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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Former Editor Bedford Times Mail Passes Away Friday

OBITUARY - William (Bill) Brandt Schrader, age 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Bloomington, Indiana on May 26th, 2023. He was born on November 4th, 1933, in Tuscola, Illinois to Wendell and Arlene (Brandt) Schrader. A newspaperman from a young age, Bill wrote sports stories for his school newspaper, eventually transitioning to the Tuscola newspaper. He then attended the University of Illinois but fell short of graduating by a few months because he was offered the position of sports editor at the Champaign News-Gazette in 1955. This was the beginning of Bill’s long and storied career in the newspaper industry. He served as editor for the Sunday Courier-Press in Evansville for 3 years and in 1966 transitioned to the Herald-Telephone in Bloomington as the sports editor. A year later he was offered the position of managing editor, then editor and associate publisher. He held both jobs until 1985, when he accepted the position of general manager and editor of the Bedford Times-Mail. He “retired” in 1995, but went on to produce the Schurz Communicator, an internal publication for then Times-Mail’s owners, Schurz Communications, Inc. until 2015.


Bill Schrader - November 4, 1933 - May 26, 2023


“Hard working,” “workaholic,” and “perfectionist” have been used to describe Bill’s work ethic, but those who worked alongside and for Bill will also say that he was a supportive and fair boss who mentored many journalists throughout his career. Not one to ever rest on his laurels, he also threw his energies into civic endeavors, citing his decades-long work on the improvement of highway 37/145 and serving as the Chairman of the Indiana 37/145 Association as one of his greatest achievements. In both Bloomington and Bedford, he served as chairman and president on multiple boards and councils. His accolades are numerous: Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame, a Kentucky Colonel, a Sagamore of the Wabash, and induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016. Bill also met 6 different presidents (Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr and Jr.). Some may also remember the Blizzard of ’78 when Bill valiantly read the entire Herald-Telephone, including the comics, on WTIU because the snow prohibited delivery of the newspaper. This commitment to journalism also involved his 3 oldest children, who delivered many a Herald-Telephone on foot and on bike. You would be hard-pressed to find another Bill Schrader!


One of Bill’s favorite summer activities was to visit his parents and aunt and uncle in Webb Lake, Wisconsin, where he could fish, swim, and enjoy the outdoors with his family. Bill also had a side gig writing travel stories and the family often benefitted from some of his favorite haunts: amusement parks. Along with his wife Barbara, they continued to ride roller coasters well into their 70’s! He and Barbara also enjoyed many years of travel adventures together, with their most favorite years spent in their Airstream, exploring America via Airstream rallies, with Bill serving as the President of Region 5 (Midwest)


Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Barbara; daughters Cindy (Thom) Benson, Cathy (Steve Franklin) Stone, Cheryl (Billy/Wil) Gerken; 5 grandchildren; Jacob (Sarah) Benson, Jean Marie (Austin) Poore, Samantha Stone, Sophia Gerken, and Anya Gerken; 3 great-grandchildren; Mason Benson, Alex and Isaiah Poore; sister, Nancy (Gary) Wehlage; brother, Robert (Barbara) Schrader; daughter-in-law, Denise Schrader; step granddaughter Deanna (Chris) Sykes; along with step great-grandchildren.


Bill was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Mike Schrader.


The family would like to thank Wellcare for their exceptional care and love that they have shown to them.


Funeral services for William “Bill” Schrader will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 1:00pm at the Hillcrest Christian Church in Bedford with Mark Fugate officiating. Burial will follow at Valhalla Memory Gardens in Bloomington. Visitation will be held at the church from 11:00am until the time of the service at Hillcrest Christian.


Arrangements for William “Bill” Schrader have been entrusted to the Ferguson-Lee Chapel of Thorne-George Family Funeral Homes.


Remembrances and condolences may be shared at www.FergusonLee.com.


For breaking news, news and information go to lczephyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Facebook page.


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