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Richard A. "Monk" Schroeder

1933 - 2019
Richard A. "Monk" Schroeder Obituary
(News story) Richard A. "Monk" Schroeder, a music teacher and choir director for decades at Jones Junior High School, who helped students appreciate a good song well sung, died Saturday at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. He was 86.

He had cancer, his niece Kathryn Dopfer said.

Mr. Schroeder, a lifelong South Toledo resident, retired from Jones in the 1990s. He was named by many in response to a question posed three years ago on a Jones alumni social media page: "If you could elect one Jones teacher for President, who would it be and why?"

One alumna, calling Mr. Schoeder "Mr. Coolness," said, he was "fair, trustworthy, popular, charismatic, intelligent, talented, comforting, caring, awesome instructor,all around perfect teacher. Soo caring about his students."

An alumnus himself, he came to the job knowing by heart the the school's famous fight song, "Three Cheers For Our Jones Junior High," to the melody of "Stars and Stripes Forever."

He focused on show tunes and patriotic songs in class with his students and with the 80-voice-strong choir in holiday-time and spring shows at the school.

"He would just sit at the piano and start playing and line up the kids around the piano, because he was going to teach a song," his niece said. "By the time the hour was up, we knew the song.

"I've been walking around singing show tunes the last week, because they're so ingrained in my brain," his niece said.

Mr. Schroeder, who also coached football at Jones, made sure his show choirs included at least half male voices, said Jack Mattimore, four years his junior who grew up in the same south end neighborhood.

"His choirs were fantastic, and one of the reasons, he as a football coach made most of his players join the choir," said Mr. Mattimore, a longtime Whitmer High School teacher and coach. They were associates in managing youth baseball for 33 summers at the Lucas County Recreation Center in Maumee.

"He had a way with youth that was amazing," Mr. Mattimore said. "He treated the kids with respect."

Still he brooked no nonsense, in class, in performance, or on the field.

"He treated everybody the same - fairly," said his niece, and onetime student, Elizabeth Tebbe. "Everybody paid attention to him. Nobody goofed off in class. He said, 'You're here to learn. I'm here to teach you.'"

Mr. Schroeder also was an assistant track coach at Bowsher High School.

He was born April 2, 1933, to Lucille and John Schroeder. He was a 1951 graduate of Libbey High School. He and his late sister Karleyne as children sang and danced in amateur competitions on radio. He went to Heidelberg College as a vocal education major and received a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University, where he ran track. He was an Army veteran.

Surviving is his brother, John Schroeder.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday at the Coyle Funeral Home, where funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Friday.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Nov. 7, 2019
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