• November 26, 2014

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Thomas Milton Schroeder

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Funeral services for Thomas Milton Schroeder, 73, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lifeway Fellowship Church in Killeen. Burial will follow at the Killeen City Cemetery.

Mr. Schroeder died Aug. 27, 2013, peacefully at home with his wife at his side. He was born to William Milton and Noema Levy Schroeder on April 18, 1940, in Madisonville, 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. He 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, Mr. Schroeder transferred to the University of Texas, earning a degree in marketing. He remained a diehard Longhorn fan and could often be seen around town in burnt orange. In 1962, he married Terecia Conder; they were married almost 30 years and have two daughters. He spent two years in the Army as a second lieutenant in the 2nd Armored Division stationed at Fort Hood, but wanted to go into business for himself. Mr. Schroeder opened his own Mickey’s convenience store on March 11, 1965, at the age of 25. On the corner of Trimmier Road and Illinois Avenue, this location became the second store in the Mickey’s chain. For more than 10 years, he not only opened and closed the store, but also worked up to 18 hours a day, six days a week. In the early days, he 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 50 years in business. In 2005, a stroke forced him to retire from active management of the construction and maintenance.

Many of his dearest friendships were forged fishing, especially on the Colorado River with Dr. Bill Bean. During his lifetime, he traveled as far as Alaska to fish for salmon. He enjoyed helping others and quietly touched the lives of many, as evidenced by the many loyal, longtime employees at Mickey’s.

After spending a number of years together, he married Janet Grejda on March 8, 1997. Together, they enjoyed traveling around the world. After his 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. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge 1125 as well as the Maxdale Cowboy Church.

Mr. Schroeder was 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, Calif.; grandchildren, Lindsey Walinder, Natalie Spaulding, Allison Walinder, Zachary Spaulding and Reid Walinder; a brother, Dr. David Schroeder and his wife, Jutta, of Graz, Austria. Stepchildren 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 is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen. Offer condolences at www.crawfordbowersfuneralhome.com.

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