William A. “Bill” Schumacher, age 79, of Batavia, formerly of Maple Park, IL, passed peacefully into memory on Thursday, May 6, 2021, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.
He was born December 8, 1941, in Sycamore, IL, to proud parents, Stanley and Norval (Leifheit) Schumacher and raised in the Methodist faith.
Bill grew up on Perry Rd. in Maple Park and attended local schools. He graduated from Hinckley-Big Rock High School with the class 1960, but not before making his mark, playing the trumpet and cornet in the high school band.
Bill continued his education at University of Illinois in Champaign, IL where he studied Farm Management and immersed himself in the Agricultural Farm House Fraternity (which may or may not have contributed to him needing an extra year to graduate) . Upon graduation he was drafted into the United States Army, but Bill had other ideas and instead enlisted into the United States Marines. At age 25, Bill took his very first plane ride to basic training in San Diego, CA, but it would be far from his last. His second took him to Da Nang in Vietnam where he served with distinction in many areas during his deployment. Bill rose to the rank of Sergeant before his honorable discharge and returned to civilian life.
Bill first started his working career at Hintzsche Feed and Grain, while still helping on the family farm in Maple Park. After his return from Vietnam, Bill came back to Hintzsche but transitioned from trading their grain for a spot in the frantic pit of the Chicago Board of Trade. He would trade commodities for several companies for the next 45 years before his retirement.
Bill met the love of his life waiting for his Audi to be serviced. Harriet Reilly was at the Cyprus Inn in Hinsdale, IL, to meet business clients but closed the deal on Bill’s heart soon thereafter. Their love story led them to the altar on February 27, 1988. They began their new life in downtown Chicago until 1991, when they bought a home in Batavia. In recent months, they moved once more to St. Charles where they continued to make the happiest of memories.
Bill was a fiercely proud 50 year member of the Maple Park American Legion, Post 312.
Bill was larger than life and one-of-a-kind. He was first to help anyone and everyone. Bill had an innate compulsion to make sure everyone was happy, and they had everything that they needed. He never met a stranger and rarely missed a chance to get into mischief, the level of which depended on the opportunity. He grew up driving both a motorcycle and a Corvette to high school with both spending ample time literally leaving their marks on various country roads. Drag races with friends wasn’t uncommon and usually encouraged. His skills at driving extended to carriages harnessed to donkeys and he threw in a few rides on Brahman Bulls to boot. The stories of raising hell on back country roads are as numerous as they are legendary, but his addiction to antiques, as well as antique cars, triumphs overall. There wasn’t an antique auction within 50 miles that he didn’t attend. The spoils that resulted from those trips helped to grow multiple collections of which he was very proud. Bill also had an addiction to candy and was known as “Mr. Chocolate”, though his figure never showed the nearly 5 pounds he ate daily. Both Bill and Harriet enjoyed traveling and for 27 years of New Years Vacations with 3 amazing couples. Their destinations varied, but fun was had throughout the world, discovering many different countries and their customs. They both cut quite the figure decked out in their winter best as they skied and toured the European mountains, not to mention the fantastic runs available at lodges across the U.S. Bill never had children, but his relationship with Harriet’s son Dale ran deep and true. Any mention of Bill’s nieces and nephews instantly brought a smile to his face. There wasn’t a niece or nephew he didn’t spoil rotten, and he loved every minute of it. It is true that no one was ever the same after meeting Bill, and it is even truer now that we have to say goodbye.
He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Harriet Schumacher and her son, Dale (Jackie) Reilly; three siblings: Jan (Paul) Bastian, Beth (Eddie) Mongler, Stan (Carol) Schumacher; numerous nieces and nephews that all had a place of their own in his heart, and a countryside full of life long friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Norval Schumacher.
Visitation will be from 9-10:30 a.m., with a funeral service to celebrate Bill’s life to begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Rev. Roger Hintzsche will officiate with interment to follow at East Pierce Cemetery, on the corner of Owens and Pritchard Roads in Maple Park, IL.
Please do not send flowers due to a family allergy. Contributions may be made in his memory to Supra Nuclear Palsy and mailed to PSP, 1216 Broadway, Second Floor, New York, New York 10001.Tributes and memories may be forwarded to the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.