BELLVILLE — Gene Schonauer understood that one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Genuine in his respect and interest in his family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances, Gene earned their respect in return.
Hard-working and humble, Gene Schonauer passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018, in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, following a lengthy illness.
He was born Oct. 26, 1925, in North Woodbury to the late Clarence and Ethel (Spayde) Schonauer, and was part of the Bellville High School class of 1943. Growing up and raising his family in Bellville, Gene adored his small hometown and looked forward to his annual class reunion. After attending the Bellville High School Alumni Banquet in 2015, he commented, “We don’t realize how many precious people we have in Bellville until a night like tonight.”
A World War II veteran, Gene served in the U.S. Navy where he worked as an aviation machinist. His time in the military likely inspired a love for flying in Gene. One of his favorite pastimes was flying his Luscombe two seater. A regular daredevil, he loved performing flips and barrel rolls, often buzzing over family’s properties dropping his signature packs of gum. Not even the winter months would deter Gene from Fredericktown’s Craft Aviation Field.
An artist of masonry, Gene was a self-employed mason contractor for over 50 years working on residential and commercial projects into his mid 70s. His quality work and artistry graces much of Richland, Knox and the surrounding counties, including his own home (complete with a swing in the hallway) & Schonauer Apartments on Rule Road and Clear Fork High School’s Field House and Baseball Concession stand.
He loved all high school football, especially his Clear Fork Colts and spent many Friday nights in the Colt Corral. Gene was known to drive several hours to attend the high school playoff games, even if he didn’t personally know a single player.
He was a past member of the Bellville Lions Club, member of Irvin Hiskey Post #535 American Legion, William O. Naylor #43 AMVETS, Bellville, and volunteered in the Ohio Reads Program. He also enjoyed chatting on his CB radio known by the handle “Muddobber.”
Nothing was as important to Gene as his family and friends. Never missing an opportunity to show his love and support, he attended countless activities and sporting events for his children and grandchildren. Gene was the kind of friend that when he inquired “How are you doing?” he sincerely listened and was genuine in his interest in others. He will be greatly missed as an exemplary caring father, grandfather and friend and humble servant of his community.
He is survived by children, Kelly (Chris) Shinabarker of Mansfield, Karin Bouvier of Inverness, Florida, Kim Hansen (Roberta Parsell) of Columbus, and Kyle (Joy) Schonauer of Lexington; grandchildren, Eric, Steven, Dillan, Collin and Bayley Schonauer, Joe (Jamie) Hansen, Tiffany (Alan) Saele, Mandy Schonauer, Lindsey (James) Howald, Ellie and C.J. Shinabarker; seven great-grandchildren; siblings, Max Schonauer, and Maxine (Cliff) Hardin; brothers-in-law Willard (Edna) Arnold and Richard (Helen) Arnold; a caregiver and niece, Paula Schonauer, along with many other cherished nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and beloved wife, Allene, whom he married Feb. 21, 1968, he was preceded in death by a son, Kevin Schonauer, in 2011 and siblings, Eileen Lemley, Helen McCoy, Barbara Scott and Gary Schonauer.
The Bellville Snyder Funeral home is honored to serve the family with a private memorial to be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bellville-Jefferson Township Fire Department or SouthernCare Hospice.
Condolences may be made to the family by visiting:www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.