Bernard J. “Bernie” Schad, 80

Bernard J. “Bernie” Schad, age 80 of Melrose, died unexpectedly following a massive heart attack Monday, December 5, 2011 at the Melrose Area Hospital in Melrose, Minnesota.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 10 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose. Rev. Marvin Enneking will officiate with interment following in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose.

Bernie Schad was born September 30, 1931 in Rochester, Minnesota to Christian and Catherine (Schneider) Schad. He grew up on a farm near Plainview and was a 1949 graduate of Plainview High School. He served in the U.S. Army and then attended St. Cloud State University, where he met Mary Lano. They were married on September 27, 1958 at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Annandale, Minnesota. The couple resided in Maple Lake and he worked and attended college. He commuted to the University of Minnesota for his senior year and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mortuary Science. He began work as a funeral director at Werness Brothers Funeral Home in south Minneapolis and then Evans-Nordby Funeral Home in Osseo. In 1966 they moved to Melrose and he began serving the community and surrounding areas as their funeral director. He later expanded Schad Funeral Homes to include the funeral homes in Grey Eagle, Sauk Centre, and Freeport. In 1993 the funeral homes were sold to Pat and Sue Patton of Sauk Centre and Bernie continued to work until his retirement from full-time funeral directing in 1995. Over the past 16 years he had continued to work at the funeral home whenever he was needed, which included participating in the Annual Service of Remembrance held just the day before his death.

Bernie was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where he was a lector and usher. He was a former member of the Melrose Lions Club, Melrose Knights of Columbus, and Melrose Jaycees. He was a past president of the Melrose Chamber of Commerce and a past president of Meadowlark Country Club.

There was no one more proud of his community than Bernie Schad. He was instrumental in recruiting and hiring four doctors for the Melrose Clinic and Hospital. He was known as the Dutchmen Superfan for his long-time support of all athletic events at Melrose High School and was instrumental in the formation of the 740 Club. He was involved in planning the Melrose Centennial Celebration in 1972, was the emcee of the Miss Melrose Pageant for many years, was named an honorary Mpls. Aquatennial Commodore, and led the drive to raise funds for a grand piano for the new high school auditorium. Over the years he mentored many young people in the community and in his profession. He was a long-time member of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association (MFDA), serving as president in 1986-87, and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).

Survivors include his wife, Mary Schad of Melrose; four children, Julie (Mel) Schaefer of Melrose, Joe (Angela) Schad of Maple Grove, Mike (Kerry) Schad of West Yellowstone, Montana, and Patrick (Teresa) Schad of Melrose; ten grandchildren, Ben (Lane) Schaefer of Sauk Centre, Jillian (J.J.) Megge of South Lyon, Michigan, Jon (Jessica) Schaefer of St. Cloud, Joey (friend, Jenna Burns) Schaefer of St. Cloud, Tucker Landis of Minneapolis, Samantha Schad of Maple Grove, Mandy Lakso of Superior, Wisconsin, Kanika Lakso of West Yellowstone, Montana, Gracie and Logan Schad of Melrose; two great-grandsons, Jordan Schaefer and Tyson Lakso; six brothers and sisters, Mike (Marge) Schad of Grove City, Ohio, Jeanine Ryan of Rochester, Virginia (Dave) Carlson of St. Michael, Suzanne (Jim) Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah, Tom Schad of Burnsville, Loretta (John Hendrickson) Gosse of Bloomington.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Christian; sisters, Marilyn Muller and Kate Schaber; brothers, Chris and John Schad.

Serving as casket bearers will be Ben, Jon and Joey Schaefer, Jillian Megge, Tucker Landis, Joe Leach, Santo and Tomas Cruz. Cross bearer will be Patrick Patton and scripture bearer will be Joanne Cruz.

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