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Good People Doing Good Things — Dale Schroeder

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Good People Doing Good Things — Dale Schroeder

Posted on July 31, 2019 by jilldennison

Today’s ‘good people’ post is a bit shorter than usual, because … Filosofa forgot that it was Wednesday, and last night I spent a few hours preparing what I thought would be this morning’s post.  And then, as I was setting it up on the schedule for 3:00 a.m., I saw the calendar and … oh sh*t … it’s Wednesday!  I considered going with my original post, making my apologies, and doing the good people post later, or tomorrow, but … I know you guys count on it and in today’s environment, we all need to be reminded of the humanitarians who walk amongst us.  So, it is a bit short, but it is heartwarming, I promise you!

Good People Doing Good Things — Dale Schroeder Dale-schroederDale Schroeder lived his entire live in Ames, Iowa.  He was, as his friend Steve Nielsen described him, “… that kind of a blue-collar, lunch-pail kind of a guy. Went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans.”  Mr. Schroeder grew up poor, never married and worked as a carpenter for 67 years at the same Des Moines business.  Just your average Joe … or Dale.
Now, Steve Nielsen was a friend, but it also happens that he is an attorney.  One day near the end of Dale’s life, he popped into Mr. Nielsen’s law office and wanted to talk about his will.
“I never got the opportunity to go to college. So, I’d like to help kids go to college.”
When Nielsen asked Dale …
“How much are we talking about, Dale?”
The answer stunned Nielsen, who says he nearly fell out of his chair …
“Oh, just shy of $3 million.”
When Mr. Schroeder died in 2005, he owned two pair of jeans – church jeans and work jeans – and a rusted Chevy pickup truck.  But Mr. Schroeder left a legacy that will live forever, for because of him, 33 people were able to go to college and come out debt-free!Good People Doing Good Things — Dale Schroeder Dale-schroeder-2You may wonder why I am writing about this now, some 14 years after Dale’s death, but I have my reasons.  This month, the group of 33 who have dubbed themselves “Dale’s kids” got together to honor the man who changed their lives. They’re now doctors, teachers, therapists — and friends.
There’s just one thing Schroeder asked for in return. “All we ask is that you pay it forward,” Nielsen said. “You can’t pay it back, because Dale is gone, but you can remember him and you can emulate him.”
One such recipient, Kira Conrad, tells her story …
“I grew up in a single parent household and I had three older sisters, so paying for all four of us was never an option.”

Y’know, folks, to most of today’s politicians or wealthy industrialists, $3 million is a drop in their bucket, probably not even worth losing a night’s sleep.  But to Dale, it represented two things:  a life lived frugally, without all the toys and gadgets that we think we simply cannot live without, and an opportunity to give of himself to others, to give others a chance to do what he was never able to do.  I have stated before that I don’t have much use for millionaires and billionaires, but if they were all like Dale, used their money for the betterment of people … what a wonderful world it could be.

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