Gretchen was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She graduated from Pomona College in Clairmont, California with academic honors and became and the wife of Lieutenant Kenneth Schroder in 1954 and together raised their family over 26 years as an Air Force Officer's wife. In 1978, Ken retired from the Air Force and they selected Tempe, Arizona as a permanent residence. Gretchen would teach kindergarten and attain a Masters degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. Gretchen’s many students at Tempe Christian School and Grace Community Christian School thrived under her skill as a reading specialist and kindergarten teacher. Gretchen loved Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior sent from a loving God. Her Christian walk was a remarkable one and she credits her church family at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Hanford, California for discipling her and deepening her faith and walk with the Lord. Gretchen married her husband Ken in 1954 and are the parents of three children, Linda, Chris and Tim. They have four Grandchildren, Jeffrey, Danny, Julia and Ellie. Gretchen was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother.