Otto Schnellbacher Sr.

Obituary
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  • "I just wanted to offer up my condolences to the family...."
    - Morgan Brown
  • "To the Schnellbacher Family Our prayers are with all of..."
    - Richard and Brenda Gomez & family
  • "It was my great privilege and pleasure to work with Otto..."
    - Phil Glassley -- Retired VP
  • "Mary T, Brad and Otto, - Wow. I'm having a hard time..."
    - Peggy Crouch
  • "We have met Otto from time to time as he and his wife lived..."
    - Bill Fansler
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Photo Otto O. Schnellbacher, Sr., 84, of Topeka, died of cancer Monday, March 10, 2008, at his home. Otto was born April 15, 1923 in Sublette KS, the son of John and Effie Willet Schnellbacher. He graduated from Sublette High in 1941 and then attended the University of Kansas until April 1943 when he entered the US Army Air Corps. In July 1945, Otto and Theresa Renner were married. In Dec. of 1945, he went back to KU, graduating in 1948 as senior class president, on the Deans honor role, with a Bachelor of Science degree. While at KU, Otto was a member of both the football & basketball teams. He was co-captain of the 1948 Orange Bowl football team, named All Conference, All American and led the league in receptions as an end for two years. He was inducted into the KU Hall of Fame in 1972 and selected as a member of the KU All Time Football Team as an end. In KU basketball, Otto was named All Conference for four years, was second in the conference in scoring and was team captain in 1948 under Coach Phog Allen. In 1948, Otto began his professional sports career in the AAFC as a defensive end with the New York Yankees football team. He became a starter after four games and he averaged an interception per game for the next ten games. He was chosen to play in the All Star Game, but turned that down so he could report to the Providence Steamrollers basketball team in the NBA. He was traded to the St. Louis Bombers, where he became a starter. They were defeated in the second round of the play-offs by the Minneapolis Lakers. In 1949, he returned to the NY Yankees football team and started as a defensive back, where he led the conference with twelve interceptions, was named All Pro and played in the All Star game in Houston. In both 1950 and 51, he played for the NY Giants in the NFL, was named All Pro as a defensive back, had eleven and ten interceptions, respectively, and played in the All Star game both years. He was chosen as a member of the All Time NY Giants Football Team. Following his professional sports career, Otto entered the life insurance business. He was a general agent for American United Life for 25 years, from 1952-77. He served as president of the Topeka Life Underwriters, Topeka Chapter CLU, Kansas State Assoc. of Life Underwriters and Kansas General Agents and Managers Assoc. He was Kansas Life Man of the Year in 1974 and a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table. Otto was very active in his church, the Topeka community and the University of Kansas. He was a member of Most Pure Heart of Mary Church where he was chairman of three fund drives and for 14 years volunteered as a coach at Most Pure Heart of Mary School. He served as president on the Most Pure Heart of Mary and Hayden High School boards and for 12 years on the Archdiocesan Call To Share board. He was the first president of Cornerstone and sat on the board of Lets Help. Otto was chairman of an ad hoch committee on race relations in the 1960s. He served 15 years on the Recreation Commission, four times as chairman. He served as president of the Topeka Jayhawk Club and the Cosmopolitan Club of Topeka. He was chairman of the fund drive to build the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at KU, co-leader of the Phog Allen statue drive and was president of the Letterpersons K Club. He was the honoree of the Distinguished Service Award in 1999 from the KU Alumni Assoc. Otto was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Theresa Renner Schnellbacher, and his son-in-law, Nick L. Decker. On November 30, 1991, Otto and Jane Jung were married. She survives. He is also survived by his daughter, Mary T. Decker of Topeka; and two sons, Otto O. Schnellbacher, II and Brad T. Schnellbacher, both of Topeka; 11 grandchildren, Nickolas Decker, Traye Schnellbacher, Nicole Schnellbacher McCoy, Stacy Scott, Shannon Gomez, and Jessica, Jacqueline, Jonathon, Jocelyn, Jacob and Jeffrey Simmons; one great-grandson, Parker Scott; four step-children, Steve Jung, Diane Purcell, Mary Tetuan and Ken Jung; 10 step-grandchildren; a brother and a sister; and nieces and nephews. Otto will lie in state and family will greet friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church, 3601 SW 17th St, where a parish prayer service will be at 8 p.m. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday at the Church. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Otto Schnellbacher, Sr. Scholarship Fund, Lets Help, Cornerstone and Most Pure Heart of Mary Church, sent in care of Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Rd, Topeka KS 66614. Online condolences may be sent to www.kevinbrennanfamily.com. Otto Schnellbacher
Funeral Home
Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home
2801 SW Urish Road
Topeka, KS 66614
(785) 272-7888
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal from Mar. 11 to Mar. 12, 2008
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