John Schroder -RIP
10/30/1946 – 06/05/2018
Today, the world, the world of IMAC/Scale Aerobatics, and the Remote-Control community as a whole, marks a day of great loss and sorrow. For today we lost from our “plane” to a different “plane” a great groundbreaker, forward thinker and man in John Schroder. John was a leader and an example and a mentor to so many, both the young and the “not so young” over a vast amount of years with the RC community. We grieve his loss but cherish his memory. We mourn his passing, but revel in having known him.
The IMAC family extends its deepest condolences to Tina, David and Ashley and the entire Schroder family, which is a large one, both by blood and by friendships. Our hearts break with you, but we will remember the joy that John brought to this family of ours.
Growing up the son of Walt Schroder, one cannot be surprised that John Schroder would inherit the passion and vision for RC that he exhibited. John not only continued his father’s zeal and love for RC aviation, but carried on the tradition of giving back to the RC community in much the same tradition established by his father and Bill Bennett before him. John tirelessly devoted his time and personal resources to the advancement of our hobby. He concentrated on the youth of the hobby and offered support to anyone he could. John was instrumental in helping the International Miniature Aircraft Club (IMAC) achieve the status it holds today. When John retired in 2007, his desire for the ToC to live on became a driving focus of his life. He and his wife Tina began to search for a location that could support such an endeavor.
If you have never heard of Toone, Tennessee, you’re not alone. It was unknown to the vast majority of the model aviation world until John moved to town and went straight to work on his new 200-plus acre sod farm. Much as Bill Bennett did for the ToC, a few short months after putting down roots, it was ready. John christened his slice of paradise by continuing a custom he established in Florida with the “IMAC Summer School and NATS warm-up”. Each summer John and Tina opened their doors for students on summer break to come and engage in some intense IMAC practice and coaching. In return the students learned some real-life skills by working the farm to help with upkeep.
In 2008, just like his father Walt and Bill Bennett, John invited the world’s best pilots to an international aerobatics championship that rekindled the spirit of the ToC. The inaugural Clover Creek Invitational set a new standard in the world of RC Aerobatics. John opened his private residence for nothing more than the enjoyment of his fellow RC enthusiasts. His desire was to promote the art of precision aerobatics to its fullest, share his passion for model aviation, and see competitors from around the world unite and compete for the love of the sport itself.
He created and ignited the Clover Creek Invitational and continued the tradition with the world’s best to battle for $50,000 worth of prize money! In another selfless act that reflects his father and Bill Bennett, John had once again funded the $50,000 prize list from his personal resources. The Clover Creek Aerodrome and the Clover Creek Invitationals are just a few of the selfless acts made to the RC community by John Schroder.
John continued strong and focused on that prize and to the youth specifically and continually. Hosting the summer camps and his involvement with IMAC and the betterment of the organization. Bringing more and more talented kids to productive and responsible futures with a passion and love for toy airplanes. Sounds so simple, yet so selfless a task and all by this man known by many names.
If you did not have the pleasure of meeting John, the stories shared by the people who have will enlighten you to a man who had given more to the hobby than can be measured or described in these few paragraphs. John carried forward the traditions established by Bill Bennett, Art Schroeder, and Walt Schroder before him.
John Schroder – RIP our friend, our brother, our father and for all of us, a great example.