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Michael “Mike” Schoniger

Michael “Mike” Schoniger

Michael “Mike” Schoniger, age 70, of Centennial, Colorado, formerly of Philip, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at his home in Centennial.

Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the American Legion Hall in Philip.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the American Legion Hall in Philip with Pastor Cindy Bisser.

After a brief illness, Michael “Mike” Lee Schoniger, 70, passed away on June 5, 2024 at his home in Centennial, CO with his family by his side. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather as well as a respected businessman and avid outdoorsman.

The oldest of four children, Mike was born on March 9, 1954 in Quinn, SD to Betty Jean (West) and Leland Schoniger of Philip, SD. He grew up in Philip and as a youth, he worked in the family car dealership, an experience that would later inspire him to build a successful business in Conifer, CO. After he graduated in 1976 with a degree in business from the University of South Dakota, his career took him to Moline, IL and then Yankton, SD where he married the love of his life, Janet Eve Henderson in 1984. The two met while working at Gurney Seed and Nursery Company in Yankton; they later moved to Jackson Hole, WY and then Denver, CO. Mike operated six gas and convenience stores with Amoco Oil in the Denver Metro Area until 1995.

Soon after, he started the family business in Conifer, CO. He owned Aspen Park Wine and Spirits for 24 years, which he operated with his son, Grant. Mike was a long-time member of Conifer Chamber of Commerce and contributed to its local scholarship programs. He also supported the Conifer Mountain Resource Center, the Food Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Rescue Mission.

A history buff, science fiction fan and classic car enthusiast, Mike lived an active life filled with gardening, bird watching, camping, fishing, hunting, traveling and, most importantly, spending time with his family. He rarely missed reunions and special gatherings with extended family. Over time, camping, fishing and hunting trips to South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming turned into annual family traditions. The Big Horn Mountains and Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming became favorite destinations. Mike and Janet also enjoyed traveling across the country and abroad and visited more than 25 U.S. National Parks. The two loved New Smyrna Beach, Florida where Janet’s parents escaped Rhode Island winters. Mike and his family spent many vacations there.

Mike lived by the Golden Rule, something his parents instilled years ago. He always greeted everyone with a smile and every day with optimism.

Mike is survived by his wife of 40 years; sons Eric Schoniger and Grant Schoniger and his wife, Amanda. His two granddaughters, Camilla and Stella, will miss Papa Mike, their nature walks, collecting rocks and seashells, playing marbles, swinging in the backyard, and eating his special treats for them, Rolos and jelly beans.

He is also survived by sisters Beth Smith and her husband, Mel, of Philip, SD; Mary Ragland and her husband, Tracy, of Rapid City, SD; and brother Bruce Schoniger and his wife, Ann, of Philip, SD. Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Jean and Lee Schoniger.

A memorial scholarship fund has been established for a student planning to pursue a career in business.

In late June, a Celebration of Life Service will be held in Centennial, CO.

Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

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5:09 pm, June 14, 2024
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