Life Story Visitation
Life Story Service
Friday, August 4, 2023
12:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of SW Michigan
6955 West KL Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Johnny Schreiber had a big heart, effervescent spirit, and adventurous attitude. He loved his family and his friends and brought his infectious sense of humor everywhere he went. Johnny loved going fast, and he was always dancing.
In 2003, Michael Schumacher won his sixth Formula 1 World Championship title. On March 21st, Pamela Berner and John Schrieber welcomed their baby boy, Johnny into the world and into their home in Hamilton, MI, where his mother taught him how to love, and his father gave him his faith.
For as long as anyone can remember, Johnny loved speed. His favorite toys were Matchbox cars, and he loved running around in the woods. In Hamilton, they were neighbors with the Marshals, who had a boy and girl around his age, and those three were always running around in the woods together.
One day, Johnny was with his mom in the car, and when she stopped he told her to wait to get out. Then he ran around the car and opened her door. When asked where he learned it from, his response was one word: "BATMAN!"
Johnny's mischievous and inappropriate qualities were already glaring at the age of 2 when—his mother was conversing with another woman—he got bored and decided to walk around and slap the woman on the butt! Johnny learned from the experiment, and the woman was kind, saying, "That's the most action I've had in a while."
When Johnny went to Universal for the first time with his dad, and they walked under the Hulk ride, Johnny said, "No way, Dad." Then he went on his first rollercoaster, which only had a 20-foot drop, and his head was hidden under his father's arm. John thought it was going to be a long day, but Johnny rode a much smaller kids' ride a few times and was ready to give the bigger one another shot. By the end of the day, Johnny was doing the big coasters and even braved the Hulk—Johnny always had such a radiant face after overcoming his fears—he was jumping up and down, unable to contain his energy, so excited to ride it again.
Johnny had a passion for running. He ran his first 5K when he was 5, and he and his father did multiple races every year from the Color Run to the Mount Baldy Challenge, where he would often come in first place for his age bracket. Johnny always had nervous energy before a race. He would punch his dad playfully and say, "Are you ready old man?" Whenever Johnny started to slow down, all his sisters and their friends had to do was say, "Good Job, Johnny!" Then an infectious smile would light up on his face, and his feet would pound the ground faster.
Johnny loved hanging out with his older sisters from the time he was very little, volunteering to be a dog in their game of house. He even let them dress him up like a girl. Johnny's sisters figured out that Johnny would do pretty much anything they wanted if they just "timed" him. He would run to grab them a snack or anything else as long as it was a race and he was on the clock.
When talking with his dad, his dad started every conversation with "Son . . ." He was always eager to help his dad or go with him. Whenever he was told he could do something he followed it up with a "Let's goooo!" Every conversation with his dad ended with the words, "Chill. Dad, I'm good." Johnny enjoyed hunting with his father, and they would go with his friend, Michael Marshal, and his dad out on Johnny's grandpa's property. They went every year on Thanksgiving weekend. Johnny tried other organized sports, including wrestling, t-ball, and soccer, and he was a boy scout.
At the age of 10, Johnny moved to Schoolcraft. They lived in the middle of the woods, and Johnny was out all the time, running around and building forts. When Johnny got his first quad, which was his introduction to the world of motorsports he came to become obsessed with, he spent all his free time on it, ripping through the woods or taxiing people around.
He attended Mattawan as a new student in the 5th grade where he met Ethan and Micah Barker during lunch, two lifelong friends. The Barker family felt like his own. He called their mom "Ma Barker," and she called him "my 4th son." Johnny once wrote an email to himself that said, "Ethan and Micah are my best friends. Never lose their number."
As soon as he saw Mattawan had a lacrosse team, he said, "I'm playing lacrosse." When his mother asked him what he knew about the sport, he said, "Not much, but I'm going to play." And he did. Johnny made many friends and channeled himself into the spirit of the team. He could hype everyone up. He knew how to motivate people from their skin to the marrow in their bones. Famous for his blowout dance moves every time he scored, no one had more raw enthusiasm when they won than Johnny.
Johnny loved all sports, especially in or on the water. If it was a sport and he was invited, he was there, whether at the Betzler's for tubing in the summer and pond hockey in the winter, or at his dad's for skiing. He was a water skier and a snow skier, but his favorite sport likely had an engine involved. Johnny was deeply passionate about motorsports, quads, dirtbikes, mopeds, motorcycles, snowmobiles, it didn't matter. If it could go fast, Johnny would love it.
Johnny cherished pets; he adored his dogs. He considered his dog Mac as his brother. Once, he had to break up a fight between Mac and another dog, and it got to the point he decided he had to stomp on the other dog's head, and Mac, mid-bite, chomped down on Johnny's leg. Mac let go immediately, and Johnny dropped to the ground screaming about how his leg was a goner, but then he said, "Mom, don't kill my dog! I'm going to lose my leg! But Mom! Don't kill my dog!" When Johnny calmed down, Mac curled up right next to him and lived to see another day.
When Johnny was 12, his sister, Samantha was born. Johnny loved being a big brother. It wasn't just the fact that he was no longer the "baby" of the family, he cherished his baby sister. Samantha was always on his shoulders or in his arms. He taught her handshakes and dances, how to build a house in Minecraft, and made sure to spread his insatiable craving for Fruity Pebbles to her, which he ate, without exception, every morning.
Johnny preferred to call people by the name he came up with, especially his close family. He called his mother "Pretty Mama." Morgan was "Mo," or simply "his natural enemy." Madison was "Jo." Mckayla was "Beebs" or "Steve." His stepmother, Carmen, was "Carcar," and Samantha was "Booger," "Boogerito," or "Boogerito Casarito," depending on how many syllables he wanted to articulate.
In high school, Johnny continued with lacrosse and also joined Varsity cross country, where his unforgettable energy continued to outpour. Johnny graduated from Mattawan High School in the class of 2021.
Johnny had a variety of jobs in figuring out what he wanted to do. His first paycheck came from a modeling gig for Bennington Pontoon boats. He also modeled for Whirlpool. He washed dishes at University Roadhouse, and he did irrigation for Sanderson and Dehaan. Ultimately, he favored landscape work, especially operating heavy and interesting machinery, so he started working for Power's Property Management where he operated machinery and installed irrigation systems on top of other tasks. Johnny's love of music and dancing was so visceral, he could get all the guys on his crew to dance with him, guys who would never feel inspired to dance. Johnny helped to craft beautiful outdoor spaces that encouraged others to enjoy their outdoors, as Johnny loved the outdoors and wished for others to enjoy the same love.
Johnny was there whenever anyone needed help. When his neighbor, Theresa lost her husband, he mowed her grass every week, packed and carried all her heavy items when she moved, and anything else she needed. When his Aunt Laurie and Uncle Tim needed help with their yard, he did it all without complaint. His late step-grandpa, Berner called him "Dynamite Johnny" because he was so full of life.
Over the years, Johnny developed a close relationship with Jason Switzer, the father of Jace and Isabel, his nephew and niece. Jason taught Johnny how to ride dirt bikes and quads and how to fix them up, how to change the oil in a car, and switch tires. The two were often deep in the woods, dropping trees and clearing paths for their dirt bikes.
Johnny and his stepdad Sean were always talking about cars and phones. Johnny would wait before getting a new phone so he could see what phone Sean would get. He always provided Sean with an excuse to buy a new phone. Johnny went to Gingerman Raceway with Sean where they looked at many great cars, and Johnny got to ride in a Porsche Carrera GT.
Johnny enjoyed golfing with his family and friends, especially the Barkers. He went on outings with his dad and stepmom. They golfed most often at Winding Creek Golf Club in Holland. Johnny traveled frequently, and some of his favorite vacations were in Paris, Hawaii, Arizona, Chicago, and New Orleans. Johnny traveled to Florida all throughout his life and had plans to move there.
Whenever Johnny showed up somewhere, he made sure his presence was known. When he pulled up to his mom's he would honk his horn incessantly. Johnny's greatest passion was his family, especially the little ones. He adored his baby sister and nieces and nephews. He was their biggest fan, attended all their events, and was always screaming and cheering them on from the sidelines. He included the kids in his activities, playing sports with them and taking them for rides.
Johnny and McKayla cherished their long conversations together. He constantly picked on her son, Savon, and he planned on getting him hooked on dirt bikes and quads just like their Uncle Johnny. When Johnny began to develop allergies to his dog Apollo, he offered for McKayla and Savon, when he was 2 years old, to take him, and they were happy to. Shortly after, they were on the couch and Savon looked back and forth between Johnny and Apollo, and said, "My dog." Savon was just learning to say just his name, so Johnny was ecstatic that Savon liked Apollo to the degree that he had to say something about it.
Johnny was a loyal and loving friend, and he treated his friends like family. Everywhere Johnny went, he could make friends—school, work, concerts, parties, anywhere—he loved meeting new people. Johnny always had a new dance flowing through him. If there was a chance to get up on something and dance, table or car, he was up there dancing. He belted music and brought the fun everywhere he went.
Johnny was known for his love of the song "Africa" by Toto. He liked to drink root beer mixed with mountain dew and cheeseburgers with only ketchup. Every Tuesday was "Tendy Tuesday," and he would eat chicken tenders because there was a chicken tender deal on Tuesdays at the University Roadhouse. Johnny really liked his thick, curly hair when he grew it out, especially when it became a mullet. A list of all of Johnny's quotes would be listed here if not for their infamous explicit qualities. Johnny's vocabulary rivaled a sailor's. Johnny and his three older sisters got matching sibling tattoos just two weeks ago, symbolizing their closeness.
Johnny imparted many lessons onto the lives of those he touched. Dance all the time. Don't be afraid to be the loudest in the room. Bring the energy. Invite others to have fun even when you wouldn't expect them to accept. Be your true self regardless of what others think. Love everyone.
Johnny's absence leaves behind not only an enormous pressing void but also many unfinished stories. Johnny was to be a groomsman at Madison's wedding on August 26th. He repeatedly said he had a great speech prepared and even planned the detail of his entrance song, which was to be "Sharped Dressed Man" by ZZ Top. Johnny was very excited about their wedding. He purchased a special watch just for the occasion, but now he may only attend in spirit. Johnny and his roommate, Micah, had many plans for the future, especially about moving to Florida in a year. Now all those close to Johnny may only live on in his legacy. Johnny's girlfriend, Lauren Anderson, wishing to hear Johnny tell her how fast he went or what new equipment he got to use at work, may only remember his voice, his smile, his energy as he spoke, his eagerness and earnestness to share the positivity he perceived. He might've said it in a silly dance or a sarcastic look, but he always said it. Johnny was never afraid to tell the people he loved that he loved them, and when Johnny loved someone, it came from his core. His death is an irreparable loss, a tsunami crashing through those closest to him, sending waves and ripples throughout the community. He is most dearly missed.
Johnny Schreiber, 20, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, July 27, 2023, as a result of a motorcycle accident. Johnny was preceded in death by his grandpa Henry Ditmar, grandma Rita Schreiber, and cousin, Henry Ditmar V. Johnny is survived by his mother Pamela (Sean) Berner, and his father John (Carmen) Schreiber. Sisters Morgan, Madison, McKayla, and Samantha. Step-siblings Jeff (Niki) Dyke, Kenna (Troy) Scholten, and Aly (Jake) Kessler. Nephews Jace and Savon and niece Isabel. Grandparents Carol Ditmar and George Schreiber. His girlfriend Lauren Anderson. Jason Switzer and Keegan Roder who were practically his older brothers. His dog Apollo. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation Thursday, August 3 from 5-8 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Services will be held Friday, August 4 at 11 am at the same location. A reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared will take place immediately following in the Life Story Center. Visit his webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of SW Michigan.