Emil Ernest “Dutch” Schroeder, Jr. passed away October 2, 2020, in Clifton, Texas, at the age of 96, after a long life filled with many friends and Baylor University. He was born January 26, 1924, in Austin, Texas, to Emil and Katherine Schroeder. He had three younger brothers, Vernon, Clarence and Marvin.
He graduated from Austin High School and was the president of his class. He played freshman baseball at the University of Texas.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dutch volunteered to serve in the United States Navy. While in the Navy, Dutch was a Quartermaster on vessels in the South Pacific. On the day of the Japanese surrender, his ship, along with hundreds of others, all gathered in Tokyo Harbor as the peace agreement was signed. He was discharged in 1946.
After one more semester at Texas in the fall of 1946, he found his way to the two loves of his life: Betty Lou Swan and Baylor University.
While Dutch played baseball at Baylor, he and Betty were married in June of 1948. Their honeymoon was scheduled around the NCAA baseball playoffs that year.
After graduating from Baylor in 1949, Dutch played baseball in the Big State League for the Temple Eagles. Temple ISD hired him to teach and coach baseball. In 1953, Dutch was hired to coach the new Travis High School baseball team in Austin, where he led them to a state championship in 1954. In 1958, Dutch was hired by Baylor University where he served as head baseball coach from 1958 to 1973.
After leaving coaching, he taught in the PE department at Baylor until his retirement from Baylor in 1999.
While he was blessed to live long enough to see his life’s work recognized on so many occasions, it was the relationships he cultivated that meant the most to him. Until well into his 90s, Dutch never forgot a student or player.
Dutch was honored to be inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in 2014 and was a Baylor Wall of Honor inductee in 2007. He considered his greatest accomplishment to be one of the original organizers and lead fundraiser for the Baylor “B” Association. It was created to honor former Baylor letter winners and keep them in touch with each other and Baylor. He went out on the road in the early 70’s to raise funds for the first “B” room at Floyd Casey Stadium. He quickly became the game day host and front door greeter. He also served as the organization’s Secretary, President, Executive Vice President and in later years, Executive Vice President Emeritus.
In 2001, a former player, Rick Hawkins, donated the money to honor him by creating the Dutch Schroeder Plaza that connects various athletic facilities along University Parks Drive.
After his retirement, Dutch remained a fixture at Baylor athletic events. Dressed in green and gold with Betty by his side, they cheered loudly for all Baylor sports teams, both men’s and women’s.
Dutch and Betty were faithful members of Seventh and James Baptist Church for more than 60 years. He was chairman of the Board of Deacons and taught Sunday School classes.
Never one to sit down, he continued working as the “waiter in training” as he liked to call it at The Cotton Palace B & B in Waco - the business he and Betty owned with their daughter Becky. He loved serving breakfast every morning and sitting at the head of the table to tell his life stories.
Dutch was preceded in death by his loving wife, Betty; his daughter, Emily Whelpley; his parents; and his younger brothers, Vernon, Marvin and Clarence Schroeder.
He is survived by his daughter, Becky Hodges and Lawrence Elkins of Clifton; son, Tim Schroeder of Waco; grandchildren, Eren Price and husband, Waren, of Frisco, Kirk Lowe and wife, Traci, of Friendswood, Matt Hodges of Waco, Hillary Hodges of Clifton, Amanda Carcaterra and husband, Brian, of New York, Jennifer Kennedy and husband, Matt, of California, Alex Merritt and husband, Kevin, of Waco and Savannah Schroeder of Waco; and 11 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Doris Schroeder and Patsy Schroeder of Austin.
Dutch is also survived by countless friends, neighbors, players, students and colleagues in the Baylor family who considered him a friend and mentor.
The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to Chloe Evans who has been Dutch’s caregiver as his health declined in recent years. The family is thankful for the loving care of the staff of Goodall Witcher Nursing Facility of Clifton, for taking such good care of Dad this past year.
Plans are underway for a private burial in Holland, Texas. There will be a celebration of Dutch’s life that will be open to the public at a later date, when it is safer to have larger gatherings. For those who wish to pay their respects, Dutch will lie in state until Friday evening at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Dutch Schroeder Letterwinners Legacy Endowment at the Baylor “B” Association, 1500 S. University Parks Dr, Waco, Texas 76706. This endowment honors his life and his commitment to service.
Dad would want us to end his obituary with the words he would use to acknowledge the passing of each Baylor letterwinner in a handwritten condolence card to each family. He always added this quote by poet, Thomas Campbell. “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Dad you will always in be our hearts.
The family invites you to share a message or memory on the “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.