Wil­liam A. Schoe­ber­lein

Long­time Cadil­lac sales man­ager was a Naval Academy grad­u­ate, play­ing on its un­de­feated soc­cer team

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES | WORLD - By Colin Camp­bell cm­camp­bell@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/cm­camp­bell6

Wil­liam A. Schoe­ber­lein Jr., a long­time Bal­ti­more Cadil­lac sales man­ager who played on an un­de­feated 1943 Navy soc­cer team and was a mem­ber of a card club that met monthly for more than 50 years, died of a heart con­di­tion at the Gen­e­sis Multi-Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Tow­son Fri­day, a month shy of his 93rd birth­day.

Mr. Schoe­ber­lein, who grew up col­lect­ing dis­carded bot­tles and news­pa­pers for ex­tra money dur­ing the De­pres­sion, wasn’t overly wealthy but sold cars to many of the well-to-dos in town and al­ways drove new Fleet­wood Broughams and El­do­ra­dos from the deal­er­ship, his son said.

“We would be trav­el­ing around in style and com­fort go­ing back to our lit­tle row­house,” said his son Robert Schoe­ber­lein, 56, of Co­lum­bia.

The son of Wil­liam A. Schoe­ber­lein Sr., an in­de­pen­dent car­pen­ter, and Eleanor Stan­ton, a home­maker who played the pi­ano and or­gan for silent movie the­aters, Wil­liam Al­fred Schoe­ber­lein Jr. was born Nov. 19, 1922, and raised at 819 S. Lin­wood Ave. in Can­ton. He was one of five chil­dren.

Mr. Schoe­ber­lein played base­ball and soc­cer in the Play­ground Ath­letic League at Pat­ter­son Park and earned a base­ball schol­ar­ship at Loy­ola High School. He at­tended the U.S. Naval Academy and played on the un­de­feated var­sity soc­cer team as a plebe.

Dur­ing flight train­ing in the Mid­west, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein played base­ball for the Iowa Sea­hawks. He played semi-pro­fes­sion­ally on the Al­bany Base­ball Club of the Eastern League un­til a shoul­der in­jury fin­ished his sports ca­reer.

He met his wife, Jen­nie H. Sokolowska, in 1946 at a bar on Fleet Street, Robert Schoe­ber­lein said. The two shared the same birth­day and had three chil­dren in their 67 years of mar­riage. Mrs. Schoe­ber­lein, who went by Jane, died in 2007.

Mr. Schoe­ber­lein worked for Fisher Body, a di­vi­sion of Gen­eral Mo­tors, and be­came fac­tory rep­re­sen­ta­tive for North and South Carolina in the early 1950s.

In 1953 he be­gan a decades-long ca­reer in sales at Swartz Cadil­lac Co. at Reis­ter­stown Road and Hay­ward Av­enue in North­west Bal­ti­more, one of just two of the com­pany’s deal­er­ships in Mary­land in the pop­u­lar lux­ury car’s hey­day.

The job — and the shiny rides that came with it — made him some­thing of a lo­cal celebrity, his son said.

“When we would go out any­where, to the store or a movie, he would in­vari­ably bump into some­one who knew him,” Robert Schoe­ber­lein said. “I thought he must be, in my eyes, like the mayor of Bal­ti­more. He was up there with Babe Ruth, in my eyes.”

On spe­cial oc­ca­sions, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein would drive home a limou­sine and take his fam­ily to a drive-in movie in style, he said.

Mr. and Mrs. Schoe­ber­lein raised a fam­ily in Be­lair-Edi­son and spent sum­mers on a large screened-in porch at a house he and his brother built on Mar­ley Creek in Anne Arun­del County, which they af­fec­tion­ately called “the Shore.”

“We would move down there as soon as school would end,” said an­other son, Wil­liam Schoe­ber­lein III, 61, of Not­ting­ham. “It was a rougher life­style — no air-con­di­tion­ing, no heat — but it was great.”

Mr. Schoe­ber­lein and about seven or eight friends in his east­side city neigh­bor­hood es­tab­lished a monthly card club that lasted more than 50 years. The ante was a penny, and the group would drink a case of beer and eat a box of dough­nuts as they played.

“If some­one won $3,” Robert Schoe­ber­lein said, “he thought he was a king.”

Mr. Schoe­ber­lein sang with his fa­ther and sons in a bar­ber­shop quar­tet and so of­ten crooned the old Bing Crosby tune “Pen­nies from Heaven” with his wife that he sang it at her funeral.

On a trip to New Or­leans in his 70s, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein tap-danced on Bour­bon Street as passersby clapped and hollered, Wil­liam Schoe­ber­lein III said. Then, once they’d rounded a cor­ner, he stopped to catch his breath.

“I have to sit down, my back is killing me,” his son re­mem­bered him say­ing. “That show­man was the way my dad was. He loved song and dance and old movies.”

His sis­ter, Anna Seitl, 88, of Fall­ston, re­mem­bered him as “the life of a party.”

As soon as they met him, “peo­ple would think they’d known him for a while,” she said. “He was very jolly.”

When they were young, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein would use his ex­tra money from a job at a fruit-pack­ing plant to take his sis­ters to the store for lemon phos­phates, Mrs. Seitl said.

His chil­dren de­scribed him as a lov­ing fa­ther who set up an elab­o­rate fan­tasy Christ­mas train gar­den and staged con­ver­sa­tions with Santa Claus into the ven­ti­la­tion grates so they could hear him on Christ­mas Eve.

Hav­ing grown up in the De­pres­sion, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein had a say­ing: “Al­ways have a dol­lar in your pocket.” When his grand­son said his fi­nal good­bye, he handed Mr. Schoe­ber­lein a dol­lar, Wil­liam Schoe­ber­lein III said. Mr. Schoe­ber­lein beamed as he ac­cepted it.

A ser­vice is sched­uled for 9:30 a.m. Tues­day at the In­ter­ment Gar­dens of Faith Ceme­tery.

In ad­di­tion to his sis­ter and his two sons, Mr. Schoe­ber­lein is sur­vived by a daugh­ter, Pa­tri­cia J. McNutt, of Alexan­dria, Va.; a brother, John Schoe­ber­lein, of Bal­ti­more; an­other sis­ter, Mary Wheeler, of Danville, Va.; and five grand­chil­dren. An­other sis­ter, Eleanor Ja­cobs, died in 2007. Wil­liam Schoe­ber­lein would al­ways drive a Cadil­lac, im­press­ing his chil­dren.

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