Obituary: David Martin Schrader

Sept. 24, 1932 – Aug. 15, 2023

David M. Schrader, age 90 of Sister Bay, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, at Door County Medical Center with his family by his side. He was born on Sept. 24, 1932, to Martin and Lee (Stellmacher) Schrader at the Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.

David attended grade and middle schools in Oconomowoc, Milwaukee and the Madison areas and graduated from Central High in Madison, WI in 1950. After high school, he attended and graduated from Iowa State University, where he majored in Chemistry.

David served in the United States Navy as an aviator. He married his college sweetheart, Janet “Jan” Davis on July 3, 1955, in Sioux City, IA. His Navy service took him to Pensacola, FL, San Diego, CA, Whidbey Island, WA and Japan. After completing his naval service, David returned to college to pursue his passion for Chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. degree in 1961 from the University of Minnesota. His interests in theoretical chemistry led him to a research fellowship at Columbia University and the IBM Watson Laboratory. Working initially as an assistant professor in chemistry at the University of Iowa, he took a position as a professor and moved on to Research Professor at Marquette University in 1968. His research focused on the quantum theory of atomic and molecular structure, especially systems interacting with positrons or positronium atoms, both bound and scattering states. At the time of his passing, David was immersed in writing a full-length book on the history of atomic energy.

David and Jan purchased a vacation home on Kangaroo Lake in 1978, along with Jan’s brother Harlan Davis. In 1987 they purchased a cottage outside of Sister Bay. Prior to retirement, in 1999, they built a larger home on the same plot of land and became full time Door County residents. David and Jan were active members of the Moravian Church of Sister Bay.

David is lovingly survived by his wife Jan; daughter, Katy (Bill) Reisig; son, John (Sue) Schrader; grandchildren, Liz (Randy) Berdan, Elayna Rute, Kristey (Harish) Sunkari, Samantha Schrader, and Cassidy Schrader; great grandchildren, Olivia Steinmetz, Fiona and Arianna Berdan, Harper, Oliver, and Adler Sunkari; and nephew, Kurt (Patty) Schrader. He was preceded in death in 2022 by his eldest daughter Ann Schrader, and grandson, David Boomsliter.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at 11 am at the Moravian Church of Sister Bay with Rev. Kerry Krauss officiating. Visitation will be held at 9:30 am until the time of service at the church. 

The Schrader family is being assisted by Casperson Funeral Home of Sister Bay. Those wishing to express sympathy, share memories, or offer photos of David may do so on his tribute page at