Clinton A. Schroeder, a lifelong national leader and innovator in the field of charitable estate planning, died peacefully at his home in Edina, Minnesota, on March 12th with his wife, Carolyn, by his side. He was 89.
Due to the challenges and restrictions from Covid-19, a live streaming virtual memorial service is planned for Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:00am. Here is the live link for the service:
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Bethlehem Lutheran Church Foundation, 4100 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55409 or The University of Minnesota Law School, Clint and Carolyn Schroeder Scholarship Fund, 200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Born in 1930 to Clarence and Ann Schroeder in Morris, Minnesota, Clint was the second of five children. He graduated from Fergus Falls High School where he served as editor of the school newspaper, played on various sports teams, finished second in the Minnesota State Debate Tournament, and was class president and salutatorian of the Class of 1948. Clint graduated from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business Administration with a BBA degree, with distinction, and a JD degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1955; he also served as an editor of the Minnesota Law Review. Clint and Carolyn met while at the University of Minnesota and married in 1953. The Schroeders moved to Edina in June 1959 and made their home there.
In 1957, Clint joined the Minneapolis-based firm of Cant, Haverstock, Beardsley, Gray and Plant, later known as Gray Plant Mooty (now Lathrop GPM) after having been honorably discharged from the US Army, Captain, active duty 1955-1957. He remained a principal with the firm until 2016. In his practice, Clint represented individuals, corporations, colleges, universities, and foundations.
Clint was one of the nation's leading authorities on tax law, charitable giving, and philanthropy. According to the Minnesota Planned Giving Council, he was "legendary" for encouraging his clients to make charitable giving a central focus of their estate planning. "In helping others fulfill their charitable goals, he has greatly enriched our community," the MPGC said.
He was as dedicated to civic and community service as he was to the practice of law. To cite just a few examples: He served as board chair of the Minneapolis Foundation, the Fairview Healthcare System, and the Southdale YMCA, working in each of those roles to improve the lives of Minnesota children and families; was president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis and its foundation; was President of the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Association; and a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates. Clint was also co-chair of Leave a Legacy Minnesota and Board Chair of the American Council on Gift Annuities. In addition, he led the effort to create, and then helped lead for decades, the Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, which insures attorneys for matters of professional responsibility and ethics.
Clint was the recipient of numerous awards, including: the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award, Hennepin County Bar Association Professional of the Year Award, Minnesota Planned Giving Council Clinton A. Schroeder Distinguished Service Award, Marty Baskerville Philanthropy Award, Minneapolis Rotary Community Service Foundation, The Best Lawyers in America, 1979-2010, Outstanding Service Award, University of Minnesota Medical Foundation, 2005, Honorary Doctor of Laws, Concordia College, 1981, and the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, Fergus Falls High School, 2004.
Notwithstanding these many professional and personal accomplishments, Clint will be remembered by his law colleagues for his remark-able personal characteristics. He mentored several generations of lawyers on the ideal of client service and loyalty, with many associate lawyers remembering a ride home from Clint that resulted in detours to several client houses to deliver packages or witness a will signing. He was the law firm's chief optimist often bursting into a colleague's office announcing how wonderful it was that clients entrusted the firm with their most important matters. Clint was also infamous for his frugality. Work assignments would be delivered to associates on recycled scraps of paper or stamp-sized Post it Notes. If work required a late night, Clint could be counted on to have coupons for "buy one get one offers" at a skyway fast food franchise. Most importantly, Clint loved the practice of law and was one of the fortunate lawyers for whom the practice of law was both a vocation and a hobby. "Clint was a great man and a true steward of our firm," said Michael P. Sullivan, a director with Lathrop GPM. "He was committed to making this place better and always gave back more than he received. We are all lucky to have had him help set the tone around here for so many years. He genuinely cared about all of us."
Other hobbies of Clint's related to sports, as a participant and a fan. He played basketball both in high school and in the U of M intramural leagues. He had season tickets to the major University of Minnesota sports teams, Minnesota professional sports teams, and could be found at many Edina High School games. (Notably, Clint would only use green and white (Edina's colors) paperclips at the law firm.) In the late 1960's, when the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Gophers, and Edina Hornets were all football powers, Clint's most treasured weekends were those when he attended games of all three teams and cheered them to victories. Clint could rattle off scores and players from teams that played 40 or 50 years ago.
Clint was a dedicated father and husband. He lived his life to do justice, to love kindness and walk humbly with his God. He leaves behind a personal legacy of inspiring not only his children, but many colleagues and friends, to live life with integrity, to serve others, and to enjoy the wonderful life that optimism, hard work and loyalty will provide.
Clint is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Carolyn Iverson Schroeder, and children: Alan Schroeder (Susan), Barbara Hartsfield (Andy), Lisa Kennedy (Tim), Kathryn Schroeder (Umut Avsar), and son-in-law Steve Gluck (Tracee); grandchildren: Jake Hartsfield (Kristen), Tyler Hartsfield (Lauren), Carolyn MacLean (Kevin), Clint Schroeder III, Gordon Schroeder, Rochelle Gluck, Jaxon Gluck and Kailie Kennedy, and great-grandchild, Philippa MacLean. He is predeceased by his parents Clarence and Ann, his siblings Milt, John, Buddy and Jeanette; and his daughter, Joan Schroeder Gluck.