Schaefer remembered as 'giant of man' who inspired, 'changed politics'

Former governor, mayor interred alongside longtime companion at Dulaney Valley

April 27, 2011|By Baltimore Sun staff

Schaefer's interment at Dulaney Valley

Light showers swept the lawns at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens as the William Donald Schaefer funeral cortege arrived about 2:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch for the Baltimore region.

Schaefer's hearse was preceded up the drive by The Fire Brigade Pipes & Drums of Greater Baltimore, playing bagpipe music and a slow drum cadence. The hearse was escorted by four police officers on motorcycles, followed by a dark, rider-less horse, which symbolizes a fallen leader. Riding boots were placed in the stirrups facing backward, symbolizing the leader looking back on his troops for the last time.

After the hearse stopped at the member casket team, soldiers and airmen from the Maryland National Guard carried Schaefer's casket to a grassy courtyard at the mausoleum. As it arrived, Maryland National Guardsmen fired a thunderous, 19-gun salute by four howitzers as the 229th Army Band played.

The casket was placed on a bier in front of a tent sheltering 10 close friends of the former governor.

About 120 people, including Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, stood just behind the tent. As the band played another song, the sun came out again.

The casket team then lifted the American flag from Schaefer's casket as the Rev. Mark Stanley began the brief service of committal.

"We commend to all mighty God our brother William Donald and commit his body to its resting place. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," Stanley said. "May his soul and the souls of all the departed by the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen," he said.

A three-shot rifle salute by a Maryland National Guard firing team followed.

A bugle played "Taps" and the casket team folded the flag, followed by the Army band playing "America the Beautiful."

The flag was presented to longtime Schaefer aide Lainy LeBow-Sachs by Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard.

About 20 minutes elapsed between when Schaefer's casket was removed from the hearse to the completion of the service.

His remains were later interred in a vault inside the mausoleum alongside his longtime companion Hilda Mae Snoops, who died in 1999.

—Frank D. Roylance

Outside church, saying 'thank you'

Ronnie Scudder of Windsor Mill works as a courier and knew that the plaza in front of the Superfresh in Charles Plaza would be the perfect location for he and his wife to watch the Schaefer funeral procession.

The two arrived at 7:30 a.m., prepared with drinks and an umbrella in case it rained.

Schaefer helped the Scudders and other Hampden residents build a playground for kids on Singer Street in Hampden through his "Adopt-A-Lot" program in the 1970s.

Through the Hampden Woodberry Community Council, Scudder, now 74, was able to secure the vacant lots, where houses had burned down years before.

Schaefer himself came to the Scudders' home on a Saturday to inquire about what they would need to build the lot. Carol Scudder said she was home at the time but was not even wearing shoes. "He said, 'Well, I'm not going to look at your feet,'" she said.

They had enlisted neighborhood children to bundle papers to sell for recycling to raise money to buy playground equipment, but she told the then-mayor they needed wood chips and crossties.

The following Tuesday, the materials were delivered to the lot.

"Within a week, we got what we needed," Carol Scudder said.

Frank Hogarth, 48, of Lauraville said he wanted to watch the events from Charles Plaza, across the street from Old St. Paul's.

He remembers the former mayor dedicating a traffic signal at the intersection of Frankford and Anthony avenues, so students like himself could safely walk to St. Anthony's School.

"I just wanted to say thank you as a citizen doing my civic duty and saying goodbye one last time," he said.

Anna Wood, 84, and her granddaughter, Rose Ludwig, 43, of Yale Heights in Southwest Baltimore had gone to his childhood home to see Schaefer's final tour and arrived at 8 a.m. to stand in line to go to his funeral.

"I always voted for him," Wood said. "Whatever he ran for, I was there to vote for him. I [had] seen him come and now I'm going to see him go."

Lameteria D. Hall said she brought 20 young adults from Year Up Baltimore, a technical and professional skills development program, to "celebrate the legacy of a great man who has laid a great foundation" for them to be a part of.

The 18- to 24-year-olds arrived at about 7 a.m. and were close to the front of the line waiting to enter Old St. Paul's Church.

"It's always good to learn about great people who had a great impact on the city," said Leonard Hart, 19, of East Baltimore.

Michael E. Busch, speaker of the House of Delegates, remembered how Schaefer spoke to him and other freshman senators when he arrived in Annapolis, garnering support for initiatives like Baltimore's sports stadiums.

"He was the guy who made things happen, and never made excuses," Busch said.

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