Copp, Schroeder and Rice: Three unique contributors to our valley’s well-being
In the space of a few short hours on Saturday, Sept. 21, memorial services were held for three individuals who helped make our communities better and who did so in radically different ways. I’m speaking of Harold Schroeder, Jerry Copp and Wayne Rice. Their contributions remind us that the essential element in building a vibrant community is leadership and a commitment to shared prosperity.
Copp, the retired Chelan County Public Utility District general manager, was an individual of unbending integrity who guided the utility while also taking an individual interest in the individuals who worked there.
He was a leader who demonstrated a sense of humility and kindness while serving the utility and its customer owners.
Schroeder was cut from a different cloth. In his obituary,
his family acknowledge his irreverent manner. He was an iconoclast with a
strong personality and a blunt manner. He ran a bail bond business in town and
then branched out into property development.
I will never forget his contributions to making the Performing Arts Center dream a reality. He was a key individual on that community endeavor.
Rice was not nearly as well known as Copp and Schroeder. He spent 45 years working for my family at The Wenatchee World on the printing side of things. A great storyteller with a strong work ethic, he was a consummate professional and helped made the workplace fun and productive.
Outside of work, he invested an amazing amount of time and energy in civic causes, volunteering for the junior Chamber of Commerce, East Wenatchee Little League, Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Trinity Methodist Church, the Graves Gallery at Wenatchee Valley College as well as serving as on the Douglas County Auxiliary’s Sheriff Patrol.
Each of these individuals gave so much to make this place better for the long term. May we all follow in their footsteps in our own unique way.