NEWPORT NEWS - Ward Elliott Schoonover, Sr. 93, beloved father, grandfather, and PopPop, passed away Monday, February 11, 2013. Born and raised in Galeton, PA, he had been a resident of Newport News for sixty years. He was a graduate of The Casey Jones School of Aeronautics in Newark, NJ and worked as an aircraft mechanic at NACA / NASA
. He retired from NASA in 1980 after 37 years of service. Ward served his country in WW II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater as a proud member of the United States Marine Corps
. Always quick with his wit and a kind heart, he filled his days doing for his family, friends, and those in need. He attended Temple Baptist Church where he and his wife, Marge, actively participated in the VIP's for many years. Ward was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Margaret Stolz Schoonover; daughter Meredith S. Blakeslee; brother Russell Schoonover; and parents Cornelius and Gertrude Schoonover. Left to treasure his memory are his brother Gilbert R. Schoonover of Newville, PA; sons, Ward Elliott Schoonover, Jr. (Dianne) of Yorktown, Mark R. Schoonover (Chris) of Ackworth, GA and Robert E. Blakeslee of Hampton; and daughters, Janice S. O'Kane (Kevin) of Washington, NC and Judy S. Morgan (Paul) of Newport News, with whom he made his home. Special memories will be treasured also by many grandchildren, Karen M. Hermansky (Matt) of Poquoson, Brett Morgan (Lindsey) of Wake Forest, NC, Randy Morgan (Meagan) of Markham, VA, Daniel Schoonover of Blacksburg, VA, Kevin Schoonover (Jenny) of Harrogate, England, Christopher Schoonover (Emily) of Christiansburg, VA, Jennifer Barsness (Jason) of Hampton, Amanda Crockett (Chris) of Newport News, Heather Rochford (Colin) of Roswell, GA, Brandon Schoonover of Wake Forest, NC, Carl Schoonover of Ackworth, GA. , Erin O. Scott (Grant) of Raleigh, NC, Alan O'Kane and Kyle O'Kane (Amie) of Washington, NC and Brian O'Kane (Chelsea) of Wake Forest, NC. He is also survived by great-grandchildren, Justin, Janelle, and Jessica Barsness, Braden and Landon Hermansky, Aiden O'Kane, Charlie and Elise Schoonover, Owen and Lawson O'Kane, Annabelle and Breslyn Crockett, Peyton O'Kane, and Finley Rochford. The family appreciates beyond words the loving care provided to Ward by the staff of The Newport and his personal caregiver, Hudson Davis. A funeral service for Mr. Schoonover, officiated by Reverend Benjamin Karner, will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 10 AM at W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home on Harpersville Road in Newport News. Interment will follow in Peninsula Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday, February 15th from 7 to 8 PM at the funeral home. Ward was a faithful supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Temple Baptist Church, and the Peninsula Rescue Mission. His family requests that memorial contributions honoring him be made to Habitat for Humanity, Temple Baptist Church, 235 Harpersville Rd, Newport News, VA 23601, or the Peninsula Rescue Mission, 3700 Huntington Ave, Newport News, VA 23607. Please leave condolences at www.wjsmithandsonfh.com
. Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home.