On Saturday, August 28, 2021, my father-in-law Norman Schauer passed away. He was the most honest, kindest, sweetest person I have ever known. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, and a friend. I am honored to have had the opportunity to call him “Dad.”
Norman passed, but the legacy of his life will never pass.
He passed his devotion to Catherine and his sons by loving his family beyond measure, unconditionally, and with enduring constancy. He was so proud of his boys and raised them to be strong, good men. His joy at becoming a grandfather, and then a great-grandfather, was complete. He was always ready for huckleberry ice cream, whisker rubs, and waltzing around the room doing the bumpty-bump.
Norman passed his sense of service and love of country by serving a career in the military. As a sailor, he traveled the world with his family, taking lots of pictures (have to shake that camera to be sure he got it) and exploring the country and the world whenever he could. He passed his love of history, geography, and culture in every port. Everything was an adventure and we were lucky to share it with him.
Norman passed his dedication to God and his church family by living with certainty of a power greater than us all. Always ready to serve, to share his garden harvest, and to share in fellowship, he lived a humble Christian life.
Norman passed a commitment to friendship, still in touch with friends from his youth and keeping tabs on all the families and their milestones and events. He also made friends wherever he went, striking up conversations with strangers who soon became friends. If you needed something, he was there – often with a chainsaw or a tow strap.
Norman passed his green thumb, always growing the tallest corn, the plumpest squash, and the biggest cabbage. Making sauerkraut was an epic event – that butter churn was not a decorative piece. He’d say he wasn’t planting as much this year, but he always did and gave most of it away.
Norman could fix anything. If a drawer was stuck or a cabinet misaligned, he’d fix it. I think he knew where every hardware store was in every town. He was always taking things apart to figure them out and could repair a car with a shoelace in a pinch.
Norman passed a love of knowledge, going to college after retiring and starting several new careers. He operated a garage and gas station, teaching his sons his skills and his strong work ethic. He kept a portion of Idaho running for many years. If Norman didn’t know something, he’d look it up. He’d get a book. He could identify birds, animal tracks, cars – just about anything. “Look that up on your gizmo,” he’d tell me.
Norman passed his great love of the outdoors by teaching everyone how to fish, two and ten, two and ten. He made fly rods and tied flies and always knew what was biting. He also never hesitated to put down his rod and help you untangle your line or net a fish, no matter how small. He always let you have the camp toast at breakfast and wouldn’t even get mad if you left all the potatoes at home in the freezer. He loved hunting, biking, and mountain climbing. “It’s just a good stretch of the legs,” he’d say, leaving us to wonder if he was truly part mountain goat.
Norman passed. The world is missing a truly great man, but he also passed his passion for life, his sense of wonder, his desire for adventure, and his unwavering love. “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”
It’s been a hell of a ride. Thanks for taking the wheel, Dad.
Norman W. Schauer, of Post Falls, passed away on Saturday, August 28, 2021, after a short but aggressive battle with COVID-19. He was born in Merrill, Wisconsin, September 22, 1937, the second son of the late Ernest and Alice (Means) Schauer.
Norman married Catherine (Magee) Schauer on March 3, 1957, who preceded him in death in 2018. Together they raised four sons, travelling the world during his military career. He served 22 years in the United States Navy as a submariner, obtaining the rank of Machinist Mate Chief. During his years of service, he made his home in Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Spain, Hawaii, and Illinois before relocating to Post Falls, Idaho, in 1976 upon his retirement.
Norman was the owner/operator of Norm’s Service Station in Rathdrum, Idaho. A gifted mechanic with a welcoming personality, he ran a successful business for many years. He passed his enthusiasm and knowledge about classic cars to his sons before he sold the station and retired a second time.
Never one to remain idle, Norman used the GI Bill to attend North Idaho College earning certification in machining and technology. He worked as a machinist for several local companies.
Norman later became a rural postal carrier for the United States Post Office, delivering in the Rathdrum area.
He was a very active, long-standing member of the Mountain View Bible Church, Post Falls, where he shared in fellowship with his church family. Norman was always willing to lend a hand and pitch in whenever help was needed.
In addition to his current wife, Paula (Christensen), Norman is survived by four devoted sons, Kevin and his wife, Kathryn, Mount Carmel, PA; Eric, Everett, WA; Kurt, Airway Heights, and David, Marysville, WA; two grandchildren, Kaitlyn McAndrew of Coal Township, PA; Kyle, and his wife Amy, Catawissa, PA; two great-grandchildren, Penelope McAndrew and Wesley Schauer, and numerous nieces and nephews.