Michael “Big Mike” G. Schredl M.S. ’69, M.A. ’75 was born Aug. 23, 1939, the son of German immigrants, in Sacramento. He had the misfortune of starting school while speaking with a heavy German accent during WWII, which resulted in some initial rough treatment by his classmates. He overcame this with a fierce devotion to his country and a lifetime of service to it. Growing up and attending school in San Francisco, he was a good-fielding and reliably hitting first baseman, leading to a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals at Seals Stadium. It was in San Francisco that he met the love of his life, Judy Schwarz. After graduating from Balboa High School in 1956, Mike attended the City College of San Francisco, and then applied to the military service academies. He was accepted by all three, and chose West Point, where he played football and was a founding member of the Academy’s rugby team. His classmates and teammates there would become his lifelong friends. As a cadet officer, Mike was assigned to the 21st Infantry’s First Battle Group in Germany. While acting as executive officer of a rifle company, Mike was there when the Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961 erupted and his company was ordered into battle positions to repel an expected Soviet invasion. For his service with them, Mike was proclaimed a Life Member of the 21st Infantry Regiment “Gimlets.” Upon graduation, Mike was commissioned into the Air Force, and three days later married “his” Judy in June 1962. Hoping to receive pilot training, he was instead assigned by the Air Force to the missile program. While stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mike took the time to coach a Little League team of scrappy Southern boys to a championship title, and welcomed his own son Michael Jr. to the family in 1963. Mike performed a number of duties related to the early space program while assigned to the Satellite Test Center in Sunnyvale, where in 1965 his daughter Karen was born. After leaving active duty, Mike continued his career in the Air Force Reserve, retiring after 35 years of service as a full colonel. His assignments at Hamilton AFB and Travis AFB included commanding a security forces company and serving as deputy wing commander for resources. In addition he served as a liaison officer to the Air Force Academy, helping numerous young people successfully apply. He closed out his career at Maxwell AFB as acting chief of history for the Air Force, a job which perfectly suited his love of studying the past. On the civilian side of his career, Mike worked briefly as an engineer at IBM, getting in at the beginning of the computer revolution. He embraced information technology with a passion, always having the latest hardware and software, and could often be found at his PC writing his own programs to improve some facet of his productivity. Mike decided to change careers and became a teacher, devoting his time and energy to mentoring young people. He was a math, special education, and German language teacher, vice principal, and football and baseball coach for over 30 years with the East Side Union High School District in San Jose until retirement in 1998. One of his proudest and most enjoyable accomplishments was implementing a German exchange program while he was at Oak Grove and Independence High Schools, hosting German students in California, and bringing American students over to visit Germany. He maintained contact with many of his former students and players, and took great pride in their accomplishments and successes. After moving to Auburn, Mike “unretired” and taught at both Placer High and Foresthill High School for several years, making a whole new group of friends among his colleagues. As a longtime member of the American Legion, Mike was on the staff of the California Boys State program for a number of years, helping to develop leadership skills in young people. A lifelong believer in the power of education, he earned a bachelor’s in engineering from the Military Academy, masters’ in teaching and special education from SCU, and a Ph.D. in education from Walden University. In addition, he received numerous certificates from the military for courses taken at the Army Command and General Staff College, the Air Force War College, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Naval War College, and the National War College. He was always helping, teaching, or mentoring someone. Even in the last month of his life, he spent time helping his very good friend Baltazar Argueta, who considered Mike a father figure, to earn his contractor’s license. Mike was also a consummate craftsman and the ultimate handyman. He could pour a concrete foundation, rebuild an automobile engine, repair a clock, build a cabinet or bookshelf from scratch, fix a TV or ham radio, restore a model train engine, and upgrade a computer with equal ease. For a number of years he was a licensed contractor with his own business, spending many a weekend remodeling a house or office. But his greatest pride and joy was his family. He could often be found in the stadium or gym at Bowman School, Placer High School or Foresthill High School watching one of the numerous football, volleyball, softball, baseball, soccer, basketball games, wrestling matches or track meets his grandchildren participated in. On Oct. 17, 2019, Mike passed away in his sleep at home, surrounded by his loving family, after a sudden and brief illness. He was 80 years old. Mike was predeceased by his cherished daughter Karen; by his parents Mike and Renee Schredl; his in-laws Alex and Olga Schwarz, his sisters Senta Yonts and Renee Hines; and his sister-in-law Diane Schwarz. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Judy; his son Michael Jr. and daughter-in-law Teresa; granddaughter Alexis (Jeff) Pflegl; grandsons Michael and Robert; his son-in-law and unofficially adopted son Robert Garland; his brother Richard (Tish) Schredl; brother-in-law Alex “Skip” Schwarz Jr.; his nephews Jeffrey Schwarz, Daniel (Tisa) Yonts, Richard (Tiffany) Schredl, Phillip (Amy) Schredl; his nieces Tara (Hank) Tarlton, Erika Boettjer, and Allison (Justin) Taylor; a large number of great- nephews and nieces; numerous cousins of the Schredl, Weisel, and Steininger families in Germany; and his four-legged family: Kitty-Cat, Max, and Morrie. And last and definitely not least, the light of his life, his “Tiny Tornado” and great-grandson Alexander “Xander” Wolfgang Pflegl, who brought his Papa so much joy.

23 Jan 2020