William J Schroeder passed away July 6, 2023. Bill was born February 22, 1940 in Bellingham to Hugo and Ruth Schroeder. As an only child in rural Whatcom County Bill spent his youth with his dog and a gun, hunting anything edible. In his teens he was famous for driving fast and using dynamite to blow stumps and signs in the Birch Bay area. Bill found fame again much later in life, but this time for driving his Buick well under the speed limit on Birch Bay Drive holding up 5 to 15 cars at a time, to the consternation of his neighbors.
In 1962 Bill married the love of his life, Alice. Their early married years consisted of more fishing and boating than one can imagine in the San Juan Islands and BC Gulf Islands. In 1972 and 1974 Bill became a father to Sara and Sherie and took over his parents farm where he happily farmed beef cows and raised two girls. Bill often lamented that he and his Hereford bull were outmanned and outgunned by the estrogen of three women and fifty cows. Thankfully, around the turn of the century his daughters married wonderful men who shared Bill's love of the outdoors: Marty Kuljis and Jerry Vekved.
35 years of teaching and coaching in the Blaine School District supplied Bill with a great variety of amazing stories. His stories regarding bomb threats in the 60s, practical jokes among staff and colorful students are fondly remembered and retold by his family. Bill truly had a gift for presenting topics simply and clearly, with equal parts humor and discipline.
Bill's priority in life was being a husband and a father. He never missed his daughters’ sporting events and activities. The family’s summers were spent hurrying to put up hay and then enjoying long vacations to Quadra Island to camp and fish. Later, despite health issues, Bill worked hard to make it to the events of his grandchildren. He treasured each grandchild and enjoyed farming, clamming, fishing and shooting with them. He was also guilty of feeding them entirely too much sugar and letting them drive his car to their baseball practice when they were 14.
“Bill” and “Alice” are words that are hard to separate. For over sixty years Bill loved Alice with a passion that few could imagine. Together, they always had a fire in the stove and time for coffee with friends and visitors. They created a home that was filled with warmth, joy, laughter, Swedish pancakes and friends. Bill leaves a legacy of fatherhood, humor and integrity, along with a barn and few sheds full of ancient tractors and farming equipment, rusty antiques, Hot Springs hot tubs and parts, boats, vehicles both old and less-old, and non-operable John Deere lawn mowers. His family is honored to own such fine items!
Bill is survived by his wife Alice (Friberg), daughter Sara Kuljis (husband Marty) and their children Andrew and Emily; daughter Sherie Vekved (husband Jerry) and their children Hugo, Ivan and Signe.