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Judge Jack R. Schoonover

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Judge Jack R. Schoonover Obituary

June 10, 2013

Judge Jack R. Schoonover, 78, of Fort Myers, FL passed away at his home on Monday, June 10, 2013. He was born July 23, 1934 in Winona, MN, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Schoonover. After serving in the US Air Force, he attended Winona State University, and later graduated from the University of Florida Law School. In 1965, he married Ann Marie Benson, the love and light of his life.

His legal career began in the practice of Wotitzky, Wotitzky & Schoonover. Concurrent with private practice, he also served at various times as School Board Attorney, City Judge, City Attorney for Punta Gorda and State Attorney. Later he began the practice of Schoonover, Olmsted & Schwarz. As his career progressed, he felt drawn to the Judiciary, an occupation that he found was more of a calling than a job. He served as a Circuit Court Judge with the 20th Judicial Circuit and then as a District Court Judge with the 2nd DCA (District Court of Appeals), having served at one time as its Chief Judge.

Following his retirement, he continued to work as a Senior Judge, from Collier County to Sarasota and all points in between. This he did for two very simple reasons; he still had a great passion for the courtroom and he loved the people he felt so privileged to work alongside; from his fellow judges to the court reporters and bailiffs. He continued in this role until late in January when he suffered a career-ending stroke and heart attack.

His family includes a son, Wayne Benson, his wife Chris and their three sons, Matthew, Daniel and Adam; a brother Richard Schoonover and his wife Roy, as well as nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, a son, Jack, Jr. and his parents.

Services will be held Monday, June 17, 2013 at 10am at St. Cecilia Catholic Community in Fort Myers. The family will receive friends at church from 9am-10am. Cremation will follow. In lieu of flowers, if you are married, it would honor my father's memory to do something extraordinary and unexpected for your spouse; if you're not married, then for someone you care very deeply for.

Please visit to leave the family condolences and to sign the online guestbook. Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Punta Gorda Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The News-Press on June 14, 2013
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