Delwin Kent Schroeder was born on March 28, 1955, at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton to Norman Edward Schroeder and LuEtta Katherine (Pankratz) Schroeder.
He was raised on the Schroeder family farm in rural Canton with his older brother Jim and younger sister Kathy. The family attended Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, and Del accepted Jesus as his savior after attending a church camp when he was 15. Soon after, he was baptized and became a member of Alexanderwohl.
When Del was 17, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This diagnosis required the family to travel to San Diego and Tijuana for many years seeking treatment. Del underwent radiation and chemotherapy that helped attack the disease. He would be in remission for 30 years, but these treatments would eventually cause numerous health problems in his later years.
Del attended Sunny Hill Rural Country School in rural Canton. Later, while attending school in Goessel, Del was involved in football, basketball and school leadership. He also made friendships that would last through the rest of his life. Del graduated from Goessel High School in 1973. He continued his education at Bethel College in North Newton, graduating in 1977. Though Del was there to major in business administration with a minor in history, he managed to get himself into a few notable adventures along the way.
After attending a career fair, Del was hired at Farm Credit and eventually settled in Wichita. While working at Farm Credit, a young secretary caught his eye. Del and DaLonna were married on Sept. 11, 1982, at First Mennonite Brethern Church in Wichita. Del and DaLonna lived in Wichita, where they welcomed their daughter, Erin, in 1985. In 2017, the couple celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
Every summer of Del’s life was carefully planned around wheat harvest at the family farm. Del enjoyed spending a hot, windy week out in the field with his dad, brother, and nephew.
Del started every fall with the cautious optimism that only a seasoned Chiefs fan knows. Countless Sunday afternoons were spent shouting at the TV, followed by a quiet, dark cloud of disappointment.
In 1993, the family moved to their current home in Hesston. They began attending Whitestone Mennonite Church, and Del established many connections through serving the church as a treasurer, elder, usher, and stewardship chair.
In 2004, Del was diagnosed with radiation-induced osteo-sarcoma. Del and DaLonna spent eight months in Houston so Del could receive treatment from M.D. Anderson. Del continued to work at Farm Credit for the rest of his career. After 39 years, he retired right before his 60th birthday in March 2016.
The family will miss his dry wit, contagious shoulder shaking laugher fits, quiet generosity, endless curiosity, and persistent will to overcome the challenges life threw at him.
By the end of his life, both Del’s body and spirit had fought hard to overcome numerous health struggles. In recent months, Del was recovering from complications due to an infected pacemaker. Though his death was unexpected, his family is choosing to take comfort in knowing that his tired body is now restored.
Del was preceded in death by his mother, LuEtta Schroeder.
He is survived by his wife, DaLonna Schroeder of Hesston; daughter, Erin Schroeder and her fiancé Sam Hathaway of Overland Park; father, Norman and Leona Schroeder of Canton; brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Janice Schroeder of Newton; sister and brother-in-law, Bob and Kathy Woelk of Hillsboro; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ernie and DaNaye Aragon of Newton; and several nieces and nephews.
Services were on Friday, Feb. 2, at Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. Baker Funeral Home in Peabody was in charge of arrangements.