Theirs was a love story that made news.
Two years ago, close to Valentine's Day, K. George Schoeppner of Mt. Lebanon shared with Post-Gazette readers how he and his wife, Barbara, both widowed, had started dating in 1995.
Before his first wife, Carol, had died, she presented him with a list of seven women who she approved for her husband to marry after she was gone. One of names on the list was Barbara Matthews, who had been raising seven children on her own since her husband's death. The two families knew each other, and their daughters had been friends.
Barbara didn't know about the list when she later approached him with an insurance question, as Mr. Schoeppner had been with Couy Insurance Agencies in Mt. Lebanon for years. He suggested they discuss it over dinner. When he showed up, he was carrying a dozen red roses.
At first, Barbara didn't see it as anything more than a friendly gesture. "He was always a perfect gentleman, and he just thought that's what you should do."
But the message got through soon enough: The two were engaged that August and married the following May, merging his family of four children with her family of seven. "I'm a lucky man to have her," he told the PG.
Mr. Schoeppner of Mt. Lebanon, who died from an aortic aneurysm Thursday at UPMC Presbyterian, played shortstop for the University of Pittsburgh and was Pitt's first All-American baseball player before he graduated in 1959. Mrs. Schoeppner said before that, he was a basketball standout at Mt. Lebanon High School and scored 55 points in one game his senior year.
Later, with his business degree from Pitt, Mr. Schoeppner spent most of his career in the insurance business, retiring in 2006.
Throughout his life he remained an avid Pitt fan and, in 1995, Mr. Schoeppner was named letterman of distinction by the Pitt Varsity Letter Club. He was also past president of the St. Clair Country Club and a member of the Duquesne Club.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Schoeppner is survived by four children: Mark Schoeppner of Upper St. Clair, Cyndi McGinnis of Ligonier, Pam Frenzel of Carmel, Ind., and Cara Dobbin of Washington, Pa.; seven stepchildren: Barbara Vaughan of Dayton, Ohio; Patti McCall of Uniontown, Ohio; Bill Matthews of Mt. Lebanon; Brian Matthews of Norcross, Ga.; Maureen McDonough of Upper St. Clair; Colleen Earley of Upper St. Clair; and Peter Matthews of Mt. Lebanon; and 29 grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Beinhauer Mortuary, 2828 Washington Road, Peters. A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. John Capistran Catholic Church, 1610 McMillan Road, Upper St. Clair. Burial will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Peters.
Steve Twedt: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1963.