Carl Schnoor

05/31/1920 - 06/17/2018

Obituary for Carl Schnoor

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 21, 2018 at First United Methodist Church in Perry for Carl Schnoor, 98, of Perry. Burial will be in Violet Hill Cemetery with Military Honors. Visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday with the family receiving friends from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Murdock Funeral Home. Memorials may be directed to the Perry Public Library in Carl’s name and may be left at Murdock Funeral Home.

Carl was born on a farm south of Perry on May 31, 1920 to John and Anna Schnoor. Like most farm children of that era, he helped with the chores, ran a trap line, went to town on Saturday night to do weekly shopping and socialize, and to church on Sunday. Growing up during the Depression, Carl learned the value of hard work and perseverance. The family nearly lost the farm during the 1930s, but was able to save it with faith, determination, frugality and hard work.

Getting an education was emphasized in the Schnoor household. Carl and his sisters, Marie and Loanna, went to Gardner School, a consolidated township school for grades 1-8. His father, John Schnoor, was on the school board during all the years the children attended school there. Carl subsequently graduated from Perry High School in 1937, the University of Iowa College of Engineering in 1943, and the University of Iowa College of Law in 1948.

Carl worked his way through college. He left home with $200.00 of his mother’s ‘egg money’ and returned the following spring with $210.00, having earned his tuition, room and board and a little extra. He worked in the dining hall kitchen, and for the engineering department where he tested water quality on and off campus.

Carl lettered in track at the University of Iowa. He anchored the four-mile relay squad, and his team held the school record in this event for several years. However, his running career was cut short when a calf fell on his knee.

Carl was studying engineering at Iowa when WW II broke out. When news of Pearl Harbor came, he was working in the Hillcrest dining hall. The next day, everyone was scrambling to join the military. The Dean of the Engineering College called an assembly and told the engineering students to stay in school because the war effort would need engineers. He told them that getting a degree was the best way for them to help the country win the war. Carl did so, and upon graduating in 1943, he went to work for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas, where he designed a next generation bomber for the U.S. Air Corps.

Carl subsequently joined the Navy and was stationed in Houston. After being honorably discharged at the end of the war, he returned to the University of Iowa to attend law school on the GI Bill. Although law was not Carl’s primary occupation, he thought the experience served him well in engineering and farming.

Carl settled into a career in civil engineering, and for 58 years he thoroughly enjoyed being a county engineer and running a small private land surveying business. Designing and building roads and bridges, and helping farmers solve drainage problems were his passions. During the 1993 flood, one of the bridges he designed was the only passable bridge over the Des Moines River in Boone and Dallas Counties. He had designed it for a 200, rather than a 100, year flood.

Carl worked as the county engineer in Cedar, Allamakee, and Keokuk counties before moving to Boone County in 1961. He was the Boone County Engineer for 25 years before retiring in 1985. After that he continued working as a private land surveyor until 2005.

Carl was known and sought out across the entire state by farmers and municipalities for land surveys and drainage problems. He spent endless hours surveying, calculating, and drawing plats. His memory was remarkable, and he could almost always find section corners, property lines, and pins even years after he had completed the survey. Carl strongly believed the county engineer’s office and drainage districts should work with the farmers. As Boone County Engineer, he advanced this practice.

Though engineering and surveying occupied much of Carl’s life, he was first and foremost a farmer. Like so many farmers, he had many innate capabilities, loved the lifestyle, and was a true steward of the land. One of his greatest joys was receiving the Century Farm designation at the Iowa State Fair in 2015 for the ‘home place’, which was also his birthplace.

Carl enjoyed fishing, hunting, traveling and observing wildlife. He was also an avid reader. While farming and engineering were Carl’s passions, his one true love was his wife Harriett. Carl’s sister, Loanna Schnoor Bloethe, arranged their first date while they were at the University of Iowa. After a long courtship during which Carl sent Harriett a single red rose each Monday, they were married in March of 1953. Although opposite in many ways, their marriage worked as they complimented each other. Survivors include one son John Schnoor of Perry, IA; three daughters Sue Omestad of Woodbury, MN, Jane Swain of Westmoreland, N.H., H. Loraine Wallace of Johnston, IA; six grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Carl was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Harriett, his parents John and Anna Schnoor, and his sisters Marie Crews and Loanna Bloethe.

Carl died at the Dallas County Hospital in Perry on June 17, 2018, approximately two miles from the farm house where he was born.

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It was my pleasure for 20 years to work with Orville & Loanna and get to know Carl and family and hear the stories from Orville of how Orville met Loanna when Carl brought him home from the university. I also typed many letters to Carl from Orville the last few years while Carl was in the nursing home. My sympathy to all of the family and especially to Sue and Al. It has been a pleasure to get to know you all. Audrey Waterbeck
- Audrey Waterbeck

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