Max L. Schonauer

November 05, 1927 ‒ February 17, 2021

Fredericktown, Ohio

Max Lewis Schonauer passed away peacefully into the arms of his Savior at his home surrounded by his loving family on February 17, 2021. He was born on November 5, 1927 to Clarence and Ethel Spayde Schonauer in Woodbury, Ohio near Bellville.

He was the fifth of seven children and the younger twin to his sister Maxine Leedy Hardin who preceded him to heaven on January 15, 2020. Max loved God and his country, serving in the United States Marine Corp as a Private First Class stationed in Cherry Point, NC.

On May 29, 1948 he married the love of his life, Kathleen Miller Schonauer. On May 4, 2017 after nearly 69 years of marriage Kathleen lost her battle with cancer. Together they built a life full of love and a house full of children. Their farm on the edge of Fredericktown soon became the gathering place that was truly home to all 74 descendants, which was his biggest legacy. He left his earthly home with 7 children, 24 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren all who adored him. He taught by example showing every one of them his Christian values, his work ethic, his love for God, and the importance of strong family ties. One of his great joys was dubbed, “friends of the fire” where loved ones gathered to relax and reminisce.

He was a great conversationalist, and could make friends with any stranger. Max was active in community events and supported numerous local organizations.  He was on the building committee, a Trustee and Deacon of Palmyra Church of Christ for over 50 years. He was a member of the Lions Club, Farm Bureau, Fredericktown Community Development Foundation, Knox County Board of Realtors, and the Columbus Board of Realtors.

He was an avid bowler at Trio Lanes, took up golf later in life, where he played in the Fredericktown/Clear Fork Golf league, serving as President. His love of Euchre was passed down through the generations, and he never lost his competitive spirit.

Max was a supporter of numerous little league and Fredericktown sports teams, he served on the Fredericktown school board for 8 years, where he served as President. He volunteered on the construction of the Fredericktown Library and the gazebo and was honored as parade Marshal for the Fredericktown Tomato Show. With his high regard for community involvement, coupled with the numerous family members participating in local sports, you could often find him sitting in the bleachers or along the sidelines.

Max was owner and operator of Max L. Schonauer Masonry for over 25 years, teaching many of the next generation the trade. He finished his career as a mason while he studied at The Ohio State University and received his realtor and brokerage licenses. He worked in the industry helping others buy and sell their homes until his retirement at the youthful age of 88 years old.

Max is survived by his son, James (Jackie) Schonauer and six daughters. Debra (Hank) Burgholder Solis, Marla (Morgan) Dague, Paula Schonauer, Julie (Keith) Chester, Kathy (Rob) Miller, and Mary (Tim) Cunningham.

Besides his parents and his wife, Max was preceded in death by siblings; Helen McCoy, Eileen Lemley, Gene Schonauer, Maxine Leedy Hardin, Barb Heaton Scott and Gary Schonauer.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:, P.O. Box 93, Seymour, IN 47274 or Palmyra Church of Christ, 21184 Zolman Road, Fredericktown, OH 43019 or Hospice of North Central Ohio, 17700 Coschocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

The family will observe a private graveside service. And as Max would say as he said goodbye, “Tell ‘em all hi” and, “Bye, See, Love.”

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The Snyder Funeral Home of Fredericktown is honored to serve the family of Max L. Schonauer.

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  • We are so very sorry for the loss of Max..a Wonderful Man that lived his life loving God, His Family and Friends. What a Blessing he was to So Many. I can see him now… dancing with Kathleen and talking with Jesus. Prayers for your peace and comfort and knowing he’ll be waiting to see you all again.. Love to you .. Chris and Deb Oyster

  • I distinctly remember that if anyone spent the night at your house on a Saturday night, they were going to church Sunday morning. No option. It was all fun and games Saturday night. But oh man…when Uncle Max woke you up at what felt like the butt-crack of dawn for church the next morning, you knew you weren’t getting out of it. 😂

    I remember your dad always always always being kind to me. I will never forget his smile and his twinkling eyes. He was just the sweetest Uncle. ♥️

  • God has called another great American home. God be with your family.
    He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Marla and family, I’m so sorry to hear of your dads passing. May God keep him safe and at peace in his loving arms. Many prayers go out to all of you and much love and memories to fill your hearts forever🙏🏻❤️. Wendy (Henwood) Wagner

  • To all of the Schonauer family we would like to offer our sympathy. I have many good memories of Max and Katie at the farmhouse as well as at the old house on Waterford Road. He made all of your lives happy and you will always have those memories to comfort you. Thinking of all of you at this sad time.

    Butch and Karen Cline

  • To the Schonauer Family –
    My thoughts & prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. Reflect on the many memories you have to help you get through. I remember Max as being a faithful Christian man that loved the Lord and would always strive to be in worship whenever the doors were open. – Jan Mast

  • To the Schonauer Family ~ Paige and I would like you all to know how sorry we are to hear of Your Dad/Grandfather’s passing. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    ~ Vicki Miller and Paige (Wagner) Pitts

  • Max was such a true gentleman and he was always a pleasure to talk to. He and Mrs. Schonauer had a wonderful family. Max will be missed by virtually everyone that knows him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • So sorry for your families’ loss. What a great man Max was, as he has now reached his Heavenly home and joining your mom. I can only imagine the celebration in their reuniting! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May you comfort each other as you share wonderful memories and carry on as he would have you do. Sending hugs.
    Matthew 5:4🙏🏼
    Brad & Linda ❤️

  • Oh …it is with a heavy heart in learning of the passing of Max ! He was always such a sweet man. I was a daughter of Dennis Schonauer who was a cousin of Max. I remember wonderful times when family would get together. I never forgot the wonderful feeling of the bond with family. I was able to do a little texting with him and it made me smile. He will be missed. Condolances to all the family there!!

  • So sorry for your loss here on earth. He has a beautiful family and I was blessed to have had a few in class. He was a friend and help to so many. Hugs and prayers as you remember to good times. Love you all

  • To the Schonauer family! Our thoughts and prayers and tears are with each of you! Max was my neighbor for many years on Waterford Road, and helped Rich and I purchase our 1st house in Fredericktown. We have fond memories of seeing Max in town. May the Lord give comfort to each of you through your many memories! Hugs to all!

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of Max. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. It was an honor to be a friend of Max. God bless.

  • God give you His special comfort and peace at this time of loss. What a joy to know he is with the Lord and the loved ones who went before him. As far as I know, Max is the last of the Schonauer cousins that my dahed has. I will tell my dad but I am not always sure he remembers. Blessings to all of you. Keith and Nancy Holtrey

  • To the Schonaur family:
    Max a very good friend and mentor and we learned a lot about our Lord and Savior and how to live a Christian life from him and Kathleen. He will be missed. Our thought and prayers are with the family at this time.
    Kin & Katy Breeze

  • Julie, Keith and family, My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at lose of your dad. Sending lots of prayers and hugs at this time. The Schonauer family are such a loving family and you have so many precious memories to always cherish. Love all of you.

  • To all of you, Our hearts break for your loss. 💔Max was always encouraging & a great listener. We appreciated his example of faithfulness and offering a helping hand as he saw a need. We will miss him. Praying for you. ❤️

  • So sorry for your loss. Max was a great example of a Christian. He always took the time to talk to us. He was a classy guy, and worked hard to provide for his family, and taught them how to work hard also. He lived a long and blessed life. Now he is with his wife and the rest of his family that preceded him in Christ. Prayers for all the family, may God be with you in your hour of grief. Bill and Debbie Edmister ♥

  • Max was always a person willing to help. He will be missed by many. Praying God’s peace over his family at this time.

  • To the Schonauer Family,
    May God be with all of you at this time with His peace and comfort in your time of sorrow. Just keep those many memories and love close to your heart always. Just remember that he’s not really gone but is waiting for you in heaven with your Mom and they are looking over you with their love just as God is doing with His Love.👼🙏

  • To Schonauer Family,
    So very sorry for your loss. Max was a sweet man
    with a great smile. I always enjoyed talking with
    both of your parents. I am sure you have many
    Wonderful memories—may they bring you
    peace. Deepest Sympathy!

  • To the Schonauer families, so sorry for your loss. Max was such a great person. Both are families go back a long way. Our parent’s were so close. It’s so hard losing a parent. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Praying for you all.

  • To Max’s children and family ,so very sorry all ur hearts are broken.May God help u all as you go through this difficult journey in ur lives.You were all blessed with a good man,my dad thought alot of him ,now they can spend time together in heaven. Bless u all,Love ,Dave & Jackie(Pence) Montgomery and family

  • Schonauer Family, you have our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • Dear Schonauer Family— we are so sorry to hear of Max’s passing. It was always obvious what a great family he and your mom created together, and what an important part of the community they both were. How lucky you were to have had both of them for as long as you did, and what great memories your family will have of them. Our thoughts are certainly with you.

  • To the Schonauer family,
    I was saddened to hear of the passing of Max. He was such a kind man. He will be missed. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Condolences to the entire family. I know you all loved him very much and he cherished all of you! Max was a great guy and he was always friendly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time of loss. Barrie and Brad Fearn

  • To the Schonauer Family, I got to know Max through Jim and Jackie, what a pleasure to have met him! I know he will be greatly missed! Love to you all! Geri Love

  • Such a wonderful man, leaving special memories for so many people. Your family was blessed to have a special father, grandfather, community leader and friend.

  • To Max’s family: You may not know any of us, but our parents are Earnie & Bertha Frazier. Your dad is the man who taught our dad how to brick lay many, many years ago. Without knowing it, your dad played a very instrumental role in how our dad provided for all of us growing up and led us to all the places we lived. We always tell others that our dad went where bricklaying was good. Of course with the caveat that he and mom found a sound group of God’s people to worship with. We are grateful for the part your dad played in our lives by mentoring our dad. We know that our parents always thought very fondly of your mom and dad. Max Schonauer was a name we knew all of our lives and we’re saddened for you, his family, at his passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers…. Candy, Joe, John, Thad, & Crissy Frazier

  • To Paula, Deb, Julie & your entire families – I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Max. He was always such a pleasant person to be around. He always acknowledged me at church w/a pleasant hello & asked how I was. I pray for your strength as you go thru this difficult time. R.I.P. Max.
    Tami Dailey

  • Please know we are keeping your entire family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We are so sorry for your loss.

  • We were sorry to hear of Max’s passing. He always went out of his way to speak to others. I hope all your special memories will be of comfort as you move forward.
    Chris and Dick Well

  • Our condolences and prayers to the Schonauer family. Your loss is great, but rejoice in all the memories as Max was a pillar of the community and touched many lives over the years. In 1972 I sat on a dirt pile watching Max lay brick after brick on Dad’s ranch and fireplace. His labor is still a sign of quality today. He will be missed by many.

  • Never saw Max that he didn’t have a big smile and an encouraging word. He will be greatly missed but oh the joy he is having with the Lord. Press On!

  • Here are some quotes from a little book –
    Letter to a Grieving Heart

    How did Jesus grieve? He wept. He let the pain of the death of His friend, Lazarus overcome Him. And He knew the separation was temporary.

    If you could be here now
    I think I know what you would say —
    “Don’t cry for me
    I’m at Home and I’m safe”
    Let all the tears that fall here
    Turn to diamonds in God’s hands —
    Bright offerings
    From life’s Shadowlands

    He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4

  • I’m so sorry for your loss of Max but happy for his joyous home going. So many wonderful memories of time spent in his home. Max always made me feel like one of his kids whenever there with Julie. The world is a little less kind with Max gone. My condolences and keeping your family in prayer.

  • Dear Schonauer family,
    Max has moved on to the next phase of life. Our loss for the moment but his gain. He was a man with a helping heart, a smile and a straight forward manner about him that helped us listen and gain from knowing him. He will remain a community icon.
    His Christian walk has and will continue to influence many even with his passing.
    Our prayer is for you all to be blessed with comfort and peace and laughter as you remember him as bigger than life.

  • Dear Schonauer family,
    When I think of Max, I think of his smile and the way he made everyone feel special. When Joe and I looked for a place to live in Fredericktown, we met him to see about a house. He took one look at me and said, “I know you’re one of them, but which one are you?” He knew my parents well and he was certain I was one of “the Smith girls”.
    There was a huge crowd at your Mom’s calling hours and I stood in line a long time. We had a few conversations prior to that day, but I didn’t expect him to greet me like he did. He put his arm around my shoulders and simply said, “Ah, here’s someone who knows!” Max knew how to connect with people in his unique style.
    You’ve been given a great heritage to carry on. May love and laughter be what you remember most!
    Love & prayers for the days ahead,

  • To all of Max’s family. Just so sorry to hear of his passing. He and Maxine might have been twins, but I have never met two people with a beautiful disposition as them. Max and Katie have such a beautiful family. I love them. I hope God comforts each of you during this time of loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • To Max’s family:
    We were truly sorry to hear of the passing of our neighbor, Max. He was a wonderful man who would often stop and say a kind word while we were walking our dogs. We’ll miss this. Treasure your loving memories.
    John and Barb McGowan

  • To the Schonauer family, our condolences to each of you. What a heritage! There is not a more community minded man than Max, Always a smile, hand shake, and a sincere, “How are you?” Always a supporter of the schools and in particular, the athletic programs. Max never met a stranger! Dan & Barb Humphrey

  • Dearest Schonauer family, We just wanted to let you know you are in our prayers.Max was such a good friend to us and many others. He was a Christian example we all should follow.Share the great memories often,hug each other whenever you meet,and live faithfully to God’s Word.This is what your parents did.We need to be ready. LOVE TO YOU ALL Larry & Ruth Ann Huffstutler

  • Praying for God to be close to you today and the days ahead. May He put his loving arms around you for comfort.

    So sorry for your loss.

    Dick & Carol Donovan and Kylie Manley

  • So sorry for your loss! Max was a great guy! Always kind and caring! Thoughts and prayers are with you all! Scott,Susan Ramsey Taylor

  • Hugs and prayers to all of the family. Max was such a nice man. He left a beautiful legacy. We know the pain of missing them even though they are in the arms of Jesus and with other loved ones. Our memories are our treasurers.
    Dallas and Deanna Shira-Tackett

  • Oh to my friend and mentor Max. You will be greatly missed but wow what a legacy you have left here on earth. Rest in peace my friend!

  • Schonauer Family,
    Max truly loved his family. He was such a kind man and a true gentleman, who always put others before himself. As one of the pillars of the Fredericktown community, he taught many…. in leading by example. Max was a remarkable friend to many and he will surely be missed. My deepest condolences.

  • Max was one of the best people I’ve ever known. He drew people in by never being short on grace. I don’t think there would ever have been enough moments with Max. Moments playing cards, eating around the kitchen table or discovering new places on trips. We’re all so lucky to have shared them. Thank you, Max, for making our few days on this earth better. I look forward to seeing you again one day.

  • Dear Schonauer “Kids”,I know you are feeling a deep loss right now after losing yoir dad, and you have my deepest sympathy, but I rejoice for Max, knowing he is with his Lord and Saviour that he served and loved.Like many others have stated on here, Max never knew a stranger, greeting everyone with a strong handshake and endearing smile.He and Kathleen and all of you “kids” were more like family than friends. We go back a long way, even before many of you were born.I met most of you as newborns laying in your motrhers’ arms in the hospital.We too were indebted to Max as he hired Eldon after he got out ,of the army snd taught him the art of masonry.. I have always said he learned from the best. What a BLESSING Max has been to so many.Reading all of the comments above just shows how he influenced others. He was a true Christian, Living and being an example for others.Loving his wife and family deeply and showing it. I have so manywonderful memories of he and Kathleen and they will endure as they will with those he has left behind until that GLAD REUNION. Until then, may God be with you all and BLESS YOU REAL GOOD!! Lots of love, many prayers, Mabel WelLer.

  • Max was such a nice man! I was so sorry to hear this. My grandson thought a lot of him. He played in the church golf league with him. Prayers for the family.

  • To The Entire Schonauer Family:

    Our deepest sympathy to all of you during this most difficult time, Max never missed a beat and was always ready to give you a hug. I will miss those hugs!! We have such fond memories of Max & Kathleen on our trip to Hawaii together many years ago. He will be forever remembered by Gene & I.

    Sending you many hugs, prayers and love.

  • Deepest sympathy to the Schonauer family! Prayers for strength and comfort! Take care of each other !

  • Rest In Peace Good Friend, The community has lost a leader. We will miss the smiles and friendly greetings that Max always had for us. We are sending the family and Max’s friends our deepest sympathy. Hope it is consoling for everyone to know that the wonderful Max and Kathleen love story can now continue. They both have left a beautiful family to carry on their legacy. We share in your loss. Sincerely, Susan and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Our Sympathy for you Deb in the loss of your dad. When you talked of your dad, you always talked so fondly of him. Our prayers are with you and all of your family.
    Clare and Leveta Parker Campbell.

  • So sorry for your loss..I know he’s hugging his loving beautiful sisters ..I remember taking him to Atlanta with my family in 1996 to the olympics what a wonderful time we had love and prayers..Pam and Pat Gassaway🤲

  • To the Schonauer Family –

    My deepest sympathy on your loss. People sometimes forget the things you said in life, but they always remember how you made them feel. I grew up in Fredericktown and the Palmyra church, but I haven’t lived there in over 30 years. Still, whenever I was at the church as an adult, Max would make a point to come and say hello, with that twinkle in his eye and a squeeze on the arm. And always with a question about how my brother, “Billy” was doing. That always made me feel special and connected to my roots. He was a huge part of Fredericktown and he will be missed by so many.

    Lori Charles Cramer

  • To a man who showed great dignity and respect towards all who walked or crossed before him while on his earthly path of life.

    May God Bless and be with the Schonauer family in this time of sorrow.

  • We’re so sorry to hear about Max’s passing. He was such a friendly man. Max sold us our house 33 years ago. Our thoughts are with the family.

  • Ashley joins me in sending our condolences over the passing of Max. He was a wonderful man and will be so missed by his children and everyone who knew and loved him. Rest In Peace, Max.

  • I’m so sorry to hear the passing of max he was a wonderful brother to my grandma (aunt ) Maxine Hardin he will be dearly missed but I know he’s up in heaven with Maxine making jokes and having a good time I once sat with max at maxine’s funeral and I had a good time talking with him

  • To the Schonauer Families

    Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Schonauer Families. Max was a good and honest man. When we lost our son-in-law Keith, he wanted to know what he could do to help and we said pray for our family. May God cradle you in his arms and comfort you in the loss of Max. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • To the Schonauer Family:

    My deepest condolences for your loss. Max was my great uncle and I have some lovely memories of times with him at large family gatherings or smaller get-togethers with my grandma, his twin sister Maxine. He was always a delight to be around — warm, kind, caring, and funny. I never saw him without a big smile and a twinkle in his eye. He and my grandma were twins in more ways than one. They shared a great sense of humor and a zest for life that were contagious. Max was an example for everyone in his love for and devotion to family. I last saw and chatted with him at Maxine’s funeral in January of last year and was impressed at how energetic he still was. I know he will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all.

  • Max was my uncle – my mother Maxine’s twin brother.
    One thing that stuck with me from Max’s wonderfully written obituary was that he was a good conversationalist. Others paying tribute speak of him never knowing a stranger or of the respect he showed for others. I believe the key to this is he was “other-directed” as opposed to self-centered. He, like my Uncle Gene, my mother and others in their generation, had almost an aversion to talking about themselves. Max would much rather hear about what you or your family was up to than go on about himself. He was genuinely interested in others and what was going on in their lives. You could see and feel how much he enjoyed the company of his siblings and family. He had every reason to try to impress or to lord his accomplishments over others, but he never did. He didn’t have to carefully craft an image – it took care of itself. Always optimistic and encouraging, helpful and resourceful, Max was one of those people who leaves an indelible impression on the community and lives he leaves behind.

  • Max loved his community and loved his country and really loved the Lord! But ask him anything about his family and his eyes lit up!! You were/are incredibly blessed to have been able to call him father, grandfather and great grandfather. I was blessed to call him my Christian brother. I will miss your laugh but won’t say good-bye but see you later❤️

  • What great lives Max and Kathleen lived. A blessing to all who knew them, a beautiful couple and role models for us all.

  • I have many fond memories of Max and Kathleen when Max did block laying on some of Bill’s early jobs. He was always a hard worker and did very good work. We were young families together and had some fun times together with Eldon and Mabel Weller, Les and Doris Rinehart and other young couple with 5 or 6 children. what a wonderful memories I have of those years. We always kept in touch and were never strangers, but so many of them are gone now. God Bless and keep you as you mourn a wonderful man

  • Marla and Family,

    I was sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I have fond memories of both your Dad and Mom, whether it was staying at your house in high school, Miller reunions or just seeing them while out. Whenever I would see your Dad he always greeted me with a big smile, and made sure to ask how I was doing. I hope your memories will bring you comfort. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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