SCHNELLENBERGER, STEPHEN, 48, of Ocean Ridge, FL, passed away peacefully Sunday, March 9, 2008. He is the oldest son of Beverlee and Howard Schnellenberger (Head Football Coach at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.) Stephen suffered from one of the rarest known diseases of the endocrine glands, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia IIb (MENIIb), which required numerous surgeries over the years. On Jan. 4, 1984, the day after his father's Orange Bowl victory that gave the University of Miami its first- ever national collegiate football championship, Stephen began six weeks of daily radiation therapy to combat small tumors that were discovered in the right side of his neck. Remarkably, he rebounded time and again to the point of being able to make 20-mile bike tours, lift weights, and play tennis and golf along with pursuing his career in the business world. He organized a major pro/am tennis event in April, 1984, to raise money for cancer patients. The "Miracle of Miami Match" raised more than $50,000. Stephen conducted several other events to help enhance the lives of cancer patients, generating more than $130,000 for such causes as Camp F.I.R.E., the first Florida camp for kids with cancer. Although Stephen needed frequent medical care throughout his life, he lived normally until an operation to remove a tumor and his colon, after which he later went into a coma and suffered a severe brain injury. Over the last five years Stephen has endured a great deal of therapy and rehabilitation. Coach Schnellenberger stated in an interview, "He's tougher than any football player I ever had. He's tougher than I am." Stephen could often be seen on the sidelines at FAU football games in his wheelchair. His mother, Beverlee, constantly reminded him that he was his parents' hero and that there were no football players as strong as Stephen Schnellenberger. Stephen was born January 27, 1960 in Lexington, KY, and spent his childhood in Alabama, California and Miami, while his father worked on the football staffs of the University of Alabama, the Los Angeles Rams and the Miami Dolphins. He graduated from Pace High School in Miami, Florida and attended the University of Florida, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Stephen transferred to and graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in business. He went on to work for The Flyer Publishing Co., then worked for Mass Mutual and later in real estate, insurance and computer sales. Stephen is survived by his brothers Stuart Schnellenberger of Pembroke Pines, FL, and his wife Suzie, and their children, sons Stuart Joseph Schnellenberger, Marcus Howard Schnellenberger, and daughter Teather Ann Covalt and her husband Killan of Weston FL; Stephen's youngest brother, Timothy Schnellenberger of Delray Beach, FL owner of the very successful "The Schnellenberger Properties". A Memorial Gathering will be held Friday, March 14, 2008 from 5:00-9:00 pm at the Kraeer Funeral Home. A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 11:00am at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 370 SW 3rd Street, Boca Raton, FL. A private reception will follow the mass at Florida Atlantic University in the Tom Oxley Athletic Center - 2nd Floor Founders Room, 777 Glades Road Boca Raton, Florida. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The American Cancer Society
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