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Funeral services will take place on Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM (Mountain).

American Legion Hall
Philip, South Dakota

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

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In memory of

Michael "Mike" Schoniger

of Centennial, Colorado, formerly of Philip, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at his home in Centennial at the age of 70

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, Energy Outreach Colorado, 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.

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 officiating.

Friday, June 14, 2024 - 5-7 p.m.
American Legion Hall
Philip, South Dakota

Saturday, June 15, 2024 - 11:00 a.m.
American Legion Hall
Philip, South Dakota

Welcome - Pastor Cindy Bisser
A Journey Remembered and Reading of Psalm 89:15 - Mary Ragland
“Funny How Time Slips Away”
Eulogy - Michael Paul West
Stories Around the Campfire - Jack Cassidy
Thank You, Papa Mike - Amanda Schoniger
Video Tribute - Eric Schoniger
Closing Prayer - Pastor Cindy Bisser
"Perhaps Love"

Mark Brucklacher - Mark Foland - Daryl Dietrich

Grant Schoniger - Eric Schoniger - Bruce Schoniger
Matt Schoniger - Brock Smith - Colton Fitzgerald

All Relatives and Friends in Attendance

  • Beth and Mary I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences for you and your family . ~ Paula Stone Muleshoe, Tx. (6/13/2024)
  • Sorry to hear about Mike. Our thoughts and Prayers . ~ Ralph & Cathy Fiedler 2130 Ellen St (6/13/2024)
  • So sorry to hear about Mike, thinking all of you. Remember all the memories. ~ Karen Snyder Philip SD (6/12/2024)
  • So sorry for your loss Condolences to the family ~ Julie Brown Nebraska (6/12/2024)
  • Let me offer my sincere condolences to the family. Mike was a true friend of mine. We went to grade school and high school together. We were on the same baseball team and were in the boy scouts together. He will be truly missed by me and the class of 72. RIP Mike ~ Dennis & D Gree (6/11/2024)
  • We are thinking of all you folks during this difficult time. Hold on to all the memories. Take care everyone. ~ Les & Joann Pearson Philip, SD (6/11/2024)
  • I am so sad about Mike. We were classmates. I was thrilled to see him at our 50th high school reunion and looked forward to seeing him again. He was such a good and decent person and I will miss him. ~ Mary Ann Wampler Omaha, NE (6/11/2024)
  • My Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences. I was a classmate of Mike's and we were together in Boy Scouts. I remember some fond memories of being with Mike on a lot of Scouting adventures. He was a great Friend and will be Deeply Missed by the Class of '72 ~ Steve Kendall Rapid City (6/11/2024)
  • We are so sorry for your loss. Ray has fond memories of working with Mike at the garage. You are all such wonderful people, and my heart goes out to you. ~ Roxy and Ray Formanek Philip SD (6/8/2024)