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Welcome to the memorial page for

Gilbert R. Schoonover

June 5, 1926 ~ March 1, 2017 (age 90)
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“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The spirit of Gilbert R. Schoonover of Newville, Pennsylvania, left his mortal body on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. According to his faith in the mercy of the Father, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, he rejoins his beloved wife, Thelma Zundel Schoonover, in steadfast and sure hope of resurrection and eternal life.

Gilbert, variously known as “Gil,” “Gib,” or “Gibby,” was born on June 5, 1926, the youngest son of Cornelius and Gertrude Schoonover of Galeton, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Galeton and moved to Newville in 1955, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Ward Schoonover of Newport News, Virginia, and Russell Schoonover, most recently of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as well as a daughter, Ann Marie Schoonover.

He was a World War II veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater on the U.S.S. Fond du Lac, serving as bugler among his other duties. He frequently played “Taps” for military funerals, and his bugle was prominently displayed in his home and later, in his room at Green Ridge Village. He is a graduate of Galeton High School and Mansfield State Teachers College. He taught mathematics from 1955 to 1988 at Big Spring High School in Newville, where he was known for both his rich humor and his seriousness, as well as his willingness to devote extra time and attention to any struggling student who was willing to put forth effort.

He had been a member of Big Spring Presbyterian Church and First United Presbyterian Church, both in Newville, where he held numerous positions of service, and most recently attended Newville First Church of God. A self-taught trumpet player, he participated in brass choirs at church, in the Cumberland County Brass Choir, and at Big Spring Interchurch Council Easter sunrise services as long as he was able. He was an active helper at the Big Spring Area Food Bank, helped with the First Stop after-school program, and was a “reading buddy” in Big Spring elementary schools. He was known to family and friends as a skilled handyman who was generous in helping others.

He is survived by three children and their spouses: a daughter, Cheryl (Schoonover) and Steve Kennedy of Newville; and two sons, David and Joann Schoonover of Carlisle, and Donn and Betsy Schoonover of Chambersburg; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, March 18, at 2:30 p.m. at the Newville First Church of God, 475 Shippensburg Rd., Newville. Visitation will be held at 1:30. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Gilbert R. Schoonover may be made to the Big Spring Area Food Bank, 101 Crossroad School Rd., Newville, PA 17241 or Neighbors in Christ, P.O. Box 71, Newville, PA 17241.

Two days before Gilbert’s death, suddenly and unrelated to any previous conversation, he said, “I’ve gotta make tracks for home.” His family praises God and rejoices in their faith that he has indeed made it home.


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