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Roger L. Schonewald, 91

U.S. Air Force Veteran

(September 27, 1929 - July 16, 2021)

Roger L. Schonewald of Skillman died on July 16. He was 91.


Roger was born September 27, 1929 to the late George Schonewald and Virginia Schonewald (Siebert) in New York City. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1951 from MIT, where he developed a life-long interest in rowing at a member of MIT Crew.


He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, then spent two years in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.


In 1956, while working for Fairchild Engine Division (one of the nation's leading producers of jet engines and jet engine components) in Farmingdale, NY (Long Island), Roger met Viola (Vi) Bannon. They married on November 3, 1956 and were together for 65 wonderful years. During their life together they lived in Huntington, NY; Norwich, CT; Cumberland, RI; and, for the last 52 years, in Montgomery Township.


In 1986 Roger retired from the Ingersoll-Rand Research Center, then located in Montgomery. That was the beginning of a second career developing software as a consultant, writing pump selection programs.


As a life-long Catholic, Roger was a man of strong faith who loved the Lord and his church. He was an active member of St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Skillman from its inception. For many years he volunteered with Hospice and Recording for the Blind.


Roger rowed with the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association (CLARA). He was a regular at dawn workouts on the lake. He enjoyed it so much that he got his own single scull. After a morning of writing software, he would head to Carnegie Lake, where he says he solved most of his software issues. Roger was a regular participant in the CLARA annual Thanksgiving “Turkey Row,” which one time included one of his college-aged grandsons rowing with him.


Roger and Vi looked forward to an annual spring vacation to Sanibel Island, Florida. It was a time filled with playing tennis, going for bike rides, visiting the Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, and hosting visits from children and grandchildren.


They also enjoyed tending the large vegetable and flower gardens in their Montgomery Township backyard. It was a special treat for grandkids to join grandpa in picking the vegetables for that night’s dinner. Roger’s homemade bread, along with the “festive rutabaga,” were treats that all looked forward to. Roger and Vi filled their home with love and special times.


Roger is survived by his wife, Vi; son Roger and his wife Valerie; son Richard and his wife Judy; and daughter Susan Koval and her husband Michael. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Roger was predeceased by his brother, George and his wife Margy; and one grandchild, Roger Frederick.


Roger is remembered by family and friends for his loving heart and his big smile. He will be missed.


A visitation will be held Monday, August 2 from 6 pm until 7:30 pm at the Hillsborough Funeral Home. The visitation will begin with a prayer service at 6 pm and visiting with the family afterwards. The funeral service will take place on August 3 at 10 am at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. The rite of committal and burial will take place afterwards at the Rocky Hill Cemetery.

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