Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Assignment: Interview a Living Person and Write His Obituary

David Schraeder, Lifelong Student, Dies at 50

David Alan Schraeder’s nickname, “Mr. Science,” wasn’t just a nickname. It was a way of life for Mr. Schraeder. He was known for his spirit of adventure, desire to learn, and honesty. Mr. Schraeder’s love for learning followed him throughout his life.
From a young age until he was 50, Mr. Schraeder had a dream to become a professor, to literally profess his love of knowledge for college students. Mr. Schraeder, born on March 7, 1959, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died Monday.
When he was young, Dave was a bit of a mischievous fellow. He built model rockets, made bombs, and spent time in the great outdoors.
Dave and his father went on Canadian finishing trips to northern Ontario every year. He soon came to love the outdoors at a young age, and with that love, the love to know just how it all worked. You could ask Dave any question about any topic in science, and he would have an answer.
After graduating high school, Dave decided to take a year to test the waters of the business world. He found work at the number one locally owned gas station in Pittsburgh, and quickly ascended the corporate ladder. His manager had high hopes for him, both as a person who could relate to people and as a manager of a business.
That prompted Dave to apply to the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Engineering. He was accepted there, but decided that college life wasn’t for him just yet. Under the suggestion of his Uncle, Dave entered the service. He attended the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, and entered the nuclear power program. He attended his specialty school for Engineering in San Diego, California.
Dave was discharged from the Navy, and then decided to attend the Community College of Allegheny County, where he earned his Associates Degree as a paralegal. He was in the midst of attending the University of Pittsburgh for media and professional communications.
Apart from his love of learning, Dave Schraeder was an avid reader. He enjoyed non-fiction and fiction alike; Michael Crichton wrote his favorite books. Dave had too many books to count in his home on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
Dave lived the single live, although he met the love of his life, Sophie, in his twenties. His mother, Barbara, is a retired Registered Nurse. His father, Albin, deceased, was a physicist at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He had a younger sister, Donna.
Dave’s family was very important to him. His friends were also important to him. Dave learned a tremendous amount about life, and shared that with his closest friends. David learned to adapt to his surroundings, and fit in very well with his environment.
Although he was not religious, Dave saw himself as an existentialist and a pacifist. He enjoyed the simple things in life.
A friend recollected, “We would full up the gas tank and just drive. Cruise around on the open road.”
Dave had a love for details, and his work throughout his life showed that passion. His work also reflected his knack for adventure and his intelligence. He was a natural writer.
Dave lived his life brilliantly: he had fun. His love of hard rock and gift for science made him into the individual he was. He will be truly missed, by his peers, classmates, professors, and above all else, his friends and family.

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