James Schatz, veteran and civic leader

Lives in Woodmere for 63 years


James Schatz, a 63-year Woodmere resident, died on July 11. He was 93.

Schatz was born in the Bronx and graduated from Evander Childs High School before joining the Army in 1942, one year before graduating with a business degree from Baruch College in Manhattan.

From 1943 to 1946, Schatz served with the Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduation from Officers Candidate School at Fort Knox. In 1944, he was promoted to first lieutenant and the following year to captain. Prior to his honorable discharge from the Army in 1953, Schatz was awarded a Bronze Star, and four other recognitions for serving at Normandy, northern France, the Battle of the Bulge and in central Europe.

After his discharge, Schatz became president of the American Sponge and Chamois Company in Long Island City. He also served as president and vice president of the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education for 12 years, was an honorary member of the board of directors at Peninsula Counseling Center, served as the board’s vice president and president, and was also president of the Inwood Country Club and Woodmere Merchants Association.

Schatz also shared his World War II experiences through political and historical presentations as the chairman of the membership committee and member of the executive committee in the continuing education program at Hofstra University.

“The challenge of preparing and speaking during debates over the past several years, including many issues on which he had no prior knowledge, kept him mentally invigorated, despite his physical frailty,” his wife Ellie said. “He was described by his friends and colleagues as ‘a man of truth, honesty and kindness. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He was tireless, unique, exceptional, kind and generous to a fault. He served both his family and community with a great love and affection.’”

Services were held on July 21 at the Schatz home in Woodmere. He was interred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale.

Schatz is survived by his wife Ellie, children Willie, Elizabeth and Tom, grandchildren Chris, Doug, Kira, Samantha, Dale, Cody and Alexandra.