Shreveport, LA – Steven Lewis Schoonover, 74, passed to his heavenly home on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 due to health complications. He was born on Aug. 14, 1945 in Akron, OH, the oldest of three siblings, to the parents of Harold and Julia Schoonover. He was raised in Akron and graduated from Buchtel High School class of 1963. He attended Ohio University in Athens, OH from 1963-1967 when he earned his BFA in organizational communication.
In 1968, he enlisted in the United States Army reserves and trained at Fort Polk, LA and Brooke Medical Center San Antonio, TX as a SP4 Medical Corpsman. Being a medic in the army was Steve’s biggest accomplishment, because he loved to help people. In 1972, Steve was commissioned as captain U.S. Army Reserves, Judge Advocate General Staff. Additionally, he was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Soldier by Aksarben Organization of Nebraska. In 1972, he also received his Juris Doctor from Creighton University.
Steve Schoonover began his career at Owens Illinois in Toledo, Ohio, before forming Fibrebond Corporation in 1982 where he became President and CEO in 1987. He also served as President/CEO of Blue Ridge Cellular, a full-service cellular telephone company and subsidiary of Fibrebond, located in Christiansburg, Virginia.
In 1997 Steve founded and became President/CEO of Cellxion LLC, which forged its way to become the world’s largest producer of radio-integrated shelters for the wireless telecommunications industry before its sale to a private equity firm in 2007. In 2001, he founded and became general partner of Schoonover Investments LP, which is located in Shreveport, Louisiana. He served as director and chairman of the Audit Committee of US LEC, in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he assisted in their Initial Public Offering. Steve was also a director for Contango Oil & Gas in Houston, Texas. He served as Director of Sabre Industries from 2007-2012. During these years, he also was owner and Director of Jer’s Handmade chocolates in San Diego, CA and EZ Own Auto in Phoenix, AZ.
Steve loved giving speeches and was most honored to introduce First Lady Barbara Bush. He was a member of Shreveport’s exclusive Committee of 100, Friends of the Strand, Shreveport Symphony, and the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans.
Steve Schoonover has served Ohio University as a Trustee of The Ohio University Foundation. With 16 years of service, he holds one of the longest periods of trusteeship on the board and was appointed emeritus status in 2016 as his term ended. He also has served as a member of the Scripps College Dean’s Advisory Council. Steve’s love and dedication to his alma mater was showcased in 2007 by giving back to help construct Schoonover Center for Communication in the heart of campus. Near and dear to his heart was also Kent State University where he, his brother Rick and sister Sheri were instrumental in financing and building Schoonover Stadium as a tribute to their father’s collegiate baseball career.
Over the years Steve has earned many prestigious awards including Entrepreneur of the Year-sponsored by USA Today, Ernst & Young, NASDAQ, CNN, Inc., and Merrill Lynch-in 1991 and 2002 for his work at two different companies. He also won the Small Business Person of the Year Award given by Bossier Parish Chamber of Commerce. While he owned Cellxion, the company won the Louisiana Lantern Award and on multiple occasions was one of the Top 100 Companies of Shreveport/Bossier. Steve was inducted into Ohio University’s Communication Hall of Fame, received the Joan Herrold Wood Award for Lifetime Commitment and was honored with the Cutler Herrold Society membership. Steve is most proud of The Citizens Recognition Award, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen, presented to him by the Bossier City Fire Department for helping to save a life.
As many know, Steve Schoonover lived life to the fullest and lit up the room with his smile and his infectious personality. He had a huge heart as witnessed by his support over the years for St. Jude, Camp Quality, Angel Flight and many other organizations. He was also affectionately referred to by many as the “Bear Man,” for delivering commemorative teddy bears to his beloved employees, customers, and children’s hospitals for over 25 years. There are so many people Steve loved working and serving with over the years and was a master storyteller about all his adventures with each person.
Steve is survived by his wife and best friend of eight years, Pamela Renee Wood Schoonover. Her son, Brandon (Sarah McLean) Wood of Destin, FL, their children, Abby, Lilly and Annabelle; her daughter, Kaci Wood (Matthew Aaron) Sykora of Austin, TX. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Barbara Geralds Schoonover of Shreveport, LA; their daughter, Kristen (Jeff) Schoonover Erler of Houston, TX, their children, Kaleigh, Kenadee and Jackson Erler; daughter, Michelle (Brian) Schoonover Payne of Houston, TX, their children Brett, Lauren and Ashley Payne; son, Brett (Anne Marie Allex) Schoonover of Shreveport, LA, their children Alex, Caroline, Matthew and Catherine Schoonover; son, David (Courtney Pickett) Schoonover of Shreveport, LA, their children, Brayden and Ethan Schoonover. In addition, he is survived by his brother Richard (Karen) Schoonover of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, and their daughter Melissa Schoonover. His sister Sheri (Wade) Schoonover Merrow of UnionTown, OH, and their children Krystle and Sarah Merrow Semple. Steve also leaves behind his most beloved animals, Heidi, Buttercup, Lilly and Jo; and his horses, Sonny, Banderis and Fixxon, and the little “Dude”. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Julia Schoonover; uncle, Dick Schoonover; and aunt, Marlene Schoonover.
The family would like to give a special thanks to his dear friends, Larry Williams and Alicia Axelson, for caring for his horses and all that he loved. Also to the dedicated staff at Willis-Knighton Pierremont, particularly Dr. Arnold Barz, Dr. Sally Ball, Dr. Bill Haynie and the hospitalist doctors who oversaw his care while he was in the hospital. Thanks to the amazing ICU nurses Jerry, Jeff, Dustin and JoHanna who were by his side 24 hours a day. And special thanks to nurses, Angela and Jeff at Fresenius Kidney Care Pierremont.
We would also like to commend and give special thanks to Greg Wingfield and the First Responders of District 5 Fire Department for their fast response as they helped Renee miraculously bring Steve back and provide so many beautiful moments of closure over the next few days. We are so grateful.
Visitation will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Southside in Shreveport, LA. The Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, LA and will be officiated by Pastor Dennis Sims and Dr. Pat Day. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a memorial contribution to Houston Methodist JC Walter Jr. Kidney Center at givingforms.houstonmethodist.org Gift designation: Kidney Transplant or call 832-667-5816.
We give the glory to God for Steve’s life, for the miracles we watched unfold and for all of the incredible loving messages and support from so many around the world. Since the season is Mardi Gras, one of many he loved, as a symbol of celebration of Steve’s life feel free to wear your favorite Mardi Gras beads and honor of a man that loved to “Let The Good Times Roll.”