Karl William Schade, Jr., a longtime resident of Safford, and a local businessman, left this life Friday evening, January 13, 2017, at his residence. He was 70.
Karl was a second generation Arizonan, born in Morenci, AZ on February 14, 1946 to Marge and Karl Schade, Sr. He attended Clifton schools where he was active in the band and choir and lettered in football, basketball, baseball and tennis. He received the Elk’s Club Most Valuable Student award his senior year and graduated as co-valedictorian. While in high school, Karl became an Eagle Scout.
Karl continued his formal education at the University of Arizona where he earned his BA and MA in mechanical engineering graduating with honors. He worked as a graduate research assistant during his master’s year doing research in thermodynamics. This research earned him a teaching assistantship for the doctoral program in mechanical engineering at Stanford University.
Karl married his high school sweetheart, Paula Montgomery, in 1967, celebrating 49 years of a marriage. Together they had two sons, Karl and David, and a daughter, Allison. The pride and joy of Karl’s life were his wife, children, and nine wonderful grandchildren.
Karl was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Safford serving in many leadership roles including lay leader, and chairman of church council committees, the Sanctuary Building Committee, and United Methodist Foundation. He was also a member of the choir and active in the Boy Scout program and taught a high school Sunday school class.
Karl loved volunteering as a basketball coach for the youth basketball program and had the joy of watching some of the boys go on to win the basketball state championship. Karl had great fun camping, skiing, hiking, hunting, and boating with his children and many of their friends.
Karl’s first work began when he accompanied his parents to work in the Pepsi Cola Bottling business in Clifton in 1952. Through his elementary and high school years he worked summers sorting and washing bottles, loading and unloading trucks, helping deliver sodas and repair equipment. He also was a bicycle delivery boy for the Arizona Republic newspaper for six years. He had many fun stories to tell about rising early, rolling and delivering papers from his bicycle in all kinds of weather, and making his weekly collections.
This early training in work helped Karl form his sense of responsibility and work ethic for his career as a Pepsi Cola bottler. Karl returned to the family business to work with his mother and his brother, Mike, in 1970. He worked as General Manager and President of the Southeastern Arizona Bottling Company, a Pepsi plant in Safford that produced and provided Pepsi Cola and soft drink products to Graham, Greenlee, Gila, and Cochise counties. He had the joy of working with many of his immediate and extended family and many employees whom he loved like family. During his career as a Pepsi Bottler, he designed and developed Doc Holiday, helped build and direct Casa Grand Canning Cooperative and served as the president of the Arizona Bottling Association. Karl stepped back from his active position in 2013. He was so proud that his family, including his mother, sister, son and daughter continue in active roles in the business.
Karl was able to pursue his interests in painting, playing the guitar, watching the political arena, traveling in his RV van, and spending his last summer in Alpine soaking up the beauty of the mountains. A true Arizonan, Karl loved both the Arizona desert and the mountains.
Karl leaves behind his beloved wife, Paula, of Safford, two sons, Karl (Tiffany), of San Francisco, David (Deann) of Safford, his daughter, Allison (Justin Lamb) of Sierra Vista, his mother, Margaret Butler Schade of Safford, his sister, Susan Decker of Safford and nine grandchildren: Eden and Karl Henry Schade of San Francisco; Jessica, Hannah, and Madison Schade of Safford; Chase, Jake, Schade, and Nate Smith of Sierra Vista. Karl was predeceased by his father, Karl William Schade, Sr. and his brother Michael Schade.
A Celebration of Karl’s Life will be conducted Saturday morning, January 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church, 1020 10th Avenue in Safford by Pastor Bob Gilfert.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donation in Karl’s honor be made to Our Neighbors Farm and Pantry, https://ourneighborsfarm.org/donate/, or to the First United Methodist Church of Safford, Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.