George Robert Schrader was born on February 16, 1931 and ascended to his Lord on December 31, 2020 after living most of his life in Dallas, Texas, the city he truly loved. He was widely regarded as the man who built Dallas during its “golden era” and was one of the founding fathers and pioneers of modern-day Dallas, Texas.
George was born on a farm in Olivet, Kansas to Ellis George Schrader and Jane Ewbank Schrader and was the oldest of three children. Much of his childhood was spent working with his dad on the farm by harvesting potatoes by hand and milking cows. The family moved to Topeka, Kansas where George worked as a newspaper carrier to earn extra money. He also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. George graduated Topeka High School with Honors in 1949. He then attended Baker University as an Academic Scholarship Student, where he worked hard by washing dishes and being a houseboy for dormitories while still finding time to join Delta Tau Delta fraternity, where he became President. He was also Baker University Student Council President. He earned his degree in Political Science and Economics in 1953. While at Baker, George fell in love with Mary Liz Rogers and they married in 1954. George then went on to the University of Kansas as a Graduate Scholarship Student where he earned his Master of Public Administration in City Management. He later received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Texas Woman’s University on August 14, 2020 and was very proud of this honor.
George loved and was passionate about working in city government, and started his career in San Angelo, Texas. While in San Angelo, George and Mary Liz welcomed their daughter, Janise. They then moved to Ennis, Texas, and as the first City Manager, George inaugurated the council-manager form of government. He was then hired by the City of Mesquite, Texas as City Manager and lived in Mesquite from 1959 to 1966, where he bult the first City Hall building and the first Public Library. George’s ultimate career goal was to be city manager of a large US city, and that opportunity came to him when he was hired as Dallas Assistant City Manager. He went on to become the 10th Dallas City Manager, a position he held from 1972 to 1981. While responsible for a workforce of more than 12,500 employees, George impacted Dallas by implementing infrastructure changes, establishing an Arts District, constructing City Hall and the Dallas Public Library, helping establish the Dallas Arboretum and putting in place a modernization plan that included developing Reunion Arena and DFW Airport.
George kept his love of civic duties and giving back to the city he loved as a main focus of his time away from the office. He was a life member of Salesmanship Club of Dallas, on the executive board of Boy Scouts of America, and was past chairman of The Dallas Foundation. He was on the Board of Governors of Dallas Symphony Association and was a contributor to building the Meyerson Symphony Center. He served on many Board of Directors, including State Fair of Texas, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, The Menninger Foundation, Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, Baker University, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Ballet, and Texas Woman’s University. Charity organizations were important to George and he worked diligently to help many, including Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, University of North Texas: The George R. Schrader Professorship of Practice in Local Government Endowment Fund, UT Southwestern, North Texas Food Bank and many others.
After the passing of Mary Liz in 1991, George found love again with Barbara Chance Ewing and they married in 2005. George became an important member of her family, and will be remembered fondly for his guidance, influence, charitable work and contributions, long stories, infectious deep belly laugh, love of Kansas Jayhawks Basketball, gravy and soup, sharp dressing and love of blazers, his full retirement calendar of many scheduled lunches and dinners, his love and interest in activities of his grandchildren, and his selfless and loving constant caregiving for Barbara as her health declined.
George was predeceased by his first wife Mary Liz Schrader, his daughter Janise Kaye Schrader, infant daughter Suzanne Elizabeth in 1959 and infant son George R Schrader, Jr. in 1967, and sister, Darlene Schrader Kincaid. He leaves behind his wife Barbara Chance Schrader, stepchildren Cheryl Ewing Rozes, and Steve Ewing, grandchildren Abby Zidell, Ashley Zidell, Sydney Ewing, Raylee Ewing and Hudson Ewing. He also leaves his brother Gordon Schrader and wife Joyce who reside in Kansas, along with several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers and according to George’s wishes, please contribute to one of his favorite charities:
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School: Gynecological Oncology Research
The Dallas Foundation: The George R. Schrader Fund
In an effort to protect its patrons from the spread of Covid-19, Highland Park United Methodist Church has requested that there be no guestbook or programs distributed. If you would like to leave condolences for the family, please sign the digital guestbook here on the New Hope website, as you will not be able to sign a book at the service.
Complimentary valet parking will be available to aid with parking
George's family has arranged for his services to be Live Streamed. Anyone wishing to attend the remote ceremony in real-time may do so by clicking this link just before service time or anytime after it begins.