Wilbur A. Schoen
As I try to organize my thoughts to paint a picture with words of who Wilbur Schoen was over his 100 years of life, I can’t help but start with the end.
More than a hundred of his friends and family were preparing to celebrate his 100th birthday on July 15, but just an hour before the stroke of midnight beginning his 100th birthday, the Lord called Wilbur home. I struggled to understand why. Why couldn’t he have had just one more hour? Why wasn’t he able to see all the people who were anxiously waiting to congratulate him? He was so looking forward to it. Life was cut short just one hour too soon. His birthday party didn’t happen…at least it didn’t happen here.
The night he passed, I questioned everything, but then it all became clear as I compared the party planned here to the one he must have had in heaven. Multitudes of people celebrating with him as they lined up and down the streets of heaven welcoming him home, celebrating a life full of love, joy, compassion and service to so many in this community and abroad. I imagine that celebration is still going strong today.
There are names and faces I know and many more I don’t, standing there waving, clapping and cheering as he walks by. Oh, the smile that’s on his face and the tears of joy running down his face. It’s a party like none other. In fact, I’m sure there are some saying, “Wilbur, I’m here because of you!”
Serving as pastor of the Hour of Power Mission in New Albany for 56 years, I’m sure Wilbur would hope and pray for each of us to have the same celebration in heaven should our life fall short just one hour too soon.
Wilbur A. Schoen was a member and pastor of the Hour of Power Mission, served on Silver Heights Camp board, World Gospel Mission, Gideons, Lanesville Alumni and as a World War II veteran and as a member of the Tin Can Sailors. He owned and operated New Albany Ford Tractor dealership for 34 years.
He leaves behind his brother, Darrell Schoen; daughters, Judy Baldwin (Don) and Janet Smith (Bill); four grandchildren, including Kim Hogle, Greg Hogle (Kim), Joy Adams (Bill) and Stephen Baldwin (Annette); and nine great-grandchildren, Ronnie Wolfe, Isaac Hogle, Quenna Hogle, Aysia Hogle, Kolya Hogle, Kelsey Adams, Cassidy Adams, Adeline Baldwin and Eleanor Baldwin.
Visitation will take place at the Market Street Chapel of Naville & Seabrook Funeral Homes in New Albany on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Monday from 10 to 11 a.m. Funeral service will be at the funeral home Monday at 11 a.m. Interment is at Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park in New Albany.