McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Father of Terri ’78, Tracy ’79 and Tamara Schnapp ’81 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on October 22, 2017

Richard Schnapp Obituary

 Richard C. Schnapp, a concrete mason and Toledo firefighter who kept his cool at emergencies, died Monday in Arden Courts in Westlake, Ohio. He was 83.

Mr. Schapp, most recently of Perrysburg Township, had Alzheimer’s disease, his daughter Tracy said. He shared the news with friends after he learned, said Kent Reecer, who worked with Mr. Schnapp at fire station No. 5.

“He dealt with it like he dealt with everything – head on, same as he would fight a fire,” Mr. Reecer said.

He was born Aug. 4, 1934, to Eunice and Peter Schnapp. The longtime south end resident grew up on Queen Street and, with his wife and children, lived on Geneva Avenue and Heatherdowns Boulevard.

He was a 1953 graduate of Libbey High School and learned the concrete trade from an uncle. Mr. Schnapp aimed for perfection and in time he and his RC Schnapp Concrete Construction were sought out by those who admired his sidewalks and driveways and basement footers. For a project outside the Toledo Zoo’s museum of science more than 50 years ago, he marked his initials in the concrete.

“They’re worn away from time, but you can still see them,” his daughter Tracy said.

He was drafted and became a sergeant in the Army, serving in what was then West Germany from 1957-59.

He joined the Toledo fire force in 1961 and worked at stations No. 1 downtown; No. 5 – first at Broadway and Logan Street and then at Ontario and Washington streets; No. 9 at Broadway and Orchard Street, and No. 21, at Detroit and Glendale avenues.

“Dick Schnapp was highly regarded by everyone, from privates to chiefs,” Mr. Reecer said. “They respected his opinion.”

And they drew on his experience and know-how.

“The major thing was always keeping a calm demeanor,” Mr. Reecer said. “The new guys on the job looked up to him, because he knew what he was doing.”

He also went on runs as a first responder to traffic crashes, household accidents, street violence, and medical emergencies. When he spoke of a day’s tragedy, it was in whispers to his wife, away from his daughters.

“He didn’t want to bring home any sad stories,” his daughter Tamara said.

His daughter Tracy added: “He protected his daughters.”

Mr. Reecer recalled a firehouse where coworkers told jokes and got along.

“We had to laugh and make jokes or it would become overwhelming,” Mr. Reecer said.

Mr. Schnapp was on duty Sept. 9, 1980, when lightning struck the steeple of the Historic Church of St. Patrick downtown. Firefighters managed to save the church, despite the blazing steeple. To mark the 35th anniversary,the church in 2015 honored firefighters there that day with a ceremony and picnic.

He retired in 1987.

He was a member of South Toledo Golf Club, where he made two of three holes-in-one. He could be found on the course at least three days a week.

He and Maradell Karchner were sweethearts as Libbey students and married May 26, 1956. She died April 7, 2007.

Surviving are his daughters Terri Johnson, Tracy Schnapp, and Tamara Zawodny; brother, Gary Schnapp, and four grandsons.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday at the Coyle Funeral Home, with a Last Alarm Service at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Published in Toledo Blade from Oct. 18 to Nov. 11, 2017

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