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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Monday, 06 April 2020 17:57

Family Tragedy Turns into Miracle for Body Shop Family

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Mike and Gayle Schoonover’s son, Patrick, collapsed and died while playing hockey in 2014. His family created the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation to sponsor youth heart screens. Mike and Gayle Schoonover’s son, Patrick, collapsed and died while playing hockey in 2014. His family created the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation to sponsor youth heart screens.

Index

If you’ve ever been in the Minneapolis area, you’ve likely heard of Schoonover Bodyworks and Glass in Shoreview, MN, which recently celebrated its 82nd anniversary.

When this third-generation business opened its doors in 1938, Packards and Buicks were popular with drivers, while a new car named the Volkswagen Beetle hit the market.

 

Owner Mike Schoonover’s grandfather began the business. Mike's dad took it over in the 1970s. Mike took over the reins in the early 1980s and has been at the helm since.

 

The shop has grown steadily under Mike’s direction, and, with the help of his wife/co-owner, Gayle, and their 14 employees, they fix roughly 150 vehicles every month. But, as we all know, especially now, life can often change in a millisecond.

 

One day six years ago, Mike’s 14-year-old son, Patrick, and his Eastview High School teammates were playing in the Blue Ox Hockey Bantam AA Tournament in Brainerd, MN.

 

Patrick was an excellent hockey player and loved playing it. Many were saying if he progressed and worked hard at his game, Patrick might be able to play at a higher level, because he was a fast skater and a prolific scorer.

 

After scoring the game’s first goal and celebrating with his teammates that day in Brainerd, Patrick suddenly collapsed on the ice and died, after first responders attempted to revive him unsuccessfully.

 

It was later determined Patrick had numerous heart defects that caused his early death.

 

“We had no warning,” Mike Schoonover said. “He had four doctor visits within a two-year period and he was fine. Once in a while, he would say that his legs were sore, but we figured that was just growing pains.”

 

Patrick was a fun-loving teenager who was loved and respected by many, his father said.

 

“Patrick was a gentle giant,” a tribute to Patrick stated. “He was the ‘anti-bully’ at school and stood up for those who could not. He made kids feel welcome with his smile and kindness. He was a great teammate and brought laughter and life to the locker room.”


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