Paul Schoening, 86, devoted and beloved father and father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, brother, uncle and friend died peacefully at home in Darke County early morning March 16, 2013.
He was a self-made man of the old school who lived by the old-fashioned values of hard work, thrift, loyalty and devotion to family.
He was born in Dayton, Ohio, on Dec. 21, 1926, to Albert and Ann (Kaehler) Schoening.
He graduated from Wilbur Wright High School and served during World War II in the Merchant Marines. After the war, Paul returned to Dayton where he married the former Nancy Ann Wilson on Aug. 11, 1945. Upon completing an apprenticeship in patternmaking at Frigidaire in 1950, he went to work at LaCon Pattern Works in Dayton where he honed his craft. In 1965, he co-founded his own business, Western Ohio Pattern Works, also in Dayton, which he successfully operated until he retired in 1997. After retirement, Paul kept a woodworking shop in which he hand-crafted beautiful and useful objects for his family and friends.
In 1952, he moved with Nancy and his growing family first to Troy and then to Piqua, where he lived for the next 58 years. In Piqua, he was a long-time parishioner at St. Boniface Church where for many years he was the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 75.
Paul loved and lived life to the fullest. He was an avid fisherman and could often be found in or on the waters of the Miami River, Turtle Creek or Lake Loramie in his waders or on his bass boat. He was a lifelong baseball fan, who followed the Cincinnati Reds through good years and bad, and spent innumerable hours playing catch in the yard and coaching Little League. He loved to read, especially mysteries, and his children fondly remember curling up in his lap as he read to them in his deep, sonorous voice. He was an accomplished outdoorsman who knew how to make a fire without matches and a comfortable camp, even in the dead of winter. He was generous of his time, unstinting in his praise (when deserved) and direct with his criticism (when warranted). Above all, he was a kind and gentle soul - a big man with a big heart.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Nancy; his seven children, Andrew (and Pam) of Waterville, Maine; Frank (and Ronda) of New York City; Steve of Longmont, Colo; Catherine (and Bill Patterson) of Piqua; Barbie (and Dudley Hansbarger) of Greenville; John (and Tammy) of Piqua; and Ginnie (and Randy Metier) of Lexington, S.C.; nine grandchildren, Justin, Ana, Jake, Jesse, Walker, Eric, Maddie, Allie and Miles; four great-grandchildren, Jacob, William, Hannah and Julia; three brothers, Al, Chuck and Kenny; numerous nieces and nephews and many friends. He is also mourned by his stepgranddaughter Missie and stepgreat grandson, Aaron.
A funeral mass, officiated by Fr. Angelo Caserta, will be held at St. Boniface Church, 310 S. Downing St., Piqua, at 3:30 p.m., Friday followed by burial in Beechwood Cemetery in Lockington. Following the burial, a reception for family and friends will be held at Fr. Caserta Hall, 218 S. Downing St.