The Obituary for my Mentor, Dick Schnarrs
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Not being able to afford a bicycle as a young boy, he worked at a part-time job for 12 cents an hour to buy parts to build his own.
On June 14, 1950, Dick married his high school sweetheart and soul mate, Barbara J. (Bobie) Brant. They enjoyed 57 years together.
He was a veteran of the Korean War with the U.S. National Guard 112th, stationed at Camp Atterbury, Ind. After serving, Dick returned to Meadville with his wife and new son to work as a carpenter. His goal was to own his own home and he felt that by learning the trade he would have the skills to build his own. With materials salvaged from a torn-down house, he and Barb worked together on their first home. In 1960, California looked like a good place to begin his own business, so he moved his family, now including a daughter, to Los Gatos. He learned innovative construction techniques in California that he later applied when moving back to Meadville in 1962. His first business, Dick’s Kitchen Center, soon blossomed, as he became well known for building quality cabinets. His wife, Barb, became his indispensable partner and sounding board through the ups and downs of running a total of three businesses over the course of the next 45 years.
Schnarrs Construction Co. was soon formed. Dick and one other worker built one house at a time for a number of years. From this humble beginning, his construction business went on to build more than 400 homes and numerous apartment and commercial buildings around Meadville. Serenity Heights, Woodland Heights, Suburban Heights, Autumn Hills, Tamarack Heights, Oakwood Apartments and North Street Plaza are among the most well known of his projects. He also designed and built residential buildings for United Community Independence Programs. In addition, he constructed the building that houses the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Never satisfied with his accomplishments, he continued to dream and plan for future endeavors. Dick always said that he loved his work and wouldn’t want to retire to do anything else. This wish was fulfilled, as when he went to be with the Lord, he was busy working on his schedule for the upcoming day.
Dick became a believer of Christ long ago. He was a member of Wayland Baptist Church. Always encouraging others to believe in themselves and to strive toward high goals, Dick had a soft spot for helping people get a leg-up financially. His passions included investing in the stock market, developing new enterprises, attending auctions, always looking for a bargain.
Survivors, in addition to his wife, are a son, Raymond E. Schnarrs and his wife, Diane, of Meadville; and a daughter, Beverly L. Scott and her husband, Don, of Meadville. Survivors also include six grandchildren, Jason Scott and his wife, Brenda, Jon Scott and his wife, Tammy, Bessie Vogel, Shauna Warzyniak and her husband, Andy, Ellen Cummings and Nicole Schnarrs. Great-grandchildren include Jonathon, Tristin, Julie, Kylie, Jacob, Michael and Jacob. Additional survivors include several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Robert W. Waid Funeral Home, 581 Chestnut St., Meadville, where a celebration of his life will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday. Pastor Harlan Nefstead of Wayland Baptist Church will officiate.
Interment in Greendale Cemetery, with military honors presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2006, will immediately follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be sent to the Cleveland Clinic Heart Institute, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Richard (Dick) Eugene Schnarrs of Meadville, loving husband of Barbara and inspirational father of Raymond E. Schnarrs and Beverly L. Scott, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, May 3, 2007.
He was born in Meadville Oct. 10, 1932. He was a son of Clair L. and Dorothy M. Schnarrs, who preceded him in death. His brother, Clair (Leslie) Schnarrs, also preceded him in death.
Raised during the Depression, he was determined at a young age to become successful in life.
Our Daughter said it best.
Unbeknown to us, our daughter (who was fifteen at the time) had written the following letter. She handed the letter to Mrs. Schnarrs. We found out about the letter when Mrs. Schnarrs called to ask if she could read it at the funeral service.
Mr. Richard E. Schnarrs,
You touched my life beyond belief. I really didn't see you that much, but I've always thought of you as more than someone who gave my Dad a job. You gave him a beginning, a life lesson he'll never forget. If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. I know you'll be missed deeply not only by your family but by everybody. You were an inspiration. By talking so little I learned so much. You can't just wait for things to come to you, you have to go to them yourself. I know you're building mansions in the sky and they're gorgeous. Through lessons learned and inspiration in my heart, I'm gonna remember you. You were a great man, but everybody has a time. I just wish yours didn't have to be now. In my heart you will always be.
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