Meet Your Neighbor: Dolores Schroeder of Fruita
Special to the Free Press
Editor’s note: We want to meet your neighbor. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denise: How did you come to live in Fruita?
Dolores: My late brother, Anton Steinle, and his wife Eleanor retired here. They initially moved to Battlement Mesa, and later moved to Fruita, at Village at Country Creek. I visited them a number of times, and they encouraged me to move here. I wanted to move out west when I retired, but I didn’t want to live in Battlement Mesa as it seemed too remote. When they moved to Fruita, I knew it was a place I could enjoy living in.
Denise: When did you move here?
Dolores: I moved here in 2003, after I retired from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where I had worked since 1975.
Denise: What did you do before you moved to Fruita?
Dolores: I was able to combine my Ph.D. in anatomy and my interest in animals with my career as a neuroscience research scientist and faculty member. I studied the brain evolution of animals in changing environments. I compared mammalian brains to those of sharks and other vertebrates, such as reptiles and birds. I taught neuroscience to first year medical students and graduate and undergraduate students. I spent most of my working life in Bloomington, Indiana, but I also had a wonderful year in the Bahamas where I trained sharks for research purposes.
Denise: Wow! That sounds like a very rewarding career.
Dolores: It was extremely rewarding, although there were few women in the field at the time, so at times I felt quite isolated.
Denise: What do you do now?
Dolores: I have a number of very interesting volunteer jobs. I just started volunteering at Gray Gourmet in the Senior Center in the Fruita Rec Center. I am an avid gardener and I help maintain the Vietnam War Memorial gardens near the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita. I am also the brochure coordinator at the Colorado Welcome Center. We carry a broad spectrum of brochures about interesting places all over the state, since we are located just off the interstate. I peruse and order the brochures, make sure the information is up-to-date, and insure that we have sufficient stock. This job appeals to my organizational nature, and I also love the sense of helping people enjoy their stay in this beautiful state, my adopted home.
Denise: What other interests do you have?
Dolores: I am a knitter and I am a member of the Mesa Fiber Arts Guild, a local group of weavers, knitters, and spinners. This group donates some of their work for charities, and my particular project is knitting sweaters for teddy bears. I purchase the bears myself, knit sweaters for them, and donate them to Western Slope Center for Children, a child advocacy center.
Denise: What do you like about living in Fruita?
Dolores: I like the small-town atmosphere, where it is easy to get to know people and get involved in the community. But I also like the international flavor of Fruita, which comes largely from its location right off the interstate, where many people stop to visit, and from the biking opportunities, which draws people from all over the world.
Denise: Do you plan to stay in Fruita?
Dolores: I have a daughter and son-in-law who live in the Los Angeles area, near Pasadena. Someday I may move closer to her, but I have no plans to leave Fruita anytime soon.
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