McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Husband of Gretchen Brell ’79 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on June 6, 2017


Rich passed away on June 3, 2017 after a short battle with cancer.  Rich was born in Toledo, OH on June 24, 1949 to Jane (Hackett) Schroeder  and John C. Schroeder.  He grew up in the Old West End and continued to share stories of the antics he and his buddies got into right up until his death.  In those days the Old West End was filled with large families so there was always someone to get into trouble with and Rich did his fair share of harmless shenanigans.  Rich proudly served in the US Navy during the Vietnam war and was fortunate enough to stay stateside as a Corpsman.  That Navy training led him into the medical field, first as an Operating Room Tech and eventually as an RN.  Rich spent 40 years as an operating room nurse in cardiac surgery, many years at Toledo Hospital and St. V’s and finishing his career at the Cleveland Clinic, retiring in 2014.  Rich married Dagmar (Dee)  Morales in 1973 and together they raised two daughters, Alison and Ashley.  Rich later married Gretchen Brell.  Since retirement he has enjoyed spending time with his wife Gretchen, and his daughters and step daughters and their families and many dear friends.   Rich really enjoyed cooking and took great pride in the meals that he served to friends and family as he and Gretchen entertained frequently.  Over the last couple of years he enjoyed planning the garden and selecting furniture and art for the condominium that he and Gretchen shared.  He served on the condo board and also volunteered at Hospice of N.W.O with his best buddy Theo the GoldenDoodle whom he trained well and took to class to become certified as a Therapy Dog.  Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Jane Schroeder Ruhfel and John Schroeder, step father” Pops” Albert Ruhfel, brother Bill Schroeder.  He is survived by wife Gretchen Brell Schroeder, daughters Alison Morales and Ashley (Nate) Shank, grandson Owen Shank, stepdaughters Jillian (Emily) Walz and Natasha (Anthony) Jones, brothers John (Karen) and Mike (Cheryl), sister-in-law Bridget Brell Holt, father-in-law Tom Brell and many nieces and nephews with whom he had a wonderful relationship and his best buddy Theo.  Rich had a great relationship with so many friends from every period in his life and many of those friends were incredibly helpful after Rich became ill.  He was humbled by all the support that he received and words cannot express our gratitude.   In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the Joanne Siedel Brell fund at the Toledo Community Foundation or Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo.

Richard’s family will receive friends after 9 AM Sat, June 24 at Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral 2535 Collingwood Blvd where a Funeral Mass will be held at 10 AM.

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