Obituaries

Obituaries

Otto O. Schnellbacher Sr. 1923 - 2008 Topeka

Mass of Resurrection for Otto O. Schnellbacher Sr., 84, Topeka, will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Topeka. Burial will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.Mr. Schnellbacher died Monday, March 10, 2008, of cancer at his home.He was born April 15, 1923, in Sublette, the son of John and Effie Willet Schnellbacher. He graduated from Sublette High School in 1941 and attended Kansas University until April 1943, when he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. He returned to KU in December 1945 and graduated as senior class president on the dean's honor role with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1948. Mr. Schnellbacher was co-captain of the 1948 Orange Bowl KU football team, named All Conference, All American and led the league in receptions as an end for two years. He also played for the KU basketball team and was named All Conference for four years, was second in the conference in scoring and was team captain in 1948 under coach Phog Allen. He was inducted into the KU Hall of Fame in 1972 and selected as a member of the KU All Time Football Team as an end. Mr. Schnellbacher played in the AAFC in 1948 as a defensive end with the New York Yankees football team. He left the team to play for the NBA but returned to the Yankees in 1949, where he was named All Pro and played in the All Star game in Houston. In 1950-51, he played for the New York Giants in the NFL, where he was named All Pro as a defensive back and played in the All Star game both years. He was also chosen as a member of the All Time New York Giants Football Team.In the NBA, Mr. Schnellbacher reported to the Providence Steamrollers but was traded to the St. Louis Bombers, where he was a starter.Mr. Schnellbacher worked in the life insurance business and was a general agent for American United Life for 25 years, from 1952 to 1977. He served as president of the Topeka Life Underwriters, Topeka Chapter CLU, Kansas State Association of Life Underwriters and Kansas General Agents and Managers Association. He was Kansas Life Man of the Year in 1974 and a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table.He was a member of Most Pure Heart of Mary Church, where he was chairman of three fund drives and volunteered as a coach for 14 years at Most Pure Heart of Mary School. He served as president on the Most Pure Heart of Mary and Hayden High School boards and on the Archdiocesan Call To Share board for 12 years. He was the first president of Cornerstone and sat on the board of Let's Help. He was chairman of an ad hoc committee on race relations in the 1960s. Mr. Schnellbacher served on the Recreation Commission for 15 years and four times as chairman. He served as president of the Topeka Jayhawk Club and Cosmopolitan Club of Topeka. He was chairman of the fund drive to build the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at KU, co-leader of the Phog Allen statue drive and was president of the Letterperson's K Club. He was also the honoree of the Distinguished Service Award from the KU Alumni Association in 1999.He married Theresa Renner in July 1945. They shared 45 years of marriage. She preceded him in death. He married Jane Jung on Nov. 30, 1991. She survives, of the home.Other survivors include a daughter, Mary T. Decker, Topeka; two sons, Otto O. II and Brad T., both of Topeka; 11 grandchildren, Nickolas Decker, Traye Schnellbacher, Nicole Schnellbacher McCoy, Stacy Scott, Shannon Gomez, and Jessica, Jacqueline, Jonathon, Jocelyn, Jacob and Jeffrey Simmons; a great-grandson, Parker Scott; two stepsons, Steve and Ken Jung; two stepdaughters, Diane Purcell and Mary Tetuan; 10 step-grandchildren; a brother; a sister; and nieces and nephews.He was also preceded in death by a son-in-law, Nick L. Decker.The family will receive friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today at the church, where a parish prayer service will be at 8 p.m. today.The family suggests memorials to the Otto Schnellbacher Sr. Scholarship Fund, Let's Help, Cornerstone or Most Pure Heart of Mary Church, sent in care of Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Road, Topeka, KS 66614.Online condolences may be sent at <a href="http://www.kevinbrennanfamily.com">www.kevinbrennanfamily.com</a>.