Quentin Lee Schroeter

March 7, 1943 ~ June 3, 2022 (age 79)


A Beautiful Mind left this earth on June 3, 2022. Quentin Lee Schroeter, 79, was born in Concordia, Kansas on March 7, 1943 to Edward and Marjorie Schroeter, joining his brother, Franklin. When he was 4, the family moved to Kalispell, MT where his father practiced law, and his mother began a class of young piano students. Quentin said his childhood was “simply wonderful”, especially enjoying the summers at the family’s cabin on Flathead Lake. In 1959, the family relocated to Helena, MT where Quentin graduated from HHS in 1961. Quentin was further educated at the University of Chicago, University of London, and Shimer College, graduating with a B.A. in the Humanities in 1966, and later, a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from the Claremont School of Theology.

It was during his early formative years that Quentin developed his profound lifetime passion for music. He would do his homework to the accompaniment of beginning students practicing their piano lessons, with his mother’s encouragement. He himself began the study of the violin, and would later go on to play with the Helena Orchestra for a time. He said, “Music was an integral part of my soul and was always in tune with my Authentic Self.”

Quentin was to face many challenges in the years to come. While a young man in college, he developed bipolar disorder, which was misdiagnosed until the age of 35, thus delaying appropriate treatment. After college, he spent many years in the Los Angeles area. He was most proud of his work at Claremont College, curating a major archival project which is permanently housed in Claremont’s library.

In 1995, Quentin returned to Helena to caregive for his mother, Marjorie, a well known and respected piano teacher. After her passing, Quentin was invited to join the team at NAMI Montana, where under the direction of Dr. Gary and Sandra Mihelish, and Matt Kuntz, he found his life’s calling. Quentin utilized his experience and many talents to effectively promote the values of NAMI of hope, support, education, advocacy and love to those with mental illness and their families, and, so importantly, fighting against stigma. Quentin delivered hundreds of “In Your Own Voice” presentations with candor and wit. He also facilitated support groups, advocated in the Montana Legislature, and was instrumental in establishing Our Place, Montana’s first consumer run drop-in center. For these notable accomplishments, Quentin was awarded the prestigious national Lionel Aldridge Award in Washington, D.C. in 2010 during a special Congressional reception on Capital Hill.

During these years, Quentin’s kidneys failed him, necessitating 5 years of dialysis. He was so grateful and fortunate to receive a kidney transplant at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Hospital, which functioned beautifully the rest of his life.

Quentin served on several boards, including the Northwest Renal Network. The Vocational Rehabilitation Council, and Our Place Drop-in Center Board. Quentin’s unique mastery of the written and spoken word enabled him to be so successful at all these endeavors. One of his final accomplishments was producing a “lil” tome, as he called it, “Mania is Simply a Streetcar Toward Desire”, a fascinating book of his life on this planet, published in 2019.

Quentin was a man of faith and spirituality, often contemplating the “great mysteries” and “Eternal Verities” as he called it. For many years, he has been a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral in Helena, and always expressed a deep love for the church, and its congregants.

Quentin wasn’t all cerebral. His quirks, effusive greetings (Cheers!), wit, friendliness and genuine interest in others earned him many friends, and endeared him to others. He had a flair for his attire. It seems every other presentation required ordering another shirt or vest, the more flamboyant the better, as he said it focused his audience’s attention. For a long time, he dutifully ironed those shirts, then it was discovered he was surreptitiously taking them to the cleaners.

In conclusion, as Quentin said in his own words, “I can easily perceive that the entire adventure was a Noble, Fair and Glorious Gift from God.”

Quentin had many wonderful caring people in his journey. Special thanks and gratitude to Dr. Gary and Sandra Mihelish, Matt Kuntz, and Colleen Rahn, all from NAMI Montana. Nephrologists Dr. Gwen Pincomb and Dr. Robert LaClair, Dr. Dill, internist, Dana Hillyer, APRN, the very reverend Raymond Brown, Jeanne Porter, early NAMI advocates, all the wonderful staff at St. Peter’s Dialysis, his many friends, and the always delightful staff at Starbucks who brightened his day the last couple of years.

Quentin found his special person in Patricia Burke, and they were dedicated to each other for 16 years. Other survivors are brother Franklin Schroeter, Somers, MT, nephew Randy Schroeter, Covina, CA, niece June (Roger) Zrimec, Laguna Beach, CA, and nephew Chang (Hyesoon) Suh, Miami Beach, Fl.

Quentin’s service will be held on Saturday, June 25 th at 2:00 pm at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral, 511 N. Park, Helena, MT

Contributions in Quentin’s memory may be made to NAMI Montana, P.O. Box 1021, Helena, MT 59624, or to one of your choice.

You were loved, Quentin.

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Funeral Service
June 25, 2022

2:00 PM
St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral
511 North Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

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