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William G. “Billy” Schau, Jr.

June 8, 1963 April 29, 2020
William G. “Billy” Schau, Jr.
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Obituary for William G. “Billy” Schau, Jr.

William G. “Billy” Schau, Jr., age 56, of Erie, passed away peacefully at his home, while in the company of his family, on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Billy’s passing followed a brave and lengthy battle with cancer, which he fought like a rockstar. He was born in Erie on June 8, 1963, son of Helen A. (Swain) Schau and the late William G. Schau, Sr.

Billy was a 1982 graduate of the former Tech Memorial High School. He was a proud fourth generation Lake Erie commercial fisherman; having learned his craft alongside his beloved father and namesake. Billy’s passion for the family business began at an early age; having purchased his first boat, the “Zig Zag”, during the summer of his 8th grade year using money he earned from gill netting with his Dad. He went on from that first boat to also work on the family boats, the “Edithbelle” and “Doris M”, as well as other commercial tugs, the “Joanne M” and “Big Tony”. Most recently, Billy was employed by Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair for 12 years and prior to that, the Erie Shipyards for many years.

In addition to fishing, Billy was also an avid hunter who enjoyed spending time at Hammers’ hunting camp on Jackson Hill. He also enjoyed 4-wheeling, shooting pool, frequenting his favorite local watering hole, “Bogey’s” as well as pleasure boating on his own boat, “The Instigator”.

In addition to his father, William, Sr. “Bill”, Billy was preceded in death by a dear friend and fishing buddy, Sammy Irwin.

Besides his loving mother, Helen, Billy is further survived by three children: Sarah E. “Sarbear” Rutkowski, Danielle L. Roach (Jordan) and Donny K. Hadberg (Heather); his former wife, Denice L. Schau; three siblings: Barbara A. Bruno, Melody R. Schau and Christopher C. Schau (Diane); two grandchildren, Ivan and Jayde Roach; a dear cousin and best friend, Rick Hammer (Jean) as well as several beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and Jackson Hill, Bogey’s and Bayshore Marina friends as well as his co-workers.

The Schau Family wishes to gratefully acknowledge the entire staff of Interim HealthCare Hospice for their loving and compassionate care of Billy, especially his home healthcare nurse, Diana Hart, as well as Dr. David Seastone and Nicole Daugherty of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Private funeral services will be conducted at the convenience of the family. Billy will be laid to rest near his father, William, Sr., at Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery. A public Memorial Service to honor and celebrate the life of Billy will be held at a later date.

“Buoy ahead...”

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Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

Cemetery Details


Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery Final Resting Place

2601 Norcross Road
Erie, PA 16510

2601 Norcross Road Erie 16510 PA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Shriner's Hospital

1645 W 8th St.
Erie, PA 16505

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105

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