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Subject: Record Producer Papa Don Schroeder

Dies at 78
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Date Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 04:28:39pm


Gerald Don Schroeder

December 29, 1940 - November 15, 2019

Papa Ding Dong Diddley Daddy Debateably Darin' Diggin' -out- dashin' dip diggin' Don Schroeder has fought the good fight of faith and finished the race of enduring faith, and on November 15th, he entered into his eternal rest with His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he devotedly served with great faithfulness. Gerald Don Schroeder, known affectionately to his family, friends, and the greater Pensacola Community as "Papa Don," and to his grands as "Papou," is survived by his wife, Mama Gail, daughter, Melanie Rose Saccomanno (Peter) son, Christopher Scott Schroeder (Jamie) and daugher-in-law Lisa Schroeder Knight (Dave); his grandchildren, Christopher (Nicole) Schroeder, Lauren Saccomanno Roberts (Sam), Lindsey Rose and Leah Maree Saccomanno, Kyle (Maya ) Blake, Derek, Zachary, and Vivian Rose Schroeder; great-grands, Harper Roberts, Kaiden Schroeder and a little brother ready to enter this world at any moment. Upon entering Heaven's Gate, he was joyfully reunited with his sons, Michael and Jerry Schroeder, his mother, Marie Blackmon, and his sister, Brenda Frenkel.

Papa Don had a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit, and he was a character like few others, always providing an experience to any and all in his presence. He was a magnanimous and generous soul, striving to help others, and was a devoted marketplace minister. He began his career as a recording artist, and discovered "he had an ear for a hit." He began producing artists like Twiggy, Webb Pierce, Mighty Sam, James and Bobby Purify, Pat Boone, and Dion Warwick. As a vocalist and writer, "Melanie" became quite popular in the Southeast, adding to the top 100 billboard lists the following: "I'm Your Puppet," "Shake a Tail Feather," and "Everlasting Love." As a disc jockey in the 1960's, he achieved some of the highest ratings in radio by craftily bridging the music gap, mixing rhythm and blues and pop music, which served to help tear down the seemingly insurmountable racial barriers of his era. In the 1970's after experiencing a real encounter with the Holy Spirit, he returned home, purchased a radio station, and, along with his family, began spinning records, playing Contemporary Christian Music, a new genre for Pensacola, founding W P FA (With Power From Above). When the Gulf War broke out, he skillfully transitioned to CNN Headline News programming, becoming the first affiliate to rebroadcast CNN Headline News (WPNN).

During this time, he undertook a weekly, family TV show on BLAB. Again, his ratings soared. Missing the recording business that he loved so much, he once again ventured out and initiated several Christian recording projects, one of which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

"Papa Don" was his name, and promoting was indeed his game. He was the consummate promoter which led him into vast and numerous entrepreneurial ventures.

The last two decades, in the midst of persevering through life threatening cancer, multiple back surgeries, complications, and the loss of two sons, he robustly embraced life and ardently continued his marketplace ministry. He was ever quick to share his faith, and it was not uncommon for one to get an invite to church, followed by his gracious hospitality of lunch at his home afterwards.

"Papa Don" will be remembered for his unwavering principles, his generosity, his larger than life personality, his deep and abiding love for Jesus and his family, and his great compassion for souls.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Olive Baptist Church, Trinitas Christian School or a .

Visitation will be at Olive Baptist Church on Friday, November 22nd from 4 to 7 pm, and Saturday, November 23rd, from 11 am to 1 pm, followed by the Service at 1pm. Interment will take place at Bayview Cemetery, followed by a Feast and a Celebration at Olive Baptist Church


FAITH CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME SOUTH, 100 Beverly Pkwy is entrusted with the arrangements. You may express your condolences online at www.fcfhs.com
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2019

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