Former IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Stephen Schoemehl dies of cancer


Celebration of life planned for Sept. 12

STEPHEN SCHOEMEHL, former IBEW Local 1 business manager from 2001 to 2011, passed away peacefully on July 24, 2021, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Stephen P. Schoemehl, former IBEW Local 1 business manager, passed away peacefully on July 24, 2021, after a short, hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 70. His life, lived to the fullest, ended with his high-spirited and loving family at his side.

Brother Schoemehl, of St. Louis, served as Local 1’s business manager from 2001-2011. A celebration of life service is planned for Sept. 12. The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at Silo Point at Brookdale Farms at 7916 Twin River Road in Eureka. Guests are asked to wear tie-dyed attire in honor of him.

Brother Schoemehl enjoyed serving and advocating for others. Serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, he was deployed to Korea as a medic in a MASH unit. After returning stateside in 1972, electrified by his family’s long tradition in the IBEW, Steve was initiated into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1’s apprenticeship program, and became an exemplary journeyman electrician.

After proudly signing his work with his name, phone number and “any problems, call” for years, he transitioned to serving fellow IBEW members with passion, starting in the late 1990s as an IBEW Local 1 organizer and business agent, and later, as recording secretary.

Brother Schoemehl was elected business manager in 2001 and served until retiring in 2011. From 2005 to 2011, he was the 5th District Representative for the IBEW International Executive Council. Steve cared deeply for thousands of IBEW members and their families while working to ensure long-term union competitiveness through their skills, work ethic and productivity.

He served with distinction on many boards, including the Joint Labor-Management Committee, the United Way Board of Directors, the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council Executive Board and the PRIDE of St. Louis Executive Board. His service to others was honored with the St. Louis Port Council Man of the Year Award in 2004, the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council Labor Man of the Year Award in 2006 and the Andy Owens Community Service Award in 2008. By proclamation of Mayor Francis Slay, Jan. 26, 2006 was declared Stephen P. Schoemehl Day in St. Louis.

Steve was preceded in death by Big Fred, his stern, but loving father, and his sweet mother, Virginia. He leaves behind many loved ones: his adoring wife, Cynthia (Hatala), whom he loved madly, and his children, Jessica and Nathan (Terra), whom he cherished. He was the proudest Paw Paw to his grandchildren who admired him ever so much: Olivia, Ethan, Conner and Bryce. Steve was a wonderful brother to Sue (Jim) Stewart, Chris (Sue), and Timothy (Mary), and brother-in-law to Diane (Chris) Smith, Karen (Bob) Barden, and Ed (Sheila) Hatala. Numerous nieces and nephews were grateful to call him Uncle Steve and an abundance of friends treasured him.

Steve’s extraordinary energy powered a very full, triumphant life. He always found time to be with his family, often joined by friends – the more, the merrier. He relaxed by fishing and high-speed boating on Norfolk Lake. He was often joined by his children, brothers, grandkids and friends, happily teaching the methods he had honed. Nothing was worth doing if it wasn’t done well.

Most of all, Stephen P. Schoemehl was our beloved husband, father, Paw Paw, brother, uncle and friend. His death creates a canyon size hole in our hearts and lives. Our fondest hope is what Steve said himself, “See you on the flip side.”

A private burial will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Lung Association.


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