Zaidee Guerin Schroeder McClendon passed away on Monday, July 22nd, 2019 at the age of 89. Zaidee was a loving and devoted wife to her first husband, Frederick L. Schroeder, Sr., as well as her second husband Eugene McClendon, both of whom predeceased her. She was the loving mother of three sons Frederick L. Schroeder, Jr. (Dottie), A. Christopher Schroeder (Danielle), and M. Richard Schroeder (Cathy). She was Memaw to nine grandchildren; Jacob Michael (deceased), Jonathan Richard, Jason Christopher, Kristen Elizabeth, Michael Frederick, Kyle Louis, Christopher Robert, Catherine Grace, and Ryan James, as well as three great-grandchildren; Oliver Hamer, Bruno Michael, and Charlotte Campbell.
Zaidee was born on the Fourth of July in 1930, and an American Flag themed birthday cake was never ‘optional,’ it was required. She was the daughter of the late Albert J. Guerin of St. Martinville La. and Stella Templet Guerin of Franklin, La and she is survived by her sister, Belva Landry of Houston, TX. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she attended Steven F. Austin High School, where she was a proud member and Adjutant General of the famed Scottish Brigade.
While visiting family in New Orleans in the 1940’s she met the love of her life, Fred Schroeder. They both loved to travel. When Fred’s work took him to Panama in the late 1940’s, Zaidee visited him during their courtship (chaperoned by Fred’s mother, Pearl, of course), and after marriage in 1951 they moved overseas to a job in the Azores, Portugal, before returning to New Orleans to raise her family while Fred built his plumbing business. After selling the business in 1969 they lived and worked in Jamaica in the West Indies until 1971, when they again returned to New Orleans for Fred’s work on the construction of the Superdome. After the Superdome project they moved to the Middle East in 1976 where they lived and worked in Saudi Arabia and Iran until being airlifted to Greece by the US Air Force in the face of the Iranian revolution. After Fred’s untimely death in 1981 at the age of 53, Zaidee would continue to live and work in New Orleans, but never gave up traveling internationally. She traveled throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa visiting dozens of countries with tour groups and with her second husband, Gene McClendon, until his death in 1999.
Zaidee was always actively engaged with her family, work, and community. She worked as an executive secretary at NASA’s Michoud facility for over a decade during the Apollo program. She served as executive assistant to the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. Later she was the executive assistant to the Treasurer of Central Gulf Lines, from which she retired in 1995. Raising sons and working full-time was not enough for Zaidee to fill her days. She was a Cub Scout den mother. With Fred she danced in the Promenaders, a square-dance club in New Orleans for many years. When they worked overseas, they organized and ran square dance clubs in Jamaica and Iran. She also rode in the Krewes of Orleanians, Elks and Iris. With her husband Gene, who was a member of the Sugar Bowl Committee, she was a reliable and enthusiastic volunteer of Sugar Bowl program events involving football, basketball, and tennis. And on her own she worked tirelessly with many civic and charitable organizations, including Daughters of the American Revolution (New Orleans Chapter President), Louisiana State Museum and Friends of the Cabildo (Board Member), French Quarter Walking Tours, Save our Cemeteries, Zurich Classic, and others.
Born on the Fourth of July, raised during the depression, and coming of age during World War II, Zaidee was deeply patriotic. Both her husbands and all three of her sons served in the United States Navy. Zaidee also loved to read, to swim, to read, to play Mah Jong, to read, research genealogy, to read, to attempt to speak French, and to read. Above all she was a lifelong Catholic devoted to her faith and family – and by far loved her husbands, children, grand-children and great-grandchildren more than anything.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at Greenwood Funeral Home, 5200 Canal Blvd, New Orleans, on Thursday, July 25, 2019, starting at 11:00 AM, followed by a Funeral Mass at 1:00 PM. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to St. Joseph’s Abbey at www.saintjosephabbey.com or to the Daughters of the American Revolution at www.dar.org.
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