Robert A. Schumacher
January 10, 1942 – February 3, 2021
Robert A Schumacher (Subdeacon Athanasios) passed into life on 3 February 2021 after a valiant fight against kidney cancer. He was born January 10, 1942 in Bronx, New York to Raymond Schumacher and Mildred Barr. Raised in Lakewood, New Jersey, Bob attended schools there and upon graduation went to the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia where he became a skilled in automotive & diesel engine maintenance. He worked for the Asbury Park/NY transit company & then for the GMC Marine Diesel at Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He was drafted in April 1964 at the age of 22 and went to basic training at Fort Reilly, Kansas and served a year in the Central Highlands of Vietnam with the Big Red One as a shop foreman for the base and special forces. He was discharged in 1966.
Upon return from service he moved to Eastern Colorado where he found a job as an authentic cowboy on a 60,000 acre cattle ranch; literally riding the fence lines, roping and branding cattle. Finding that the salary was mostly “romantic” he applied to work for the city of Denver and then finally landed a dream job with FedEx as a manager of vehicle maintenance for the western region, which at the time included Texas, Alaska,
Hawaii and places in between. He opened many stations through-out the west when the company was expanding and was known as Federal Express.
He met the love of his life Elene Plastino when coming to Spokane to inspect the vehicles and decided to stay at a friend’s house rather than a hotel. The rest, as they say, is history. They courted for two years over the phone and on one of his visits he attended Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church with her and he fell in love with Orthodoxy, was chrismated and took the name Athanasios.
They married in 1983, making Bob an instant father to Stephanie and Matthew and moved to Issaquah, Washington where they lived for 16 years.
The church became a primary focus for Bob. While in Issaquah the family attended St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. After retiring in 1998, they moved to Rathdrum, Idaho and attended St John the Baptist Antiochian Orthodox Church in Post Falls where he was tonsured a sub-deacon. Bob served the church in Post Falls and also for nearly 15 years at Holy Trinity in Spokane… polishing altar items, shoveling snow, vacuuming and
assisting in many, many services. He also assisted the nuns in Goldendale, Washington by servicing their vehicles twice a year and bringing them beeswax for their candle shop. He was sad to have to step down from his service to the church in May of 2020, but was comforted in his memories from all the churches he served at across the country and even in Greece and Jerusalem.
Bob leaves behind his wife of 38 years Elene, children Stephanie Garcia Palanuik (Andre) and Matthew Smith, brother Jim-Two Crow Schumacher (Athene), and numerous nieces, nephews and God Children.
In Leiu of flowers the family requests donations to a Vietnam Veteran Association of your choice, Hospice of North Idaho, Saint John’s or Holy Trinity Orthodox Churches.
May he rest among the saints and his memory be eternal.