LeRoy W. Schoonmaker Jr.

LeRoy Wellington Schoonmaker Jr.

EAST BERNE — LeRoy Wellington Schoonmaker Jr. — an Army veteran and mechanic who, with his wife, raised five children — died peacefully Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. He was 82.

Known as “Sonny,” he was born in West Berne, New York on June 15, 1939 to the late LeRoy Wellington Schoonmaker Sr. and Ina (née Cook) Schoonmaker.

He graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo in 1957 and married his high school sweetheart. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1963, serving in Germany where he transported Persian missiles.

“After his service, LeRoy and Barb settled back into their hometown in the Helderbergs, where they raised five children,” his family wrote in a tribute. “LeRoy was a mechanic for many years and retired from the Town of Bethlehem Department of Public Works in 1999.

“LeRoy enjoyed many hobbies. He loved tending his garden but did not like the weeds, mice, and cattle that tried to take residence there. Many people admired his garden and his children were drafted to plant, weed, and harvest the bounty.

“LeRoy was an expert marksman from his Army days. He enjoyed hunting in his early years, and in his later years used this skill to keep squirrels at bay from the bird feeders. Local walleye, bass, and perch feared him on his many fishing trips with family and good friends.

“As a sports enthusiast, LeRoy enjoyed educating his wife in NASCAR, college, and professional basketball. Sunday mornings he could be found worshiping at Westerlo Baptist Church.

“He loved to spend time with his family. Whether it was at his house, on vacation, birthdays, sporting events, or concerts, he enjoyed it all. To his family and the many generations of his wife’s daycare, he will always be ‘Papa.’”


LeRoy Wellington Schoonmaker Jr. is survived by his loving wife, with whom he shared 60 years of marriage, Barbara (née Brayman) Schoonmaker; by his his three sisters, Mary Lou Burby, Patricia Lindsley and her husband, Jay, and Kathy Packard; and by his five children, Barry Schoonmaker and his wife, Paula, Kelly Mitchell and her husband, Tom, Richard Schoonmaker, Missey Schrader and her husband, Dave, and Cindy Williams and her husband, Matt.

He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren: Marc Evan Weidman, Emily Bernhardt and her husband, Jeremy, Lydia Schoonmaker, Bethany Fishman and her husband, Andrew, Collin Peragine, Derek Schoonmaker, Paul Mitchell, James Mitchell, Grace Peragine, and Gavin Reed; and by one great-grandchild, Melody Fishman, and a second great-grandchild on the way to Grace Peragine.

His parents, LeRoy Wellington Schoonmaker Sr. and Ina (née Cook) Schoonmaker, died before him, as did his son, Craig Gordon, who died at birth.

Calling hours will be Thursday, Sept. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at A. J. Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Westerlo, 618 State Route 143, Westerlo.  

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

Memorial contributions may be made to The First Baptist Church of Westerlo, Post Office Box 130, Westerlo, NY 12193, or to the Capital City Rescue Mission, 259 South Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12202.


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