Remembering John B.L. Schopfer, 1952 – 2014

John with cake smallerIn the fall of 2012, United Methodist Communities submitted nine associate names to LeadingAge’s Longest Tenured Employee Contest. Organization-wide, nine associates had 30 or more years of service.

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood cook John Schopfer’s years of service totaled 33. In the 30-39 years category, LeadingAge received over 420 submissions. Their names, including his, appeared on a Wall of Honor at the Denver Convention Center, where LeadingAge held its 2012 annual meeting.

In September during a public ceremony at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, President and CEO Lawrence Carlson, recognized and honored John Schopfer, who received a certificate, pin and lots of praise from his colleagues.

When I interviewed John for the LeadingAge contest he shared:
While seeking a full time day job in 1979, I applied for employment at Collingswood. I had a family to take care of and was involved with community organizations. I first came to United Methodist Communities at Collingswood with the youth group from the United Methodist Church in Haddon Heights to entertain residents. I was impressed by the resident response when we visited. When my father told me about the job opportunity which met my needs, I applied.

My first administrator was Robert Hawthorne, a young and very caring person. His wealth of knowledge about the residents and the employees impressed and motivated me to be part of the team. At first, I did not intend to stay so long. The work schedule was ideal for spending time with my family and doing my community work. This also gave me the opportunity to have another job to help support my family.

One thing I like the most about this job is being able to prepare good healthy and safe food everyday for the residents and associates. The biggest change was the building addition. It has made it possible to care for a larger number of residents. With that came newer state-of-the-art equipment that has helped me in preparing the meals each day. Looking ahead to the future, the only way to be successful is to keep our eyes on the goal to provide residents and associates with a God centered, safe and loving place to live and work.

John, who resided in Cherry Hill and worked at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood for 33 years, frequently held a second job. However, John knew United Methodist Communities at Collingswood well before that relationship began. As a child he used to visit and sing during Christmastime with his brothers and sisters, in addition to volunteering with his church.

A previously undetected brain tumor discovered after his involvement in a car accident, caused him to leave Collingswood and focus on his health. Regretfully, he passed away. John, a devout United Methodist and a member of the Clarksboro Masonic Lodge 87, is survived by his wife, five children, three grandchildren and many other relatives. May he rest in eternal peace in the presence of our Lord!