Schroeder America will pay its respects to founder Alfred A. Schroeder this Friday, June 12th, as he is laid to rest. We ask patience and understanding as many take the day to morn the passing of an employer that filled the role of mentor, father-figure and dear friend.
Alfred Augustus Schroeder or Jud as he was known was born on July 10, 1936 in Corpus Christi, Texas and passed away at the age of 78 on June 8, 2015 with his family by his side.
Little Al" displayed an early affinity for creativity and problem solving, spending many hours as a young boy tinkering with his inventions in the family garage.
Jud was still a teenager when his father died and this accelerated his desire to make money and contribute to the support of his cherished mother, Annie Frances Schroeder, and his younger brother George.
At 17 he began working as a roughneck in the oil fields along the Texas coast.
The hard and dangerous work further solidified his desire to pursue a better life through education.
He subsequently enrolled in Del Mar College. He excelled academically and was president of Phi Beta Kappa for two years in a row. During this time he was given the nickname Jud by a girl who felt the name suited his personality better than that of Alfred.
After graduating from Del Mar College, he briefly attended The University of Texas at Austin where he met the love of his life, Linda Crosbie, at The Pig Stand drive-in on Halloween night. It was love at first sight for Jud who pointed Linda out to his buddy and declared that he was going to marry that girl.
He moved to San Antonio, enrolled at St. Marys Law School, and true-to-form married Linda in 1959.
After graduating and passing the Texas Bar, he and Linda welcomed their first child, Elizabeth Liza in 1961.
Two years later they were blessed with the birth of their son Lance.
During this time, Jud and his brother George began their first full scale business, Schroeder Enterprises, and started manufacturing Styrofoam coolers.
But in 1965 the highly flammable material caught fire one evening and burned the business to the ground. The five alarm fire in downtown San Antonio was the biggest fire San Antonio had ever known.
From the ashes of that first endeavor, and with only $1,000 between the two brothers they founded Lancer Corporation in 1967.
Jud patented an idea for a plastic disconnect that was utilized all over the world and began the company's long relationship with The Coca-Cola Company. In 1968, they were awarded the concessions for the Hemisfair Worlds Fair in San Antonio.
Subsequently, he designed another transformative technology, known as the bag-in-the-box system, which revolutionized the beverage industry.
Over the years, Jud and his engineering team continued to develop disruptive technologies and were awarded over 150 patents. In 1985 Jud and George took the company public and eventually sold it in 2006.
Not content to rest on his previous accomplishments, Jud founded Schroeder America at the age of 70.
Schroeder America continues to this day as a manufacturer of innovative products for the beverage industry.
One of the many aspects of his career that he was most proud of was the ability to provide jobs for thousands of people, many of whom followed him from Lancer to Schroeder America.
Jud had a life-long love of hunting and fishing, and spent many happy days bird hunting at the family ranch purchased in 1906 by his grandfather in Kenedy, Texas.
Jud and George eventually enlarged the ranch and turned it into a successful cattle operation which today forms the basis of Schroeder Land and Cattle Company.
Jud and Linda were fortunate to spend many years traveling the world for business and pleasure and to this day have many international friends.
Juds inventions and businesses are too numerous to list; none of which would have come to fruition without his fierce determination and extraordinary intelligence.
He will be remembered by his wife as her great love; by his children as a loving, bigger-than-life presence in their lives; and by his brother as his loyal partner and confidant in all things.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dorothy Linda Schroeder, his daughter, Elizabeth Liza Frances Gransee and husband Kurt; son Lance Meador Schroeder and wife Paz; granddaughters: Scarlett Elizabeth Gransee, Catherine Victoria Schroeder, and Annie Alexandra Schroeder; brother George Frederick Schroeder and wife Judy; nieces Suzanne Marie Schroeder and Julie Schroeder Fouillet, nephew George Frederick Schroeder Jr., and many other friends and family too numerous to mention.
THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015
PORTER LORING MORTUARY NORTH
FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015
HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC CHURCH
Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park.