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R’wood’s William a. Schauer Dead at 84

He Left Behind A Long Legacy Of Community Involvement And Service

WilliamBill” A. Schauer, a Ridgewood lawyer, active community volunteer and member of the neighborhood’s Gottscheer community, died last Friday, Dec. 27, at the age of 84.

The late William “Bill” A. Schauer (left) along with his father, Adolf, and brother Alfred

He passed after battling for more than a year against complications arising from pneumonia, family members said.

A native of Brooklyn, Bill lived in Ridgewood and was the devoted father of Carolyn Schauer-Noyes, Christina Chandler and William J. Schauer, as well as the loving husband of Virginia Schauer. He was preceded in death by daughter Mary Schauer.

“It was quite a life,” said son William J. Schauer. “He was just a real man of the community-he loved his family, loved his community.”

During his life, Bill continued an insurance and real estate agency founded by his father, Adolf, in 1930.

After earning his law degree from St. John’s University Law School in 1952, Bill practiced at the family’s Forest Avenue firm-and founded his own law practice there-until his death, expanding the business with his brother Alfred. Eventually, his son William, joined the law practice in 1990 as a partner.

Bill Schauer was an active member of the Gottscheer community-a Germanic ethnic group formerly concentrated in what is now Slovenia and which largely immigrated to the United States between the late 1800s and the years following World War II.

His parents emigrated from the Gottscheer region in 1921, and Bill was a first-generation American.

He completed a manuscript in the late 1990s chronicling his father Adolf’s work to enact legislation allowing Gottscheers to seek asylum in the U.S. in the years following his own immigration. The manuscript also retells the Gottscheers’ early history in the greater Ridgewood area.

The family is planning to publish the history as a testament to Bill, according to William J. Schauer.

In addition, Bill was instrumental in creating a permanent archive of Gottscheer materials at his alma mater St. John’s University.

There, members of the Gottscheer community could deposit items of cultural significance for posterity, his son explained.

Like his own father, Bill Schauer served as a trustee of the German Society of New York. Founded in 1784, it is one of the oldest chartered charities in New York State. William J. Schauer currently serves as the organization’s president.

A man of great faith, Bill Schauer attended Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and sent his four children to the school.

He served on the church’s Home and School Association and was a founder and president of the New York State Federation of Catholic School Parents, where he advocated for parity between public and parochial schools, as well as a voucher system to help private school parents fund their children’s education

Additionally, he was a president of the Kiwanis Club of Ridgewood, a charter board member of the Ridgewood Corps of the Salvation Army and served on the Wyckoff Heights Hospital’s board of trustees for nearly three decades.

Bill’s family will inter him in the cemetery at Our Lady Of the Isle Roman Catholic Church in Shelter Island, L.I., so he can rest close to the summer home he built and the garden he loved to tend there, his son said.

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