Longtime Alaskan and Homer resident Tom Schoder died Sunday, April 24, 2005, surrounded by his family at his residence. He was 80.
A memorial mass will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at St. John's Catholic Church in Homer. The family is planning to bury his ashes at Hickerson Cemetery in Homer.
Mr. Schoder was born Nov. 5, 1924, in Battle Creek, Mich., one of six brothers. He was a graduate of St. Phillip High School and Michigan State University with an emphasis in forestry. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army Air Force as a B-24 crew member during World War II.
After his discharge from the military, Mr. Schoder worked as a ranger for the U.S. National Park Service from 1949-57 in Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation until 1964, when he began working for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management until his retirement in 1979.
Mr. Schoder moved his family to Alaska in 1971 and resided in Anchorage and Homer. He was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Homer, where he often presided as a layperson. He received many commendations and awards for his military service and from the Bureau of Land Management, AARP and the Homer Senior Citizens Inc.
He loved fishing, being with his family and dogs and enjoyed only two types of pie: hot and cold.
"Tom was a man of indomitable goodness and great faith. He showed endless compassion for others, especially those less fortunate in the world. His rosy cheeks and big, sweet smile were a treasure to all. His life was a model of a life well-lived for his children, grandchildren and their spouses. He lived honestly, generously and with good humor. His courage and kindness will serve as a legacy. He was a devoted husband to Marilyn for more than 50 years, leaving behind a bountiful wellspring of love and a strong Schoder clan," his family said.
Mr. Schoder is survived by his wife, Marilyn Schoder of Homer; daughters and sons-in-law, Ruthe and Bill Schoder-Ehri of Homer, Annie and Kelly Drake of Austin, Texas, and Mary and Jay Ver Hoef of Fairbanks; sons and daughters-in-law, Michael Schoder and Anne Ver Hoef of Anchorage and Tim and Kay Schoder of Makakilo, Hawaii; grandchildren, Gabriel Ehri and his wife, Bonnie, of Philadelphia, Colin Schoder-Ehri of Bloomington, Ind., Lars Schoder-Ehri of Homer, Kelsey and Courtney Drake of Austin, Anastasia, Scyntha and Charlotte Schoder of Makakilo and Lander and Mariah Ver Hoef of Fairbanks; and brothers, Merritt Schoder of Battle Creek and John Schoder of Horse Shoe, N.C.
Memorial donations may be sent in Mr. Schoder's name to Hospice of Homer, P.O. Box 4174, Homer, AK 99603 or to a favorite charity. Those wishing to send flowers are asked to send perennial plants.
Arrangements were made by Homer Funeral Home.
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