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Eugene Joseph John "Geno" Schroeder

1933 - 2019
Eugene Joseph John "Geno" Schroeder Obituary
Eugene Joseph John Schroeder (Geno) went to be with his Lord in the early morning hours of Dec. 24, 2019. Geno was born in Lefor, North Dakota, on the family farm, July 25, 1933. Geno came to Alaska in the U.S. Army in 1953, stationed at Fort Wainwright. He was honorably discharged in 1955, after faithfully serving his country. He proudly stated, "I fell in love with the Last Frontier and I never left." In Fairbanks he met Edith Watt, the love of his life. They were married in Delta Junction the summer of 1959 and celebrated their 60th anniversary June 14, 2019.
Geno was a tireless worker and provided for his family of six children by doing a variety of jobs. Probably his favorite was as a hunting guide living in Umiat. He worked part time at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow. In Fairbanks, where they settled, he worked for Wien Airlines until he had an accident in the early '70s and broke his back. Recovery was a long road, but he retrained to be a rock cutter and thoroughly enjoyed working for John Haley at the Jade Cache. Many of his grandchildren still proudly possess beautiful stone bookends grandpa made. By his ingenious nature he designed and constructed a rock saw big enough to cut the large jade boulders mined in the Northwest. He made several large, single-cut, jade coffee tables from one boulder, that were stunning and highly valuable, also a beautiful 16" jade bowl he turned by hand on a lathe, that was placed in the governor's mansion. For many years he had a wood cutting business with his family. For some time, he owned the busiest gas station in Fairbanks. He operated a gold mine in Manley Hot Springs and ran the first Yellow taxies in Fairbanks. Geno retired in 1998 after 20 years of service with Seekins Ford.
In 1974, after his accident, Geno had a dramatic and life changing conversion to Christianity. He spent many years involved with the Full Gospel Businessman's Association, was instrumental in the founding of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission and served in the local prison ministry for seven years, preaching the Word of the Lord and sharing with others how God could change their lives. Everyone he met was a friend. Always reaching out to those in need, he was known as a man who would help anytime, anywhere, giving even the shirt off his back.
Geno was preceded in death by his eldest son, Eugene Jr. (Sonny). He is survived by his wife, Edie, and his seven children and their spouses, one foster son, 21 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren, who all loved his company and will dearly miss him. Geno loved having family near him. He never lost his childlike curiosity, and had boundless energy to do fun things with the "little ones" who rejoiced at the prospect of going to visit "Grampa Geno."
To the end, he was fond of saying, "I've had a good life." He kept a cheerful, pleasant personality throughout his long illness, making friends of nurses, doctors, and caregivers who loved him dearly. Geno had a huge heart and pulled you right into it. He will be terribly missed, but we know he's been welcomed home by Jesus, that he's finally free of all pain, has his full understanding restored, and at this moment is eagerly exploring every nook and cranny of paradise, probably thinking up more efficient methods of paving streets with gold.
Geno will be buried in the spring.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Jan. 26, 2020
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