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Schmoyer Wayne

Posted 2023-03-01 by Sharla
The Wickenburg Sun, Wickenburg, AZ
Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wayne Schmoyer June 3, 1938-Dec. 22, 2022
Phillip Schmoyer Oct. 20, 1960-Oct. 9, 2020
Feb 28, 2023 11:00 PM

Wayne Schmoyer, 84, Wickenburg, “stepped off” Dec. 22. He will be buried with his wife of 26 years, Carol J. (Cobey), 1940-2011, and son, Phillip J. (Oct. 20, 1960-Oct. 9, 2020). On her birthday, the three urns will be set buried in Wickenburg Cemetery, fulfilling her final wish to be “together forever.”

On Thursday, March 9, family and friends will gather at David's Desert Chapel, 325 W. Yavapai St., at 11a.m. Wickenburg pastor, Duane Middleton, of Mount Hope Assembly of God, will lead us in prayer and reflection; all are welcome to tell stories and laugh, celebrate a life well lived.

The procession will follow his last big restoration project, Grandpa Short's antique McCormick-Deering Farmall Cub. Attendees will lunch at BPOE Elks Lodge 2160, 123 N. Frontier St., he was a long-time member. Haulin' Ash BBQ will do the cooking.

Wayne Schmoyer was born in Lander, Wyo., on June 3, 1938, to Muriel and Ray Schmoyer, a Wyoming cowboy. He was raised by “those Cohen women,” his grandmother, Ada Berglund, who died at 99 and cooked for the tie hackers camps, and his aunts, Mae Howard of Dubois and Bea Mazet. At one time they all lived in Muriel and Wayne's Riverton house, where the garden was bigger than the house, there was a canning room, a sheep wagon for a storage shed and Grandpa Berglund had is own woodworking cabin and made violins. Wayne would go on to collect and play guitars, entertaining his friends after the honky-tonks closed. Phillip was a drummer and played many a gig.

“You can pick your family,” Wayne always said, because he chose his brothers at three years old, Ray Short (Mary) 1937-2021 and James Richard Evans (Kay)1937-2013. The Arizona Schmoyers spent a month every summer in Wyoming where “the brothers” planned camping trips to the most beautiful and remote locations, only nature’s splendor and wildlife on display, no people. Tents and campers, motorcycles, miles of forest roads, the three guys supported each other through all the joys and trials of life. It was last September's death of “Uncle Ray” that deeply affected Wayne and got him to talking about “stepping off,” having more friends up there than down here.

When Wayne passed, he had just enjoyed a month-long visit with his new great-grandson, Oliver,and spunky great-granddaughter, Natalie, who affectionately named him “Grandpa Noodle,” sharing a love of noodles, fresh berries and PBJs.

Muriel Schmoyer (1920-2000) went to work to support herself and her young son as a career Mountain Bell telephone operator. Transferring to Prescott, as a practicing Catholic, she enrolled Wayne at St. Joseph's Catholic High School. He quit and went back to Wyoming, working in the oil fields. Hard work, he came back to visit and said Sister Anne Marie “got me by the ear,” returning him to school. He was selected the Boy's State delegate and graduated. At Arizona State, he took night business classes.

His mom moved back to Wyoming, but Wayne stayed and in December 1959 in Las Vegas, he married Sarah Lee Hooker, who also attended SJA. They had a daughter, Deborah Lee (J.D Killer) and a son, Phillip Jay, both born in Wickenburg Community Hospital and delivered by Dr. Paul Kliewer.

Wayne went to work for Standard Oil of California station #1652 Wickenburg, as a salesman, quickly rising to assistant manager; he trained under Herman “Woody” Woodfin. Years later it was through Woody's grandson, Kenny Lowe, he was able to pay forward the valued business lessons he used for a lifetime.

Promoted to manager and moving to the big Scottsdale Standard, in 1965 Wayne jumped at the opportunity to return to Wickenburg as manager. It was a 3A, 24/7, full-service station on the busy California-Arizona highway.

In 1973 the Brenda Cutoff opened, bypassing Wickenburg/Salome, routing into Phoenix via Interstate-10. The company made Wickenburg a dealer Chevron.

Electing not to uproot his young family, he took a local job as service manager for Jones Ford, Mercury and Jeep. He quadrupled their warranty and service business, bringing with him many loyal customers. The Ford Motor Corporation rewarded him and Sarah with a seven-day, all expenses paid, trip to Puerto Rico. A postage stamp-sized office, their service department continued to rack up the awards to which Wayne credits his crews and loyal clientele.

A founding member of the Wickenburg Sportsman’s Club, he learned to reload and gunsmith from Wickenburg jeweler Joe Lutch. A Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce member, he never came back from mixer without of pocket full of sold tires and oil changes. As members of the Wickenburg Elks Lodge, he and Carol enjoyed visiting lodges wherever she was troubleshooting hospitals.

As a young family, the Schmoyers were active in 4-H and Wickenburg Saddle Club. Wayne and Sarah were Desert Stagers acting in the annual Gold Rush Melodrama.

Sarah was killed in a car accident in 1975, leaving Wayne a widow with two teenagers. A second job to support the family, he worked on motorcycles in his back shop at 18 S. Mesquite St.

In 1978 he had the opportunity to get his station back, as a dealer. Wayne's Chevron at Center and Tegner was a favorite first job for many, offering vocational employment for young women as well as men.

Service was very important at Wayne's Chevron, he made sure his crew treated each customer according to their individual needs, a widow who only drove around town did not necessarily need a new set of tires; a family headed to Phoenix needed, oil, anti-freeze and fan belts checked; you didn't sell an alternator without testing the regulator or a battery without a load test. Phillip followed him into the business, was a light duty mechanic, ran his own Exxon station and drove wrecker.

Again the station closed in 1987; the company cited not enough highway traffic to supplement the local trade, gallonage. He retired.

His life had taken a wonderful turn, in 1985 at a St. Joseph's Academy high school reunion Wayne was reunited with his high school sweetheart Carol J. Cobey. After graduation she had gone to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix to become a registered nurse, married and had three children, Tom (Ginger), Kelley Tucker and Kevin (Eva) Hayes.

Wayne and Carol were finally married; in 1992 she took a full-time job here as the director of nursing. By the next year she was Chief Executive Officer, taking Wickenburg Community Hospital to a Top 100 Hospital three times. Sadly she was stricken with lung cancer and died, July 9, 2011. He would always say, that was not the way they had it planned.

Wayne and Carol Schmoyer were grandparents to all the grandchildren: Sarah (Steve) Killer-Orzel, Chase Killer (Alethea); Nicole (Chris) Warne and Anniyah Harris; Lauren (Rory) Fruhling, Kate (Matt) Cantrell, TJ and Harley (Daniella) Hayes Seane Hayes, Shelby Fickett and Kris Wibel.

He is also survived by his life-long brothers Ray’s and Jimmy’s children. He has always been their “Uncle Wayne”: Sheri (John) Bickner, Jill Short (Milne), their children Alex, Mac, Sammi and Cody and Michelle, Melissa and Evan Evans. He is survived by Ray's sister, Penny, of Gillette, WY and brothers-in-law Joe (Cathi) Cobey and John (Yvonne) Hooker.

See Also: Find A Grave

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