Posted on: February 4, 2020
Dr. James Ronald Schroeder, a beloved Richmond dentist, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, educator and friend, passed away on January 11, 2020, after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Surrounded by family and friends, Jim spent his final days sharing his love of God with a sense of peace and humor. Jim, more commonly known as “Pops” to his nine grandchildren, grew up on the north side of Chicago as the youngest of four. His father, Charles was a Chicago city police officer, and his mother, Myrtle was a nurse. He graduated from Taft High School, Luther College and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. He completed his residency at the University of Virginia and opened his private dental practice in Richmond, where he served patients for close to 40 years. He was well known for increasing access to care for patients with special needs. Dr. Schroeder will have a lasting impact on the Richmond dental community.
Jim was a co-founder and provider for CrossOver HealthCare Ministry, adjunct faculty at VCU from 1979-2017 and frequently contributed to the Virginia Dental Journal. He wrote fervently on the importance of leadership, relationship building and lifelong learning/growth. Following a cycling injury that lead to his early retirement from private practice, Dr. Schroeder became a sought-after consultant through his firm, Leadership by Design. Orchestrating a group of dentists under the organization known as Central Virginia Dental Care was a recent passion. His friends, colleagues and clients characterize him as a catalyst for change, forever insightful and compassionate.
Jim dedicated 13 years to serving on the Chesterfield County School Board, as well as teaching Sunday school at Redeemer Lutheran Church for 25 years. More recently, Jim used his leadership skills to contribute to the development of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church/Child Development Center in Midlothian. In the midst of staying active in the community, Schroeder made sure to keep his marriage, family and relationships at the center of his life. He was recently quoted, “Looking back, I really see all sorts of interventions of God giving me the wisdom to make good choices.”
Throughout Jim’s career, he has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of leadership and community service. In 1989, he received national recognition from the American Dental Association for “Improving Access to Dental Care for underserved populations” as well as receiving local recognition by the Richmond Times-Dispatch with their annual Community Service Award. Later, in 2009 he was named “Outstanding Richmond History Maker” by The Valentine Richmond History Center for his contributions to Cross Over.
Dr. Schroeder is survived by his wife, Jan (Kjeldsen) Schroeder of nearly 50 years; his loving children, Elizabeth Craig (Fred), James M. (Darci), Christiana Lancaster (Thomas), Emily Rutsis (Steve), Julie Lam and Mimi Lam; grandchildren, Ellie, Nash and Mary Calvin Craig, Carter and Dabney Knowles, Thomas and Caroline Lancaster and Dalton and Paige Rutsis; brother, Charles Schroeder (Susan); sisters, Gayle Meisner (Wallie) and Carol Gallagher (Mike); and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Redeemer Lutheran, Good Shepherd Lutheran, CrossOver Ministry or Needles Eye Ministry.