Richard Daniel Schroebel passed away peacefully and at home, after living for six years with advanced prostate cancer as well as a crossover of slow progressing ALS and Multiple System Atrophy-C, a rare and debilitating neuro degenerative disease. He lived his first 60 years with vigor, and his final years with humor, strength and dignity, embracing life and the joys that each day brought.
Born in Stockton as a third generation Californian, Richard spent his elementary school years in Modesto before returning to Stockton and graduating from Stagg High in 1972. No surprise to those who knew Richard well, his high school years were filled with friends and family, and with buying, rebuilding and driving a wide assortment of vehicles. Richard graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics in 1976. During his years at Cal he found great joy in playing trumpet in the University of California Marching Band, and being a part of their acclaimed 1976 Bicentennial Tour. His participation in the band continued for almost 40 additional years as end-zone director, directing the band at home and at many away football games from 1977 through 2014.
Richard enjoyed a long and successful career. After five years at Associated Freight Lines in Modesto as Terminal Manager, and then earning his MBA at San Francisco State in 1983, Richard spent the remainder of his career expanding Bank Tanks (later Baker Corp) from a southern California based oil-field service company to an international equipment leasing company from which he retired in 2014. He especially loved hiring and training, and was extremely fond of the people on his teams.
Richard’s favorite past-times were auto racing, flying, and golf. Most of his racing career (in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s) was in SCCA Formula Ford. Not only did he hold track records for many years at both Sears Point and Laguna Seca, he also won the 1991 SCCA National Championship Runoff in Formula Ford at Road Atlanta in that year’s most contested race. For that performance he was also awarded the coveted RRDC Mark Donahue Award. Richard earned his private pilot’s license in 1993, and later an ATP (airline transit pilot license), and flew private planes for 23 years. Rich’s most memorable flying experience was his cross-country flight from Concord to Kitty Hawk in just 11 hours with his (at that time 11-year-old) son John at the yoke. Richard and his family especially loved their many trips via private plane to Priest Lake, Idaho as well as many family “airplane camping” trips. And for years, when Richard wasn’t at work, flying or with his family, he could be found on the golf course (enjoying his handicap of 6!).
Richard met his wife Vicky on a blind date in 1984 waterskiing with friends. After 15 happy years of life, work and travel Richard and Vicky were blessed with son John in 1999. John brought enormous joy to Richard’s life. Richard especially loved their “airplane rides in the dark,” long distance bike rides towards John’s Eagle Scout rank, snow skiing in Tahoe and in Oregon and Washington by plane, waterski weekends in the Delta, flying remote controlled planes, family trips to America’s great space program centers, meeting Captain James Lovell, and John’s trumpet music. One of Rich’s happiest days in life, other than the day John was born, was to see John earn his pilot’s license on the day he graduated with honors from high school. His love of and pride in John was immense.
Richard is survived by Vicky, his devoted wife of over 35 years, his beloved son John, and his sister Mary Lee, her husband Bert and their sons David and Daniel (and Daniel’s wife Jill, and their sons Jack, Ben and Sam). Rich was preceded in death by his parents Dan and Jackie and his younger sister Sarah.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the University of California Marching Band (Berkeley), the College Park Instrumental Music Boosters (Pleasant Hill), or the Haggin Museum (Stockton). A Celebration will be held at a later date.