Gene Schonauer

October 26, 1925 ‒ May 26, 2018

Bellville, Ohio

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 October 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, FL, 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; 7 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.

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  • Gene has always been a special person in my life. I will never forget the countless times he took Cj and I fishing and to get cheeseburgers after we were done. I remember one time we were skating at the Bellville skate park and he came just to watch us and always had a smile on his face. He was the most caring man I ever met and will always be remembered.

  • Fond memories of Gene are in order this day.
    His skills as a Mason will linger in the Bellville area for years to come.
    May his family take comfort in knowing that Gene was a man of many talents, who touched the lives of all who knew him.
    God Bless you during this difficult time.

  • We were so happy to have known Gene. We are also so proud of Kelly and her family for taking care of him. It could not have been an easy thing to do. We are happy he could be home when he passed. Hoping he is watching from above and will keep them safe. Knowing how much you all meant to him. Prayers for all of you.

  • Kyle, Joy,Mandy, Lindsey and James , I am so very sorry for your loss…I know this is a difficult time for you all and the Schonauer family. Gene was loved by many and will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Rest in Peace Gene….

  • Uncle Gene, what a treasure! So many great memories. It is truly remarkable the number of us extended family who knew him so well and loved him dearly. Always a huge smile (slightly mischievous), a lot of energy, and never a cross word. I can remember as if it were yesterday, playing in the yard, him flying over, killing the engine, opening the door, and yelling, “hi there little Markie!” Love to all of you from the six of us in Carlisle, PA.

  • All of the Schonauer family has my deepest sympathy. Gene was such a good person as all the Schonauer family is. Your family was so good to Gene. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Max and families, sorry for the passing of your loved one, many blessings and prayers.

  • We always enjoyed running into Gene. He always had that radiant smile and was always in a good mood. Gene did top notch work and was quite the perfectionist.He will be missed by many in the Valley. Our deepest sympathy to his family.

  • Dear Max, Paula, and the Entire Schonauer Family, Our deepest sympathy and friendship to all. We had the good fortune of meeting Gene several times and he was always smiling and so friendly. May your fond memories and good family closeness help you through this sad time. Sincerely, Susan and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the Schonaurer family. Paula, dad so so pleased the day you stopped with Gene to visit in the driveway. Thank you. Kelley, dad still sees your father’-in-law at times when we have him out to eat and he enjoys visiting. May God give you His special peace and comfort at this time of loss. Keith and Nancy Holtrey and Earnest Tinkey (cousin)

  • My thoughts and Prayers are with the Schonaurer Family. My memory of Gene is that he was a reliable, kind, tender, truthful person, always doing his very best to make things right.

    Peace be with you.

  • I’m truly sorry for your lost, I think Gene had a special way of touching the lives of all who knew or met him ! Such a humble sweet man! He will be missed , he surely had a great family beside him . Prayers to you all in your time of grieving!