Edward A. “Ed” Schumacher, age 60, of New Philadelphia, passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family, Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013, in Community Hospice House, after a hard-fought battle with colon cancer.
Born Aug. 31, 1952, at Wheeling, WV, he was a son of the late Charles P. Schumacher and Marie Conaway Schumacher Dobranetski of New Philadelphia. Ed graduated from Warren Consolidated High School at Rayland, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communications from Ohio University.
From his boyhood years, Ed wanted to work in radio and he started his career with WOMP at Bellaire, while in college. After a brief hiatus with American Sunroof Corp. in Southgate, MI, Ed returned to radio as an on-air personality with WNPQ-FM at Uhrichsville. From there, he was hired as music director for WJER-AM at Dover, and later became program director for WJER-FM. In 1989, Ed applied to the FCC for a license, which was approved, and WTUZ-FM was born – starting in Ed’s home. He built the station from the ground up, and was credited as being a visionary for adopting a country music format, which filled a void in Tuscarawas County. WTUZ has become the area’s most listened to radio station.
Ed was also committed to his community, and gave freely of his time and talent. He provided countless hours of free advertising to non-profit organizations, as well as assisting those in need. In 2009, the National Association of Broadcasters presented WTUZ the prestigious Crystal Radio Award for community service. Ed volunteered for Rainbow Connection; was a member and past president of the board of Twin City Hospital; served on the board of Dennison Railroad Depot Museum (he had a lifelong love of trains and everything about them); served on the board of the Tuscarawas County American Cancer Society; and served on the board of the Tuscarawas County Visitors and Convention Bureau. He supported the American Red Cross, Warther’s Christmas Tree Festival and the Tuscarawas County Fair.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Church at New Philadelphia, and was a member and past president of the New Philadelphia Rotary Club. In addition to the National Association of Broadcasters, Ed belonged to the Ohio Association of Broadcasters and the International Broadcasters Idea Bank (only by special invitation).
Ed enjoyed travel, and trekked all over the globe, including a memorable safari in Kenya and a visit to Rome. He liked snow skiing as well as the warm sun and sand of the beach.
Besides his mother, Ed is survived by his fiancée, Joanne Obermiller; his “step-sons,” Jason Slabaugh of Jacksonville Beach, FL, and Jarrod Slabaugh of New Philadelphia; his brother, Keith (Carolyn) Schumacher of Acworth, GA; his nieces, Gracie (Ed’s goddaughter) and Anna Marie Schumacher.
In addition to his father, Ed was preceded in death by his step-father, Edward Dobranetski.
In keeping with Ed’s wishes, there will be no calling hours; he will be cremated and his ashes scattered later at the WTUZ transmitter site. Fr. Jeff Coning will celebrate Ed’s funeral Mass Monday, Mar. 25, at 10:30 a.m., in Sacred Heart Church, 139 Third St. NE, New Philadelphia. Following the Mass, there will be a luncheon in the Toland-Herzig Monarch Center on the Boulevard at Dover. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of Ed, please visit the Obituaries and Flowers link on the Toland-Herzig website.
The family requests that, instead of flowers, contributions in Ed’s memory be made to Community Hospice House, 716 Commercial Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663, the Muskingum Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross, 1451 Fourth St. NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663, the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, P.O. Box 11, 400 Center St., Dennison, OH 44621, or to the local charity of the donor’s choice.
Further, Ed’s family would like to remind everyone that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and, if you are over fifty years old, please get tested. Thank you.