Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder
Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder
Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder
Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder
Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder

Obituary of Jeannette (Jeanne) Schroeder


Jeannette Elizabeth (Felts) Schroeder                   December 20, 1924 – April 24, 2023

Jeanne died while in hospice care in Longmont, CO on April 24, 2023 at 98 years old, outliving most of her contemporary friends and acquaintances.  Although she knew that she was fortunate to live long, sadly, she had not contemplated a future without those who were important to her.

Jeanne was born in Guthrie, KY, to Kenneth Felts and Maude Perry Felts, who divorced while she was an infant. From an early age, she spoke her mind and made it clear that Jeannette was not the name that she had chosen, and that she would instead be Jeanne to virtually everyone during her life. Maude worked as a bookkeeper and secretary, during Jeanne's early years, leaving Jeanne under her grandmother’s care at their home near Memphis, TN until Jeanne was of age and living on her own.

Jeanne met her husband Gibbs as a Red Cross volunteer while caring for wounded soldiers after WWII. After a whirlwind 6 week romance, they were married in a snow storm on December 30, 1947, lived in New Jersey for several years, then settled in Huntington, NY to raise their family.

Although animals were not part of Jeanne’s early days at home, pets were always a big part of their married life and cats and then dogs joined them in their first years together at home.

Three children were born to the couple between 1949 and 1953, followed by another in 1958. Between kids, she again volunteered for Red Cross at the local hospital, and during the kids’ school years, she was on PTA and worked as a medical receptionist and secretary.

As their children grew, so too did the Schroeder animal population, some by chance & some by choice, as the kids brought home an assortment of animals (kittens, turtles, toads, ducks and rabbits) to live with the family. Mom always said ‘Ask your Dad’, and all knew what that meant. Many of the family photos include the cats as well as the dogs, first a Belgian Shepherd, then German Shepherds and Dachshunds.

Gibbs and Jeanne stayed on the north shore of Long Island until they retired in 1974 and moved with their youngest daughter and pets to LaPorte, CO to join their 3 adult children in nearby Fort Collins. Several years later, Jeanne’s mother and Gibbs’ sister also migrated to the area to be near family. Always an avid gardener and birder, over the next 30 years, Jeanne transformed their surroundings from pastureland to dog and bird friendly areas, with patios, perennial flower beds, shade and fruit trees and a large vegetable garden.

Their first Irish Setter moved in, and through him they again became involved in dog showing, joining the Buckhorn Valley Kennel Club, the Irish Setter Club of Colorado, then the English Setter Club of Greater Denver, and their National breed clubs. During the next 30 years, Jeanne served on the Board for ISCC, and as Treasurer for BVKC and ESCGD. Her gardens, their family and ‘dog friends’, plus her club work and local dog shows kept them occupied through Gibbs’ last years of declining vision and health. Gibbs died on Mother’s Day in 2002, after several months in a nursing home.

In December 2011, when she was 86, Jeanne suffered a stroke at night, fell and broke her hip, and was found by her daughter Debbie the next day. Unable to be on her own, she recuperated first with her daughter Lisa in Littleton, then progressed to assisted living in Lakewood and then Longmont. After a hospital stay in 2018, she was released to a Longmont Skilled Nursing facility and remained there until her death.

Jeanne is survived by her daughter Deb (Steve) Garfield in Fort Collins, her son Chris, in Lompoc, CA, and her daughter Lisa (Vic) Cooper in Littleton, CO.  She is also survived by her 7 grandchildren – Jenny Garfield (Nathan Morimitsu) and Derek Garfield, Melanie Cooper (Jeff Rokosz), Amy Cooper (Bryan Kennedy) and Cheryl Cooper, and Zach (Lauren) Schroeder and Stefan Schroeder. Her great grandchildren are Aspen Keller and Evie and Ollie Schroeder through Zach, and Bear Rokosz, through Melanie.

Jeanne was predeceased by her mother Maude P. Anderson in 1987, by her husband Gibbs in 2002, and by her son Steve in 2015 (Cydni Mueller, now Bigelow). Jeanne will be taking her chosen place between Gibbs and her mother in the Columbarium at Grandview Cemetery.

She had fond memories of her friends, family, pets, vets, and doctors, spoke of them often, and mourned them all as she was told of another’s passing. A quote that she loved comes from an Irish headstone and speaks of such loss … “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

We extend heartfelt thanks to both our parents for instilling a love and respect for animals in all of us. We share warm memories of afternoon tea and cookies in the kitchen on wintry days and drinks on the patio in the summertime. Birds' nests symbolize good luck, protection, love, commitment, and friendship - all things that Jeanne and Gibbs shared, and there were always nests in their trees.

"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply become a part of us."

Helen Keller

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   Maya Angelou



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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Vessey Funeral Service - Fort Collins
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