Pitt baseball star stayed loyal to university, sport

| Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 8:28 p.m.

K. George Schoeppner was a firm believer in giving back to the University of Pittsburgh, where he excelled on the baseball field, leading to his endowment of a baseball scholarship.

“Baseball was a big part of his life,” his son, Mark Schoeppner of Upper St. Clair said. “He was the beneficiary of an athletic scholarship himself. Without it, I don't know if he would have been able to go to school there.”

K. George Schoeppner of Mt. Lebanon died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, of an aortic aneurysm in UPMC Presbyterian hospital. He was 75.

Mr. Schoeppner graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1955. On Jan. 4, 1955, Mr. Schoeppner, while wearing No. 55, scored 55 points in a high school basketball game, his son said.

He went to Pitt on a scholarship for basketball and baseball, but hurt his knee his freshman year in basketball, so he stayed only with baseball. In 1959, Mr. Schoeppner was named a second-team All American, the first in the university's history. The school retired his jersey number, 25.

Mr. Schoeppner graduated from Pitt in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in business, and became a partner with Couy Insurance Agencies Inc. of Pittsburgh, retiring in 2006. He is a past president of St. Clair Country Club and a member of the Duquesne Club.

Joe McDonough, whose wife, Maureen, is one of Mr. Schoeppner's stepdaughters, said that dining out with him was always an experience.

“Wherever we would go, every waiter, every waitress, maitre d', every employee would stop by to say hello and talk. That's how popular he was,” McDonough said.

Longtime friend Mel Rex of Upper St. Clair said that when Mr. Schoeppner managed a Little League team in Upper St. Clair nearly 40 years ago, he “focused on teamwork and positivity.”

“If he saw something a player did wrong, he wouldn't say it was wrong. Instead, he would say, ‘Why don't we try it this way, and I think you'll find it's better,' ” Rex said.

Mr. Schoeppner was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol Schoeppner, on Jan. 4, 1995, and two grandchildren, Tyler Frenzel and Maggie Elder.

In addition to his son Mark, Mr. Schoeppner is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Cyndi McGinnis of Ligonier; Pam Frenzel of Indianaopolis; Cara Dobbin, of Washington; stepchildren Barbara Vaughn of Dayton, Ohio; Patti McCall of Uniontown, Ohio; Bill Matthews of Mt. Lebanon; Brian Matthews of Atlanta; Maureen McDonough and Colleen Earley, both of Upper St. Clair; and Peter Matthews of Mt. Lebanon; 29 grandchildren; and sister Ruth Berges of Savannah, Ga.

Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Beinhauers Funeral Home, 2828 Washington Road, Peters. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. John Capistran Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Pittsburgh Baseball Scholarship Fund.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.


Show commenting policy