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Ralph B. “Rusty” Schroedel, Jr.

Apr 02, 1952 - May 28, 2023


Rusty was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April of 1952 and passed away after a brief and courageous battle with cancer on May 28, 2023 at the age of 71. After graduating from Dominican High School, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree. He went on to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering in 1976.

He met the love of his life, Eileen, on a blind date in the summer of 1970. They have been together ever since, getting married in October of 1975. Rusty and Eileen moved to Sheboygan in 1975, where he started working for the original Donohue & Associates, currently AECOM, and began his career in wastewater treatment engineering. He was very proud that his work helped protect the environment and public health.

Rusty was recognized nationally for his engineering expertise and has been actively involved in many professional organizations. He is Past-President of the Wisconsin Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Past-President of the Central States Water Environment Association. He is a life member of ASCE, the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Association. He also achieved the highest recognition of Fellow from WEF in 2016. He has given over 100 technical presentations at conferences and seminars.

His employment enabled him to travel extensively in the United States and some internationally. He worked in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mexico, Saipan, and Canada. He had extended time assignments in the Washington DC area, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

Rusty most enjoyed being with family and friends, especially on holidays, birthdays, or other events. Rusty told Eileen how special she was as they both enjoyed watching sports together. They were avid Packers, Brewers, and Bucks fans, as well as enjoyed watching and playing golf. His activities included playing recreation league basketball, volleyball, and many, many decades of playing softball. He was an avid, competitive bowler since junior leagues in Milwaukee. He was also active with their children, Kimberly and Eric, in sports either coaching, attending their sporting events, or otherwise supporting their teams.

Rusty was also a member of the local Elks Lodge, #299 and an Honorary Founder in the Elks National Foundation.

Rusty is survived by his wife, Eileen; children, Kimberly Meyer and Eric (Jennifer Johnson); four grandchildren, Brooke, Clayton, Emily and Penelope; two great-grandchildren, Paisley and Oakley and brother, Kevin Schroedel. He is further survived by other relatives and many friends. Rusty is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Violet Schroedel.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at St. Dominic Catholic Church, 2136 N. 21st St., Sheboygan from 4:00 p.m. until the time of Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at St. Dominic Catholic Church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11:30 a.m. Entombment will take place at Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund in Rusty’s name has been established.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the doctors and staff that cared for Rusty.
Online condolences may be expressed at


Date: Tuesday Jun 6, 2023
Time: 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Location: St. Dominic Catholic Church [map]


Date: Wednesday Jun 7, 2023
Time: 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Location: St. Dominic Catholic Church [map]

Funeral Mass

Date: Wednesday Jun 7, 2023
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: St. Dominic Catholic Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Juliet Ohemeng-Ntiamoah

I had the pleasure of working closely with Rusty in putting together the Co-digestion Workshop at WEFTEC in New Orleans in 2022. Although I chaired the workshop, the workshop was Rusty’s original idea but due to his other commitments, he decided to help as vice chair which I feel it was an opportunity for me to stand on his giant shoulders and I learned a lot from his wealth of experience and knowledge. Rusty was incredibly personable person and is the first American who could pronounce my last name correctly without even asking me to say it first. Rusty will be incredibly missed and my Condolences to his family.

Harry Mathos

Our thoughts are with you all. Rusty will be missed dearly. Rest in peace, friend.

Bob Hannes

Schroedel Family, sorry to hear of your loss. Rusty was wonderful man. I first met him 24 years ago on my first project as a new engineer working for the DNR. There were a few issues on that project but Rusty was open, honest and accountable. After that first project I had the pleasure to call Rusty a friend. He will be sadly missed at conferences or as an expert to bounce ideas off of. I always enjoyed our discussions. Please accept my sympathies and prayers.

Laura Gerold, PE

Dear Shroedel Family, I am so sorry to hear about Rusty's passing. I've known Rusty professionally through my twenty plus years career as an environmental engineer although we've never worked at the same company. He loved wastewater and collection systems as much as I did. He served on the advisory committee at NWTC when I was an instructor there and provided invaluable input. I also enjoyed talking with him at ASCE, AWWA, and WWOA conferences. He was a technical expert and had a great wealth of knowledge. He was always happy and willing to help out. He was a great mentor for younger professionals. I will miss getting to talk with him. I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Eric Bartlein

I worked with Rusty almost since my beginning at AECOM. He was always in a good mood with a lot of stories and good humor. I know I will miss having him around the office.

Mandy Sheposh

To the family of Rusty Schroedel, I want to write to express my condolences for the loss of an incredible person and highly-respected water environment professional. I knew Rusty through work within Central States Water Environment Federation and WEF. As a newly graduated engineer (now 15 years ago), Rusty found an eager person ready to jump in to new projects – and in that, he grew my job into a meaningful career with a strong network that’s allowed me to flourish. Rusty encouraged me to participate in a few WEF publications and, later, to take on my first committee leadership position -- a 6-year commitment that really grew my standing in the organization. These contributions led to support of my application to the WEF House of Delegates, which has been incredibly meaningful for my career. Beyond an incredible mentor and friend, he was a proud family man. I would see Rusty at least twice a year at conferences, where he would lovingly share updates about his family – his kids and grandkids. He was very proud of his grandson, with his 3D printing expertise in high school and later foundry management role – a naturally talented technical mind (like his grandpa). He also shared how he would try to spoil his wife, whose birthday (it seems) must have fallen close to one of those conferences. Regardless, I feel like I know your family from the wonderful things he had to share about many of you. I reached out to Rusty in February and, after not hearing from him in a day or two, I knew something must be wrong. When he came back to work in May, he was as enthusiastic and engaged as ever! I’m so happy to have had the chance to work with him throughout the years and especially these recent months. It maybe have been an unusual friendship given a 30 year age difference, but Rusty was also a great guy to grab a beer with. Though he will be greatly missed, I know many of us will still feel his presence around us. His contributions continue to surround us because of the great improvements he made to every organization he touched. With appreciation and thanks for his legacy, Mandy Sheposh

Richard Shapiro

Dear Eileen and family, I want to send my deepest sympathy over the loss of Rusty. We became good friends in 1973 at Wash U as I was in his dorm in graduate housing. He invited me to his home for Thanksgiving. On that same trip I stopped in Chicago (for the first time) and ended up working there. So, Rusty was instrumental in guiding me to Chicago after his kind invitation. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Kind regards, Dick Shapiro, Plantation, FL

Jessica Lancelle

Rusty was always happy to see you in the office. As a fellow redhead he would share his "back in the day when my hair was still red...." stories. He always had a joke for you or would share a chat. Know that your family is in our thoughts. His cheery, upbeat presence will be missed!

Brandon J Koltz

Rusty was a professinol that advanced the water and wastewater practice, sharing his his expertise with clients and other professionals in the field. His legacy will be an improved water environment in WIsconsin and throughout the world. As a fellow "7S ", CSWEA and WEF member, and fellow committee meber, I wil miss his insight, enthusiasm, energy and leadership. Rest in Peace Rusty.

Mary Beth Terriaco

Dear Eric and family, My heartfelt condolences. Mary Beth Terriaco

Paul & Marcia (Mravik)Schaber

Rusty was a great neighbor across the street and drove with us to Dominican, Vi was my moms special friend,Kevin and Family we offer or heartfelt sympathy to all of you, HE was such a wonderful person.

Lorna Ernst

Rusty's contributions to the water sector were many and his love for his family was always at the top of his mind. He will be sorely missed.

Kim Murdock-Timmerman

So sorry to hear of Rusty's passing. Our sales group have worked on many biogas projects with Rusty over the years, and he was always a huge advocate for meeting his customers needs. From the entire team at Unison Solutions, we send our sympathy to his friends and family. .

Don Voigt

Such a wonderful human being.....and, of course, an exceptional to new/innovative ideas. Had served under Rusty on various projects (as a vendor and as an independent consultant) and was never disappointed in his leadership.....seems impossible to have lost him to the Lord.....our sympathy to his many family and friends......Don and Mary Ann Voigt

Linda Reid

I will dearly miss our conversations, my friend. x

Bob Peplin

Being active in CSWEA from MN we would always cross paths at the many joint state conferences. and I always took time to hear Rusty speak, very prolific presenter. Rusty, the passage of death is short, let your new life begin. (Romans 6:4 )

John McGettigan

Rusty and I worked closely together when he was making his weekly treks to Alexandria, Virginia. He was mentor to me and advocate for me, as he was to many. I'm a better engineer for having known and worked closely with Rusty. My deepest sympathies to the Schroedel family.

Eileen J O’Neill

So sad to hear of Rusty's passing. He was a terrific engineer who gave much to the profession. From time-to-time he would tell me, what a great first name I have. My condolences to the family. He will be missed and left his mark.

Sam Dyrud

Rusty was always a courteous and professional man in my experiences with him. I pray that his family and loved ones will be comforted at this time. We never know when our time on this earth will end so we must always look to The Lord for His Word - the Holy Bible. Rest in peace my friend.

Roy Lembcke

My sympathies at this sad time.. I worked with Rusty as a DNR employee in his professional work and enjoyed knowing him also as a WWOA member. He was always a pleasure to work with and was great company.

John Rooney

I have had the privilege of working with Rusty at both the Department of Public Works and Water & Wastewater Utilities for the City of Racine over the last 29 years. Beyond being a highly respected consultant, he was an exceptional person and we will all miss his expertise, fellowship and good humor.

Erin Benn

I am sorry to hear about Rusty’s passing and wanted to offer my sincere condolences. I wish his family peace and comfort as you grieve.

Jeff Mayou

Rusty will be a void in the world of Wastewater. He never missed a moment to talk about the good ole days and the future of the organizations he belonged to. His admiration and dedication to the environment is unmatched and will truly be missed. RIP Rusty

Mike Davy

A great engineer. Sorry for your loss.

Jim Huchel

Rusty and I became friends through CWEA, I will miss him, but he will live on in my memories.

Thomas Kruzick

Rusty will truly be missed. Wisconsin water ways benefited because of Rusty and his work! Godspeed.

Kristen Gunderson-Inden

I am so sorry to hear for Rusty's passing. I truly enjoyed chatting with him while we were both working at Earth Tech. May happy memories fill your hearts. - Kristen Gunderson-Inden

Kelsey Hurst

I am so deeply saddened to hear of Rusty's passing. I worked with Rusty as Chair of the Awards Committee for the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and he was a dedicated and passionate volunteer that was a true pleasure to work with. He will certainly be missed, he's left behind a lasting impact with his efforts through the years.

Alessandro Lequio

I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Rusty. I had the pleasure of working with him on a recent project and will remember him as a great professional and a great person.

Eric Garibay

I got the pleasure of meeting Rusty on a project in California and quickly learned what a great person Rusty was both professionally and personally. May the family find comfort in knowing that rusty is on its way to heaven and will rejoice with God and all of his angels.

Eugene D Moe

Rusty was not only a good engineer but a good person. Sad to hear of his passing. Our condolences to all his family.

Kathleen Zakosky (Busch)

Hi cuz, my sympathies are with you and your children. You and Rusty have been together for many years which shows that it was a match made in heaven, and it is there that you will see him again.It is a blessing that he did not have to suffer any longer and and he will stay alive in your memories until you meet him again.

Judy Lynch

So sad to hear this. I had a wonderful conversation with Rusty at our year later 50th reunion. He was so happy and content with his life's journey. Proudly talked about his family. I have posted this information in our DHS 1970 group page on Facebook. I'm sure he will be remembered fondly. My condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in God's embrace.

Joe Gerrity

Eileen, my thoughts are with you. At the last reunion, sat and chatted with Rusty for a couple hours. My regret is that I had not invited the two of you to come vacation in Florida with us. Rusty will be missed.