William H. Schebaum, aged 74, passed from this life on the morning of July 31, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.
Bill was born on December 10, 1947, and raised in Northport, New York, the son of Henry August and Mary (Grant) Schebaum.
Growing up in a small seacoast village, Bill learned to swim and sail on the Long Island sound where he developed his love of boats and all bodies of water. He was educated in the Northport public schools, and excelled in both academics and athletics. He graduated from high school in 1965, having earned letters in soccer, basketball, and track. He earned his B.A. (B.S.?) from Windham College in Putney, Vermont, and his J.D. from New England School of Law in Boston, Mass. At Windham College, Bill was President of the student body, and studied government – beginning his lifelong involvement in the politics of his city, his state, and his country. In law school, Bill demonstrated his commitment to social justice by driving, as a volunteer, a school bus through the South End of Boston during the turbulent federally mandated racial de-segregation of the schools in that part of the city, where protesting citizens attacked the buses with stones.
After passing both the NY and Florida bar exams, Bill began the practice of law in Cooperstown, NY in the late 1970’s. In 1983, Bill became a partner in the Oneonta law firm of Kehoe, Mertzig, and Schebaum. Bill opened his own office in 1994 and continued his law career in Oneonta until a few weeks before his death. Bill was always the advocate of the underdog and his law practice reflected his commitment to both the rule of law and compassion and advocacy for those who needed legal help most.
He was happiest surrounded by family and friends during the holidays; on a boat on the St. Lawrence River; and being at Yankee Stadium for Game 6 of the 1996 World Series watching his beloved New York Yankees win.
Bill is remembered for his exuberant love of life, sense of adventure, and sense of humor. A confirmed optimist, he saw the best in everyone and liked almost everyone he knew. A talented raconteur, he was welcomed at any gathering where he would enliven the discussion. He was proudest of his two sons, Will and Matt, and he adored his grandson Wren. He was married to his wife Martha (Hanna) for 38 years. He is survived and truly mourned by his wife, Martha; his son Will and wife Hannah, and her sons Ijaeda and Tully; his grandson Wren; his son Matt; his sister and brother-in-law, Lauren and Dean Gallant; his sister-in-law and husband Patricia and Jeff Bennett; his niece Danielle and her sons Kamren and Derrek; his sister-in-law and husband Michelle and Danny Steiner; his brother- in-law Michael; and many, many friends.
The public is invited to a casual gathering of remembrance on Monday, August 8th from 4-6pm at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand Street, Oneonta.
In lieu of flowers, his family encourages donations to the Delaware Valley Humane Society (dvhsny.org) and the Innocence Project (innocenceproject.org).
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com for the Schebaum family.