Laurence Henry “Larry” Schongar, 78, of Peterborough, passed away peacefully with his wife by his side at Monadnock Community Hospital on February 18, 2019. He was born in Passaic, NJ on March 21, 1940, the son of Henry and Adelaide (Thorpe) Schongar.
Larry was raised in Radburn, Fair Lawn, NJ, the first planned community in the United States. He graduated from Fair Lawn High School in 1958 and from Colgate University in 1962 with a BA (Political Science major and a Chemistry minor). After graduating from Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, he began serving as Chief Engineer aboard the destroyer USS Gearing (DD-710). In 1964 Larry married his high school sweetheart, Kathryn Hallenbeck “Kathy” Newman.
After completing his active duty in 1965 as a Lieutenant, the couple moved to Middleburg Heights, OH, where their daughter Jennifer was born. There Larry began work with Hooker Chemical Company (Occidental Chemical Corporation) as a salesman. When he was promoted to corporate management at the company headquarters in Niagara Falls, NY, the family moved to Williamsville, NY, where their son Bill was born. From 1969-1979 Larry’s specialty was flame retardant chemicals. Larry was passionate about safety. During this time he started a 501(c)3 organization, the Fire Retardant Chemicals Association, and became its first president. He was especially proud that this organization was instrumental in lobbying the National Bureau of Standards for flame retardant fabrics for children’s sleepwear.
In 1979 the family moved to Avon, NY, when Larry accepted a position with Jones Chemicals, Inc. Jones manufactured and sold chemicals for water treatment of pools and safe drinking water. From 1979 to 1997, the year he retired, Larry held numerous corporate leadership positions. He began as Assistant to the Chairman and later became Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Environmental Affairs. In this capacity he did troubleshooting at all 24 company locations in 16 states involving issues such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance, OSHA compliance, personnel, transportation, and production. He then established a compliance program for all locations. Larry and Kathy retired to Peterborough, NH, in 2003 to be closer to their son’s family.
Larry’s professional memberships and certifications included: US Consumer Product Safety Commission Flammable Fabrics national advisory committee; CMA (now American Chemistry Council) water disinfection advisory group; Superfund advisory group; Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (Master level).
His volunteer work included: Livingston County (NY) Environmental Management Council; the Zoning Board of Appeals for both the Village and the Town of Avon, NY; an elder for Avon’s Central Presbyterian Church; Peterborough’s Water Resource Advisory Committee.
Larry traveled to 26 countries, including several Asian countries where he made business presentations, but his trips to England with Kathy were his favorites. Other interests were reading, antiques, trains, cooking, genealogy research, family reunions, Navy reunions, and World War II espionage and cryptography.
Nothing was more important to Larry than family. Whether he was hand-setting type to print Christmas cards featuring poems by Kathy, or being Jen and Bill’s Little League coach, or teaching his kids the joy of bad puns and Sunday morning waffles Larry put his humor and hard-work ethic into everything he did, maintaining his smile and his unwavering love for his family through the best and worst of times.
A devoted husband and father, Larry is survived by his wife of 54 years Kathy, his daughter Jennifer Newman “Jen” Schongar, son William Laurence “Bill” Schongar, and Bill’s sons Daniel and Thomas. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Ron (Gail) Schongar, nieces Elizabeth Schongar and Susan (Jim) Whitten, nephew Steven Schongar, and cousin Betty (Ralph) Condo. He is also survived by his wife’s sisters, Gail (Donald) Landzettel, twin Corinne Cullison (James Miskowski), and extended families. Larry had several great-nieces, great-nephews and was also a great-great uncle.
Larry was predeceased by his much-loved daughter-in-law Jennifer (Roberts) Schongar (2018), nephew Douglas Landzettel (2000), his parents, and his step-mother Winifred L. Schongar.
There are no calling hours.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, March 10, at 2 PM (Note: Daylight Savings Time) at Union Congregational Church, 33 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Larry’s name to: Union Congregational Church, 33 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH 03458, Peterborough Fire and Rescue, 16 Summer Street, Peterborough, NH 03458, or a charity of your choice. Also please consider becoming an organ donor.
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