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  • "I first met Marlyn in 1972 when, as a new sister-in-law, I..."
    - Leona Schroeder
  • "One of our favorite cousins, we were so saddened by..."
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MARLYN L. "WHITEY" SCHROEDER Stevens Funeral Chapel Marlyn L. "Whitey" Schroeder, 81, of Connell, Washington, passed away April 27, 2017 at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco, Washington, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Holland, Minnesota on September 7, 1935 to parents, Ervin E. and Margaret (De-Muynck) Schroed er. Whitey was the oldest of seven children born within 10 years. Through both childhood and adulthood, he was the consummate big brother. Whitey graduated from Clark High School's Class of 1954 in Clark, South Dakota. Following his high school graduation, he immediately joined the work force taking opportunities to work in a variety of jobs gaining experiences and friendships along the way. In April 1957, he married Donna Tupper. Over the course of the next 10 years, he worked in jobs including retail, road construction, house construction, on the railroad, and in the oil fields throughout the states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. He received his nickname "Whitey" from his coworkers while working in the oil fields because he always wore a white hat. Whitey and Donna started their family in 1958, with the birth of their first son, Keith. Their second son, Kent, followed in 1960 and the third son, Kelly, in 1961. They moved to Othello, Washington in 1966 where their daughter, Kara Kay, was born in 1967. In Othello, he worked in retail before starting his own custom hay farm business in 1973. While in Othello, he was an active member of both the Othello Lions Club and the Paradise Lutheran Church. After 20 yrs, his first marriage ended and he moved to Connell in 1977, where he met and later married Rhea N. Daweritz (Miller) in 1980. With his marriage to Rhea, he welcomed two more sons. In 1983, he stopped the custom farm business to start farming for himself, raising potatoes. As a potato farmer, he received many grower awards for his potato crops. In the early 1990's, he began a 10 year stint of traveling to Yuma, Arizona to grow potatoes for Frito Lay in the winters but would always return home for the summers. Following his years farming in Arizona, he made the decision to retire. However, farming was not a job for Whitey, it was a lifestyle. A lifestyle that he didn't easily give up as even in retirement he continued to work for neighbors during the hay season. He loved early mornings, being in the fields and watching the sun rise. He always said "mornings are the best time of the day". In 2012, Whitey and Rhea sold their acreage and home of 32 years in Basin City and moved to Connell. Whitey had a passion for playing card games...any card game! He taught all his kids how to play Hearts, Oh Hell, and Gin Rummy at an early age. He and Rhea had notebooks full of Gin Rummy games. He always let her win at least one hand per game just so she would keep playing with him. To this date playing cards is the highlight of every family gathering. His particular favorite game, though, was poker. In Othello, the weekly poker games moved around but in Connell, the games were always at the American Legion every Friday night. He always joked that if it wasn't for his poker winnings, he wouldn't be able to afford to keep farming. He was also an excellent bowler and enjoyed many years of Thursday night league bowling in both Othello and Connell. Family and friends, alike, loved his gregarious personality, quick wit, sly smile, and his way of laughing so hard tears would roll down his face yet only a whisper of sound was emitted, like a tire losing air. All family was important to Whitey, including his siblings, his wife, and his children but it was his 13 grandchildren, twelve girls and one boy, and 8 great-grandchildren that held a special place in his heart. He always had a smile, a twinkle in his eye and a mint in his pocket to share with them. He will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed as we were all incredibly blessed by having him in our lives. Whitey is survived by his wife of 36 years, Rhea N. Schroeder of Connell, Washington, and children: Keith Schroeder of Packwood, Washington, Kent (Judy) Schroeder of Cheney, Washington, Kelly (Karen) Schroeder of Lynnwood, Washington, and Kara (Burl) Booker of Connell, Washington, and step-children: James (Tana) Radar of Spangle, Washington and Garth (AnneMarie) Daweritz of Manitou Beach, Michigan, and 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, and siblings: Dennis (Marlene) Schroeder of Max, North Dakota, Shirlee (Martin) Luther of LeRoy, Kansas, Ervina (Gerry) Kramer of Elk River, Minnesota, Donald Schroeder of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Margie Scheurenbrand of Mitchell, South Dakota. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Margaret Schroeder, brother, Eldon Schroeder, sister-in-law Kathy Schroeder, and brother-in-law Tom Scheurenbrand. A memorial service & luncheon will be held on Saturday, May 13th at 10:30am at the Connell Community Center, Connell, WA. The family welcomes friends to come celebrate a life fully lived. To leave an online condolence to the family, and to check for updates on information, please visit our website at
Published in Tri-City Herald on May 2, 2017