Paul Schroeder, 73, formerly of Chicago, died Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Litchfield.
A private, military burial will be held at a later date. Litchfield Family Funeral Service in Litchfield is assisting the family.
Mr. Schroeder was born April 3, 1947, to Carl and Gloria (Keating) Schroeder. He grew up in Chicago, where he was a graduate of Lane Technical High School.
Naturally mechanically-minded he landed a job with the Chicago Pump Company as a draftsman. Soon thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He spent half of his three years in Seoul, South Korea, where he earned the rank of sergeant and drove with the motor pool along the 39th parallel, carrying messages to his generals.
When he returned home to civilian life, he brought the love of engines and vehicles with him. He built and flew large-scale, gas-powered, RC airplanes. A gifted mechanic, he easily took apart and reworked car engines, improving speed and efficiency. He took that power to the 1/4 (quarter) mile in his beloved 1969 Chevy Chevelle at the Great Lakes Dragaway, where he was a formidable competitor.
He later moved to Shipman and worked at the Wood River Refinery. He loved sharing laughs with family and friends and helping his cousin, Jerry, soup up his tractors for the tractor pulls.
Not long after his move to Shipman, he suffered a head injury in a car accident. With the love and tireless support of his parents, he recovered as much as possible, but was not able to return to his mainstream life of cars, mechanics and work. However, his love of music endured. He could sing every word of every song by Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and Peter, Paul and Mary, and sometimes entertained other patients, nurses and physical therapists.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Dave (Sherry); nephews and nieces, Sean, Scott, Kyle, Laura and Amanda; and great-niece and great-nephew, Brynlee and Blake.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Dan and Richard.
Memorials may be made to Martha’s Pantry at Shipman United Methodist Church, 278 Keating Street, Shipman, IL 62685.
Online condolences may be left at www.litchfieldffs.com.