Roger W. “Dutch” Schoenecker, age 86, of Cambridge passed away peacefully at home on March 6, 2020. He leaves behind his wife, Ruth; six children, 16 grandchildren, 15 great- grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.
Schoenecker was born in St. Paul on Feb. 20, 1934, and attended grade school and high school there. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean era, he attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a BA in Journalism. He returned to the University in 1980 where he earned his MA in Mass Communications.
Schoenecker joined Sun Suburban Newspapers as a reporter, working his way to executive editor of 13 weekly newspapers before leaving to join 3M Company as Curriculum Development Director for the Published Products division. He was appointed Information and Education Director for the Department of Natural Resources in 1969 and served until he and Ruth bought the Isanti News weekly newspaper in 1974.
In 1980 the newspaper and printing plant were sold and, after graduate school, Schoenecker became a full time instructor in English and Speech at the Cambridge Campus of Anoka Ramsey Community College. He retired in 1996 and then taught for six years at the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College in Arizona.
Over the years Schoenecker served as Mayor of Grove East Village, as Councilman for the city of Oakdale, as a member of the School Board of Cambridge-Isanti District 911, on the Isanti Fire Department, as a member of the Isanti Lions’ Club, the East Central Regional Development Commission, the Governor’s Environmental Education Committee, the Knights of Columbus, the Isanti Area Friends of the Library, the National Council of Teachers of English and was an Isanti County election judge.
Schoenecker was a published author of four books and numerous short stories, was an avid hunter, fisherman, played guitar, sang in many choral groups and enjoyed golf and tennis.
Roger is survived by his wife, Ruth; six children, June (Bob) Cierzan, Jean (Dave) Mickelson, Todd (Nona) Schoenecker, Tom (Michele) Schoenecker, Jim (Jody) Schoenecker, Andy (Sandy) Schoenecker; three brothers, Thomas (Edna) Schoenecker, Mike (Carla) Schoenecker, Dave (Evie) Schoenecker; three sisters, Elaine Ruhland, Teri Schneider, Mary (Darryl) Morgan; 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and other relatives and friends. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers and three sisters.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 12 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Isanti, with a time for visiting one hour prior at the church. Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences can be made at StrikeLifeTributes.com.