JSI is sad to announce the passing of Bruce Schoonover, Sr., after a short illness on Friday, February 17. He was 73.
Bruce began his distinguished career at JSI in February 1970 after spending several years at Highland Telephone Company in New York. Recognizing his immense talent and abilities, John Staurulakis offered Bruce a position in his small company and was, at the time, JSI’s second employee. Bruce, his wife Sharon, and young children, Kelley and Bruce, Jr., moved from Monroe, New York, to Bowie, Maryland, where Bruce worked alongside Mr. Staurulakis in his home, which then served as JSI’s office. Bruce remained with JSI for almost 29 years and retired as Executive Vice President in December 1998. He was appointed to JSI’s Board of Directors as an outside director and worked on JSI projects for several more years after his official retirement.
Throughout much of his career at JSI, Bruce worked hand-in-hand with Mr. Staurulakis on behalf of rural, rate-of-return carriers. His many accomplishments included assisting in developing and refining the industry’s first toll cost studies and guiding clients through the divestiture of the Bell system in 1984. Bruce was considered one of the nation’s foremost experts in the area of jurisdictional separations, access charges and universal service related matters, and testified on behalf of the rural telecommunications industry before numerous state commissions. Throughout his career with JSI, Bruce’s hard work, sharp mind and tireless efforts benefited JSI’s clients, employees and the entire rural telecommunications industry.
Bruce and his wife Sharon retired to Bethany Beach, Delaware, and spent each winter on the island of St. John in the Virgin Islands. Bruce was a board member of the St. John’s Historical Society and helped create videos and books about the history of St. John, which he was extremely passionate about. Bruce is survived by Sharon, his wife of 52 years. He was the devoted father of Kelley and Bruce (and Kim), and the loving grandfather of Brian, Matt, Kristen and Emily.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, March 25 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church (117 Maplewood Street, Bethany Beach, Delaware 19930). In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in Bruce’s name to the Fenwick Island Lion’s Club (346 South Ocean Drive, Ocean City, MD 21842) or to the Delaware State Police c/o Camp Barnes (P.O. Box 430, Dover, DE 19903-0430).
Bruce will be greatly missed by all of us at JSI. Please keep the Schoonover family in your thoughts and prayers.