For more than seven decades, family members of a marine killed in World War II have waited to say their final goodbye to Lester Schade.
“As descendants of him and relatives we are very proud to say he was my uncle, I can say that very proudly, says Wayne Schade, nephew of Lester.
The Abbotsford native, who was a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was killed in January of 1944.
His family was told he was lost at sea, but last summer his remains were found.
“It was very important for us to be a part of this because it was history in the making,” says Cindy Knight, Commander of Colby VFW Post 2227.
After being flown from Honolulu to Minneapolis and escorted to his grave site at the Abbotsford cemetery. Captain Schade made it home next to his parents.
“Apparently, he was a very respected officer. And from that stand point that just says something about his character that he was someone that people would follow,” says Wayne.
Schade was survived by two brothers who have since passed, but their children attended the service, as well as community members who wished to pay their respect.
“He sacrificed a lot, he suffered tremendous hardships, torture and this man is finally home and it means so much to us to be a part of this,” says Cindy. “It gives closure to families and a great honor to that solider member.”