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William “Bill” Schoenemann

January 26, 1933 December 4, 2022
William  “Bill”  Schoenemann
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Obituary for William “Bill” Schoenemann

William “Bill” Schoenemann of Union City, CA, passed away peacefully on December 4, 2022, at the age of 89.

Bill was born Wolfgang Schönemann on January 26, 1933, to parents Dr. Seigfried Schönemann and Gertrude Coppel in Dortmond, Germany. He and his parents escaped Nazi Germany on the Saint Louis cruise ship in 1939. After the ship was turned away from Cuba, passengers were divided and sent to four destinations--three of which would become German occupied. Thankfully, Bill and his parents were among a small group of the passengers who were sent to England during World War II. This harrowing journey is well documented in the book and movie “Voyage of the Damned.” After a lengthy process they immigrated to New York. He became a citizen of the USA on February 18, 1946. On August 30, 2022, Bill was video recorded and interviewed by the Shoah Foundation to document his experience escaping Nazi Germany and what followed.

His educational background includes a BSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and graduation from the highly regarded General Electric Manufacturing Training Program. He entered the Army Reserves in February 1955, in Vineland, NJ, and his specialty was Radio Maintenance and Repair. He achieved the ranking of 2nd Lieutenant before being honorably discharged in July of 1962. He then had a long and successful career in manufacturing with GE and several other companies.

In 1964, Bill married fellow music lover, bowler and socialite, Noreen Korman. They initially lived in Arizona until his career in the semiconductor business took them to Silicon Valley where they lived until their divorce in 1977. Together they had three daughters named Susan, Lynn, and Cyndy.

Bill then met Bonnie Hartung in Parents Without Partners and when his name sticker stuck on her during a dance, their romance began. They married in Reno on February 11, 1978. Bill’s family expanded with Bonnie’s daughters Vicki and Libby. Bill was married to Bonnie for over 42 years until she passed away in October 2020.

Bill and Bonnie loved seeing the world and traveled to a total of 116 countries while raising five daughters. His favorite place was Africa, because he loved seeing the animals in their native environment. As a result, he visited that continent several times. He took more than 35,000 photos in his travels long before digital cameras. He picked the best photos to publish a book, “Wanderlust,” which he financed on his own and distributed to family and friends. The world as seen through his eyes lives on in his beautiful pictures.

Bill lived a very long, happy and successful life. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was always quick with a joke and a hearty laugh. His steely blue-gray eyes had a twinkle that could express love, mischief or disdain. The recipient was typically aware which of those looks were being directed their way.

He was a lover of good wine, food, and all types of music. He thoroughly enjoyed playing bridge. He used his bridge master title to secure jobs onboard cruise ships to supplement his travel passion. Bonnie was his companion and beautiful assistant on these voyages, too—sharpening pencils and shuffling cards. In 2020, he earned the title of Silver Life Master. His hobbies included bowling, square dancing, and collecting magnificent works of art from local painters. He loved to sing and was in a chorus after retirement. He was also in the handbell choir in his Acacia Creek retirement community.

Bill is survived by daughters Susan Thompson, Lynn (David Wilson) Schoenemann, Cyndy (Jon) Wolfenbarger, Vicki (Marvin) Sanders, Libby (Andy) Vevers, grandchildren Laurel, Richard, Abby, Lucy and extended family. Bill was a loving father, husband, grandfather and had many dear, longstanding friends. He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him.

A special thank you goes to the people of Vitas Hospice and the Nursing Team at the Masonic Home for their loving care and support during his final days.

Funeral services for Bill are scheduled on Friday, January 6, 2023, at 11:30 am sharp at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, with other services and celebrations of life yet to be scheduled.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the USC Shoah Foundation or the American Heart Association would be appreciated.

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11:30 AM 1/6/2023 11:30:00 AM
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States

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