September 11, 1958 - November 11, 2018
Bob Schoneberger, age 60, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on Sunday, November 11, 2018, near his beloved hunting shack in Northern Wisconsin. He was born September 11th, 1958, in Bemidji, MN, to Betty and Joe Schoneberger.
Bob was a 1976 graduate of Bemidji High School and received his BSME in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota (always the Fighting Sioux!) in 1980. Upon graduation, Bob bought his 1972 Elk Heart green Corvette Stingray and took a position as field operations engineer with Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGPL) in Mooreland, OK. In 1982, he worked for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. (PEPL) in Liberal, KS, as division pipeline engineer and then worked his way up to technical operations supervisor and area manager. In 1989, he began to work for Enbridge Energy (formerly known as Lakehead Pipeline Co.). There, he transitioned from the senior project engineer to engineering manager, Chicago district manager and ended as the manager of right-of-way and environment. In 1995 Bob married Terri Breitzmann, a love that grew after being work friends for 5 years. They lived apart for 9 months until Bob and his son were transferred back to Duluth in 1996. They built a home in Duluth and the 3 of them began their life together.One of Bob’s many dreams in life was to own his own business and in 1997 he and his partner, Dave Rickard, formed United Piping, Inc. (UPI). Bob fearlessly lead as president of UPI for 20 years before recently stepping back to an advisory role which allowed him to hold a CEO position and be more active as an advocate for the pipeline industry. Throughout his years at UPI he led the company through tremendous growth, acquisitions, and new markets, but Bob stressed the absolute best part of the UPI story was the people he had the opportunity to meet and work with along the way. He made sure everyone knew that UPI was NOT him, but in fact every single person with a shovel in hand, pulling levers in the machine, rod in the stinger, or invoice they are paying. That is the United Piping Inc. that Bob and Dave helped build. With Bob, it was FAMILY first, and Bob had many families.
In 1985 Bob welcomed his son Erik into his life. They spent their years together sharing many hobbies including hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and sharing pipeline industry rumors once Erik followed in his father’s footsteps and became a mechanical engineer.
One of Bob’s greatest joys was fishing on Lake Superior. Bob and Terri went to Isle Royale on the boat most every summer beginning with Terri’s dad’s 21 ft Sylvan and upgrading every few years until he had his dream Tiara aptly named “Scho Boat” and “Not so Terri-fied”. They loved spending time together as much as they could and wherever they could. Bob loved spending time at their hunting land near Marengo, WI. He loved hunting and made several trips hunting elk in New Mexico and finally checking off “moose” from the big game list in Alaska (after going back for round 2 and unfinished business, as to make sure his was bigger than brother Mike’s). He also loved rebuilding his favorite snowmobile; a Ski-Doo 797 Blizzard that childhood neighbor, Greg Spaulding of Bemidji, MN used to race. His dedicated passion to snowmobiles and winter sports started early at age 10, when he started his first paying job working with Buster Spaulding assembling snowmobiles for $10 each sled.
Through his business and community leadership he developed lasting and genuine relationships with people from all walks of life. Bob had a positive impact on so many lives and leaves behind his larger than life legacy. His legacy will be carried on in those who cared about him and in the values he instilled in the people that make up UPI.
Bob is survived by the most important person in his life, his loving wife of 23 years, Terri Breitzmann, his son, Erik (Hannah Schoechert) Schoneberger; two brothers, Joe (Judy) and Mike (Kim) and numerous nephews and great-nephews.
Bob is preceded in death by father Joe Schoneberger, and mother Betty Schoneberger.
Visitation will be from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at DECC Harborside Ballroom and continue until 12 Noon funeral service with Pastor Bridget Jones from Bethel Lutheran Church officiating.
Should friends desire, the Schoneberger Family has established a memorial scholarship for the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Bob’s honor and memorials can be sent to: UMD Development Association, FBO: Bob Schoneberger Memorial Scholarship, 104 Darland, 1049 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812
The Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 E. 5th Street, Superior is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave an online condolence or to sign the guestbook, please visit www.lenroot-maetzold.com.