Schonberger honored at Soroptimist rose ceremony

Howard Schonberger was the first man to join Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor.

“He was very proud of that fact,” said Nancy Buechner, SIFRI’s past president, and Director 1 of the Northwest Region.

It was that and many other accomplishments that compelled SIFRI to honor him at the Soroptimist Northwest Region’s annual conference, during the Rose Ceremony, on April 24. The conference, which took place in Spokane, had over 300 attendees from as far north as Alaska, south as Oregon and east as Montana, encompassing the northwest region.

Schonberger was a member of Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor for 18 years, according to club rooster information. He always attended the annual Saint Patrick’s Day fundraiser, often covering it for the Journal of the San Juans, where he worked.

He was very community minded, and Soroptimist was not the only service club he was involved with; the Lions Club was another organization that had his heart as well.

The recent Rose Ceremony gave each club a chance to honor and remember members who had passed away during the year. Schonberger was the only male out of the approximately 30 members that were celebrated. Along with all the other club presidents, SIFRI president Dana Bune placed a yellow rose in a vase, hers for Schonberger, as a picture of his sweet face, and endearing smile showed on the screen. Of course, he was also wearing his signature cap.

For more stories read “Schonberger, the Journal’s Citizen of the Year,” Feb. 3, 2016, and “Saying Goodbye to Howard”, Oct. 28, 2015.