Schrade, Alan


Alan Rea Schrade of Johns Creek died on Aug. 15 from complications related to dementia, which he had battled for several years. He was 88. He was comforted by family as he passed away peacefully at home overlooking a golf course where for decades he played the game he loved.

Alan's long, successful business career was a testament to his natural gifts that made him a great salesman. He was curious about the world around him and had a disarming personality, connecting with people he met. He enjoyed the give-and-take of negotiations and was a skilled dealmaker.

He spent the bulk of his career with Comdisco, selling and leasing large mainframe computers across the southeast. He retired in 1993.

He was born Nov. 4, 1932 in Saratoga Springs, New York. He had an idyllic childhood growing up blocks from Saratoga Race Course, a hallowed place for thoroughbred racing. One of Alan's first jobs as a boy was selling programs at the track, and he worked in his family-owned parking lot that served racegoers. These formative experiences fueled Alan's passion for horse racing throughout his life.

He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) in 1954 and became a pilot in the United States Air Force, serving as a first lieutenant. He had postings in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Taiwan.

After his honorable discharge, Alan went to work for IBM in Buffalo. But the sun and energy of South Florida drew him to Miami in the early 1960s where he became vice president for marketing with Miami Data Processing Center.

He also served as a captain in the Air Force Reserve in Florida and was on alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.

The move to Miami changed the trajectory of Alan's life when he met Carol Molnar, an elementary school teacher. They were married on May 25, 1968.

The couple moved to Atlanta that same summer as Alan pursued a new business opportunity in the up-and-coming city. They never left, raising two children -- Brad and Jenni -- and spending most of their 53 years of marriage in North Fulton. For many years, they were members at Roswell Presbyterian Church.

One of the couple's joys was playing golf together. At different stretches, they belonged to both Brookfield West Country Club and Country Club of the South. Alan was always tinkering with his swing, searching for that adjustment that would lower his handicap.

Alan was such a supportive father and a positive presence for his children. He was always up for fun, attending Braves and Hawks games, spring training in Florida, Six Flags, beach trips, a Van Halen concert, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and other adventures with his family.

One of his hallmark philosophies was to find a passion and pursue your dreams. His encouragement and optimism made all the difference for his children.

Alan had an active and fulfilling retirement. He golfed in Scotland and toured Europe (he had a special affinity for World War II sites). He volunteered as a host chaperone during the 1996 Summer Olympics and was still attending George Strait concerts when he was in his eighties.

For two decades, he had cherished being a grandfather. He wanted his grandchildren to have memorable experiences when they visited Atlanta and he enjoyed entertaining them at Zoo Atlanta and other sites around the city. Even after his diagnosis, he continued to attend their sports games and recitals.

As dementia started to take hold of Alan a few years ago, he remained positive. He offered this insight to his daughter: "I'm not in any pain. I have good doctors and good care, and I've had a great life."

He was predeceased by his parents, Karl H. Schrade, Sr. and Ida Rea (Tritschler) Schrade, and his older brother, Karl H. Schrade, Jr.

Alan is survived by his wife, Carol Schrade, his son, Brad Schrade (Rose) of Decatur, and his daughter, Jenni Schrade Soderberg (John) of Onalaska, Wis., and his five grandchildren -- Ashley, Libby and Paul Soderberg, of Onalaska, and Will and Charlie Schrade, of Decatur. He's also survived by his sister-in-law, Alice Schrade of Albany, N.Y., and his brother-in-law, Bill (Judy) Campbell of West Middlesex, Pa.

Alan's family would like to thank his caregivers Carol Moore, Wanda Scales, Delora Snow, Pam Moore and Shay Graves for the tireless in-home care they provided Alan.

A visitation service will be held Saturday, Aug. 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Roswell Funeral Home at 950 Mansell Road, Roswell, immediately followed by a funeral service at the home's chapel. A graveside service at Green Lawn Cemetery in Roswell will follow the chapel service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Atlanta Humane Society.

Funeral Home Information

Roswell Funeral Home