On Tuesday afternoon, 30th of June 2020, local newspaperman Barry Schrader passed away at the age of 79 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1963 with a degree in Journalism Schrader was hired as editor of the Byron Tribune, Stillman Valley News, and Leaf River Register, all weeklies owned by Associated Publishers (Piper and VanSickle). He then purchased his old hometown paper and printing business, the Genoa Republican, and he and his wife Kay operated it together. He founded the DeKalb County Press and purchased the Sycamore True Republican and the Sycamore Tribune.
He then sold his share of the county press to head to southern California to work on the San Bernadino Sun in 1966. Next, he became editor of the Livermore (CA.) Herald from 1967-1969, then left California for his roots and a new job back in Illinois. He was named editor of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle a few months after it was purchased by the Scripps-Hagadone newspaper chain. Then in 1972 he returned to California to serve as editor of the Valley Times (Dublin and Livermore area) during 1972-73, and next became editor of the Herald again from late 1973-1980.
He retired in 2006 after serving the last two years as oral historian for LLNL. Then he and wife Kay moved back to DeKalb County in northern Illinois to retire where they would be near family. Keeping with his journalist love, he wrote local stories of People and Places in northern Illinois. He also has published two books of his favorite columns in 2010 and 2015 titled “Hybrid Corn & Purebred People” volumes 1 and 2, plus contributed to the 2013 DeKalb County history book “Acres of Change”.
From Michael Embrey … saying goodbye to a good friend:
“For the past ten (+) years I would meet with Barry and discuss local issues and also his love for the Drum & Bugle Corps show that has been held in DeKalb. When Barry was in Southern California he got hooked on Drum and Bugle Corps after attending a show and seeing the Santa Clara Vanguards and the Concord Blue Devils.”
“I was also honored when Barry wrote a story about me being ‘DeKalb’s Music Man’ in his first volume of ‘Hybrid Corn & Purebred People’.” He wrote about events, concerts, and shows I had brought to the City of DeKalb. Barry had a knack for making people feel more special than they really are. Barry Schrader will be missed.
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