Funeral services for Thomas Milton Schroeder, 73, will be held at 10 am Saturday at the Lifeway Fellowship Church in Killeen. Burial will follow at the Killeen City Cemetery. Tommy passed away peacefully at home with his wife at his side on Tuesday, August 27th.
He was born to William Milton and Noema Levy Schroeder on April 18, 1940, in Madisonville, Texas, but moved to Killeen a couple of years later. Tommy grew up working in his parents' convenience store, which shaped him into an entrepreneur. His career began when he was seven, operating the forerunner of an electronic cash register – a manual adding machine, making change from a cigar box. Tommy was educated in the Killeen schools and graduated from Killeen High School in 1958, where he was a trumpet player in the band.
Initially attending Tarleton State University, Tommy transferred to the University of Texas, earning a degree in Marketing. Tommy remained a diehard Longhorn fan and could often be seen around town in burnt orange. In 1962, Tommy married Terecia Conder; they were married almost thirty years and have two daughters. Tommy spent two years in the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant Officer in the 2nd Armored Division stationed at Fort Hood, but wanted to go into business for himself. Tommy opened his own Mickey's convenience store on March 11, 1965, at the age of twenty-five. On the corner of Trimmier Road and Illinois Avenue, this location became the second store in the Mickey's chain. For more than ten years, Tommy not only opened and closed the store, but also worked up to 18 hours a day, six days a week. In the early days, Tommy greeted his customers from behind store counters and worked the cash register. What started out as a small, family-owned corner grocery in the 1940s has grown into a local enterprise celebrating almost fifty years in business. In 2005, a stroke forced Tommy to retire from active management of the construction and maintenance.
Many of Tommy's dearest friendships were forged fishing, especially on the Colorado River with Dr. Bill Bean. During his lifetime, Tommy traveled as far as Alaska to fish for salmon. Tommy enjoyed helping others and quietly touched the lives of many, as evidenced by the many loyal, long-time employees at Mickey's.
After spending a number of years together, Tommy married Janet Grejda on March 8, 1997. Together, they enjoyed traveling around the world. After Tommy's stroke, his favorite destination was casinos.
When his daughters were in elementary school, he served as a trustee of the Killeen Independent School District Board. Tommy was a member of the Masonic Lodge #1125 as well as the Maxdale Cowboy Church.
Preceded in death by his parents and sister, Mickie Kay Schroeder, survivors include his wife, Janet Schroeder; two daughters, Karen Schroeder Walinder and her husband, Jim, of Killeen and Debra Schroeder Spaulding and her husband, Brian, of San Marino, CA; grandchildren Lindsey Walinder, Natalie Spaulding, Allison Walinder, Zachary Spaulding, and Reid Walinder; a brother, Dr. David Schroeder, and his wife, Jutta, of Graz, Austria. Step-children include Rita and David Hogan, Suzi and Billy Smith, Mark Grejda; grandchildren Jeremi and Erica Hogan, Benjamin and Desiree Hogan, Samantha and Tyson Taylor, Joel Hogan, Charles Smith, and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Maxdale Cowboy Church building fund.
Visitation with family will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Crawford Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen.
Offer condolences online at www.crawfordbowersfuneralhome.com.