“Dick” was born on September 17, 1927, in Seattle, Washington to Wallace and Mabel (Burdick) Schoenman. He grew up in Seattle and graduated from West Seattle High School in 1945. He attended the University of Washington until drafted by the U.S. Army, and served from 1946-1947. He returned to the UW on the GI Bill where he earned both a bachelor’s in science and a master’s in science in electrical engineering.
He met Delores Finnie in 1948 while working as a Seattle Parks Department life guard, and they were married in 1950. They had four children: Merrie, Suzanne, Rose and Jeffrey. Delores died in 1975, and in 1977 he married Mary Ingersoll Johnson, and the family expanded to include her four children: Brenda, Bill, David and Deborah.
Dick had enjoyed the outdoors since his teenage years, especially after serving as a Seattle Water Department Forest Guard in the Cascade Mountains. His love of fishing and hiking was enhanced by sailing, skiing and traveling the world. Dick enjoyed building and carpentry, honing his skills on the construction of the original family home in Rainier Beach, Seattle, the Lopez Island home, and many community projects.
Dick worked for the Boeing Commercial Division for 33 years; he retired from his position as chief engineer of flight controls technology in 1988. Shortly after his retirement, he and Mary converted the family’s summer home on Lopez Island into their full-time residence. Dick became very involved in the community and served as a consultant on the expansion of the Lopez Island Clinic, the restoration of the Port Stanley School House, the Lopez Children’s Center, and Lopez Housing Options construction. He and Mary received the Lopez Spirit Award in 2004 to honor their contributions to the community.
Dick passed away on March 18, 2019, after several years of battling Parkinson’s Disease. He was 91 years old. He is survived by his children and stepchildren, 13 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. His sister Marge Lazare predeceased him.
A memorial service will be held at Lopez Island’s Center Church on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m. To share a memory of Dick or to send condolences, please sign the guestbook at the Klontz Funeral Home website: www.klontzfuneralhome.com.
Remembrances in the form of donations should be made to the Lopez Children’s Center on Lopez Island, Washington.