Fellow police officer and former Fenwick wrestling coach Sal Gamino ’95 paid tribute to his comrade in this eulogy, given at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest this past Saturday.
By Sergeant Salvador Gamino, Jr., Berwyn Police Dept.
(Editor’s note: Berwyn, IL Police Officer, Glen Ellyn resident and Fenwick alumnus Charles Schauer was tragically killed on January 20, 2020.)
Thank you all for coming today to remember the life of Charles Andrew Schauer, who was taken from us so very suddenly. Chuck was a man beloved by all as evident by the great number of people in attendance these past several days.
I, Salvador Gamino, am a sergeant with the Berwyn Police Department. Chuck and I have been fellow officers for 10 years, but our relationship began so much earlier, when I was his freshman high school wrestling coach at Fenwick in Oak Park. Chuck has been my friend through all of these years, and as our relationship grew, I actually came to think of him as family.
Chuck was born on January 25, 1986, ironically 34 years ago today. He is survived by his wife Jessa, son and daughter Charlie and Kyleigh, his parents Charles and Mary, and his sister Kathleen. He attended grammar school here at Saint Vincent Ferrer, and then graduated from Fenwick High School. He attended Western Illinois University before enlisting in the Marines to serve our country where he earned the rank of Lance Corporal. He was deployed overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom serving our country with honor. After concluding his military career, he became a Police Officer with the Berwyn Police Department. Chuck wore many hats during the course of his police career. He was a Patrol Officer, Evidence Technician, Field Training Officer and a Detective.
Over the past days, we have probably heard or read the phrase “one in a million” being used to describe Chuck. From the bottom of my heart, nothing could be truer. Chuck had no enemies. No one ever had a bad thing to say about him.
Chuck and Jessa met as young undergraduates. His military commitments, that took him overseas twice, kept them from having a traditional courtship, as they were apart while he served our country. Despite this, they thankfully persevered and later married, and their union gave Chuck his greatest joys in life: Charlie and Kyleigh.
His children were his world. A lot of new dad’s shy away from their kids in the ‘baby stage.’ Not Chuck! Jessa said he loved every part of fatherhood. He would spend every day off with the kids. When he found out that Charlie was on the way, he was overjoyed. He couldn’t wait to meet his son. He and Charlie were best friends. Chuck and Charlie truly share a love for baseball. Jessa said they spent hours together playing and practicing. Because of Chuck’s military and police background, he was pretty strict with Charlie. Chuck was big on manners, rules, and respect. Then, along came Kyleigh. Strictness went out the window. This little girl stole her daddy’s heart. Jessa said that Kyleigh had him wrapped around her finger. Kyleigh was his social media star. He would often post his videos of the ‘interviews with Kyleigh’ that he took and the ridiculously cute things that she did and said – these of course brought a smile to everyone that saw them. Chuck truly had so much love for his children. He talked about them to anyone who would listen.
People that are described as generous and caring are said to be willing to ‘give you the shirts off their backs.’ Well, Chuck did one better. He literally gave his friend the pants that he was wearing. One day, when Chuck was ending his shift at the police department, another officer had a wardrobe malfunction, and the zipper and button on his duty pants broke, rendering the pants unsuitable to be worn in public. Chuck went down to the locker room, changed his clothes so he could give his fellow officer the pants that he was wearing so that the other officer could finish his shift. With Chuck, stories like that are common.
His sister, Kathleen, described him as a protective and loving brother. The kind of big brother that was selfless, dependable and, occasionally, a bad influence. She told me the story about one time when their parents went out of town and left Chuck in charge. Chuck swiftly planned a party at their house, leaving no detail unturned. He even had a cleaning service scheduled to come the day after the party. He spread the word, and it travelled fast. The administration at Fenwick heard about the party, and let’s just say strongly ‘urged’ Chuck to cancel it. I chuckled at the story, and asked Kathleen how long their parents were out of town. Before she could answer, his mom shouted from the background “ONE NIGHT. We were gone ONE night! You two made it sound like we were gone for a week.”
As much as Chuck was cut from the same cloth as his father, he was like his mother, Mary, in many ways. His selflessness was a trait that he learned from her. Mary and Chuck would communicate without even speaking. Mary was deeply attuned to her son. She could gauge his mood just by looking at him. They were just in tune with each other on a deep emotional level.Continue reading “Remembering Fallen Friar Chuck Schauer, 33, Class of 2004”