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"ELU" 2006 Obituary


ELUCHOK 2006-02-15 published
Free Press veteran had an eye for detail, facts
Bob (Ace) SCHROEDER is hailed as one of the best journalists the newspaper has seen.
By Chip MARTIN, Free Press Reporter, Wed., February 15, 2006
Ace was dealt a bad hand.
His death at age 61 late Monday came too soon for his family, Friends and colleagues who remember Bob (Ace) SCHROEDER as one of the best reporters and editors The London Free Press has seen.
SCHROEDER, a veteran of 39 years at the paper, succumbed to cancer after a brief but valiant fight.
His Friends in the newsroom, where he had risen to the rank of senior copy editor, mourned the loss of the stickler for detail and fact who fell ill two months ago.
"I'm going to miss him terribly," said Bill ELUCHOK, who edited copy alongside SCHROEDER until Eluchok retired a few months ago.
"He was a superb reporter and an even better editor," said ELUCHOK, who first met SCHROEDER 40 years ago.
A native of Exeter, SCHROEDER won a Free Press scholarship at the University of Western Ontario to further his studies. He became a full-time reporter in May 1966 and was a general assignment reporter, Sarnia Bureau reporter and police and court reporter before becoming an assistant city editor, sports copy editor and ultimately a senior copy editor.
Last year, senior editors at The Free Press named SCHROEDER the paper's winner of the QuickWire Award for Excellence in Editing.
"He was one of the best editors we had in terms of knowledge of grammar and facts," said ELUCHOK, who acknowledged SCHROEDER would also draw attention to factual or copy errors missed by colleagues. "He would find errors in copy I had edited and point them out," he said.
More than a few rookie reporters sloppy with facts or spelling and grammar would feel the lash of SCHROEDER's tongue. But he challenged them to do better and they usually responded.
Free Press Editor-in-Chief Paul BERTON said SCHROEDER gave immeasurable credibility to the newspaper.
"I don't know how he got his nickname, but I always thought it was because he was the best at what he did. It gave me a certain comfort when he was editing my stories, and it gave me even more comfort that he was part of the team when I became editor-in-chief."
John JARDINE, a former London city engineer, became a friend of SCHROEDER when they met at Western in 1963.
"His great love other than his family was golf," JARDINE said. SCHROEDER played 150 rounds of golf a year, mostly at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club, where he was a member.
His evening shift allowed him to hone his game to the point where he had a handicap of 10.
Before he and SCHROEDER switched to golf 30 years ago, JARDINE said he learned how competitive his friend was on the tennis court.
"He hated to lose."
In golf, it was SCHROEDER who was always lining up tee times and partners.
"He was a very honest guy," JARDINE remembered.
"He wouldn't play with anybody he thought was cheating."
SCHROEDER was proud of his work for The Free Press and JARDINE said it was clear his friend was "very ethical in his work."
JARDINE was a neighbour of SCHROEDER in Westmount and confessed he had trouble keeping track of London's system of rotating garbage pickup days JARDINE himself introduced. So JARDINE never bothered to consult his city-issued calendar -- he just watched the curb in front of SCHROEDER's house to know the collection day.
He knew his friend Ace wouldn't make a mistake.
SCHROEDER leaves his wife, Beth, and three daughters, Wendy, 33, of Parry Sound; Erin, 30, of Melbourne, Australia, who was married Saturday; and Leslie, 29, of London, England.
A memorial service is set for February 22 at Westview Funeral Chapel at 11 a.m.

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