John, who Bob immediately nicknamed "Charlie" which stays with him to this day. They bought the Imperial Billiards and Bar from Joe McNallen that year too and remodeled it. They lived in the 20th Century Apts. And finally settled at Norway Point with a beautiful view of the Gastineau Channel.
Bob was a Man's Man and he enjoyed fishing with his friend, Ray Mansfield in the mornings. He always owned a sports boat. During the hunting season he joined Harvey Hildre and friends and hunted moose, caribou and buffalo around Paxson Lake.
Up until the 2005, they bought and sold bars and buildings. They bought Percy's and renamed it the Viking Lounge in 1972. The also bought the New York Tavern and building, renamed it the Rendezvous and later sold it to their son, Robert G. ("Charlie"). By 2010 they had divested most of their holdings in Juneau and built a home in Lynnwood, WA. Bob wasn't through logging, though, and in 1992 logged the Ericksen family corporation's land on Stuart Island in the San Juans where Norski was raised. Twenty years later they were allowed to log again and were in the midst of that when Bob suffered a massive brain hemmorage and died November 13, 2014.
Bob was preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, and brother George in 1984. He is survived by his loving wife, "Norski" and son Charlie and many nieces, nephews and great and great-greats in both the Schroth and Ericksen families.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Dec. 22, 2014
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