‘A free spirit’: Tahoe mourns loss of Tim Schrader

According to family and friends, North Lake Tahoe lost someone as adventurous as it was generous when Tim Schrader, 43, died in an upstate incident in the Frog Lake area near Castle Peak last month.

The family will celebrate a rosary and memorial service for Schrader on April 9 in the Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, Sacramento.

Tim Schrader drives a Sugarbowl lift with his daughters Eleece and Kendall, now 18 and 16, both students at Sugarbowl Academy.
Submitted to the Union

Courtney Schrader said Tahoe’s diverse terrain provided ample opportunities for her husband, Tim, to satisfy an insatiable taste for adventure.

“If it was a powder day, he was even skiing an hour before work,” said Courtney Schrader. “He loved hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking and anything that got him outdoors. He later got into boating and wakesurfing. We spent most of the summer on the boat. “

Courtney Schrader, who works in the real estate business, said she took responsibility for the house and bills so Tim could live his “big, adventurous lifestyle.”

“I called him my Peter Pan,” said Courtney Schrader. “He would never grow up or get old. I always said to him: ‘We moved to Never Never Land for you.’ “

In fact, the couple moved permanently from Roseville to Soda Springs in 2016 so that their daughters Eleece and Kendall, now 18 and 16 years old respectively, could attend the Sugarbowl Academy for alpine racing.

Courtney Schrader said her husband was a “practical father” who not only competed in his daughters’ competitions, but also trained.

“He loved working and spending extra time with his girls and their friends,” said Courtney Schrader, adding that the kids he coached loved him in part because of his favorite coaching phrase – “don’t try to suckle “.


Mikey Bochenek was a ski coach at Sugarbowl Academy when he first met and worked with Tim Schrader, Sugarbowl’s facility coordinator at the time.

Bochenek, who now works for construction company Truckee Overhead Door, said Schrader made an indelible mark with his sense of humor and eternal smile.

“No matter how bad the job was, Tim was always smiling and having fun,” said Bochenek.

Courtney Schrader, right, kisses Tim Schrader after wakesurfing. The Schraders first met in 2000 at the Zebra Club, a Sacramento bar where Courtney was promoting J&B Scotch Whiskey. Tim worked as a firefighter in the wilderness and on the Heavenly ski patrol for several years after they married.
Submitted to the Union

Bochenek said Tim Schrader’s tireless generosity was an inspiration and a wonder.

“If you needed help with anything, he took his time when he didn’t have time. He had more hours a day than anyone I have ever met, ”said Bochenek. “Even with children, wife and work, he always managed to simply help everyone else.”

Bochenek said Tim Schrader got him out of slippery situations several times.

Bochenek remembered getting stuck in the woods in Long Valley at 3 a.m. trying to bypass chain control in his two-wheeled delivery van.

“I got stuck and spent the night in my van,” said Bochenek. “Tim showed up at 5am after answering me at 4 with a Red Bull and a donut for me with nothing but a smile knocking on the window – ‘wake up hippie’.”

Bochenek said Tim Schrader hung the van on his Tacoma truck and the two made it to the Gold Ranch. Bochenek said he came to work earlier that day.

“It wasn’t just me or him, he made an effort for everyone,” said Bochenek. “He was a friendly, open-hearted person who was willing to avoid other people, no matter what.”


Corona’s Nicole Pitell is the operations manager and owner of Total Chaos Fabrication Inc. Pitell said she was repeatedly moved by Tim’s creative approaches to helping others when resources and tools were limited.

Pitell said she knew the Schrader family through off-road desert racing.

“Tim was my right place,” said Pitell. “Every time I drove our company race truck, he was the chosen copilot with whom I would compete.”

Pitell said her large desert family is also heading south to the Baja 1000. Pitell said she and Schrader ran a free mechanic pit service – “Locos Mocos” – for the participants in the race.

“We all met up on race day to turn wrenches and help people achieve their dream of finishing a race,” said PItell, adding that she had worked with Schrader for over 15 years.

Pitell said different people in their off-road tribe have different skills, but their group has experienced increased levels of comfort due to Tim Schrader’s mechanical skills.

“He was just a free spirit and a MacGyver – a turnkey,” Pitell said. “You could stick him in anything and he could make it happen. If you didn’t have the right tools, he might find out to fix the problem. “

That year, North Tahoe firefighter John Perhacs said he will be attending the Baja 1000 in honor of Schrader.

“I wanted to achieve it as a life goal and Tim steered me in the right direction,” said Perhacs of the 1,000 mile race. “The car will race in his memory.”

Perhacs said he met Schrader after being hired as the fire district’s facilities coordinator in 2018.

According to Mikey Bochenek, Tim Schrader was a “hilarious guy” who only exuded jokes and smiles.
Submitted to the Union

“He was the fixer of all things in the district,” Perhacs said, adding that Schrader helped others with welding, plumbing and horse riding.

Rebecca O’Neil is a writer for The Union. She can be reached at [email protected].

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