Pastors' Memoirs

Albert John Schrader, 1922 – 2007

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2008 Memoirs

 My name is Ann J. Schrader and the task fell on me to write this memoir of my father, the Rev. Albert J. Schrader. I find it difficult to do so for obvious emotional reasons — I’m still grieving over the loss of my dear, sweet father. Not to mention, he was an English major in undergraduate school and quite the poet. Anyway, I’m not sure I’ll do justice to my dad’s memoir.
  My dad grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. As I recall, he told me he became saved at a tent revival and experienced a true calling to serve God. He was raised in the Methodist Church in an area close to his family’s home. His father was a pioneer in the remodeling kitchen business during the Depression. My grandfather, Albert D. Schrader owned three businesses in Pittsburgh at the time. A construction business, a remodeling kitchen business, and a miniature model business where my grandfather hired veterans to make models of what your new kitchen would look like. My grandfather would go door-to-door to sell the new kitchen ideas.
  My father was a teenager during this period and he had the good fortune to go to college. He started out at Boston College, but after one year decided that the winters were too cold there and transferred to another small college, Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio. At Alliance, he received a B.A. in English. From Mt. Union, he went on to seminary school at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
  My grandfather attended his graduation at Duke along with my father’s mother and siblings. My father graduated from Duke in the late ’40s. While at Duke, he met my mother, Mary Nadine Jobe; she was called Nadine. They met while my father was in summer school at Duke and she worked in the school cafeteria. She was out of East Carolina College and decided to go to nursing school. She was on a government scholarship to become a war nurse and attended Whatts Hospital Nursing School. Fortunately, the war ended around the time she graduated but my father was insistent on marrying her before she graduated. So off to Virginia went my dad’s family and my mother’s family for the wedding. Whatts Hospital had a rule that the nurses in training were not allowed to marry before graduation.
  My grandfather was shoveling snow and died suddenly at the age of 52. My grandmother, Beulah Schrader, asked my father to come back to Pittsburgh to run the family businesses but my dad felt his true calling was to serve the Lord.
  My parents moved to Hillsboro, W.Va. where my dad served his first church and my mother worked at the closest hospital. She convinced my dad to go back to Duke and complete his thesis; so he did.
  My dad decided to become a Methodist minister in the Virginia Conference. My parents served a church in Herndon, Va., and on the Eastern Shore and then my dad decided to join the Navy. He spent three years in the Navy while my mother and two brothers were stationed in California.
  The family returned to Virginia where my dad served churches on the Eastern Shore, Lynchburg, Lexington, Staunton, Fairfield/Vesuvius, and finally as a visiting minister in Richmond, Va.
  In Richmond, my mother, Nadine, was suffering from Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and had already survived breast cancer. My father took care of her until she had to be placed in assisted living and eventually several different nursing homes. After her death, my father went back to work and served as a visiting minister until his melanoma cancer caught up with him. He had been fighting it for some time and eventually died from brain cancer.
  During his time in Richmond, he continued to help support and take care of his children John, David, and myself. David had diabetes and fought a long battle with the disease until he too died in Richmond. My dad survived David by one month and two weeks. I was able to be at both their sides when they passed away.
  My dad was a wonderful, sweet, caring man who loved his work, and was a true servant of the Lord. He was a good husband and a great father. He loved to work in the yard and play golf. I imagine him in heaven hitting those holes in one.
— Ann J. Schrader

 

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