~~Otmar Paul Schreiber, 89, of Chatham Borough, died peacefully with family members at his side, on Tuesday March 1st, after a brief illness. The son of the late Paul and Clara (Nuernberger) Schreiber, he leaves behind his beloved wife of 66 years, Ruth (Schneider) Schreiber; his sisters Esther Reimlinger of Cranford and Elisabeth Kreutel of Burlington; his son and daughter-in-law Robert and Janet Carney Schreiber of Newton MA; grandson Matthew and his wife, Catherine Collier, of Natick MA, and grandson Michael of Cambridge MA and his daughter and son-in-law Aletta and Michael Waterhouse of Henderson NV and Michael’s children Adam Waterhouse, Kathleen Everson and Claire Waterhouse; several nieces and nephews; and, many other relatives, friends, and colleagues from his professional life and volunteer activities.
Primary among those activities, Mr. Schreiber served his beloved Methodist church, especially the Chatham United Methodist Church, in various roles throughout his entire life – including Sunday school teacher, men’s choir member, lector and story-teller, Board of Trustees and Pastoral Search Committee member, care-facility visitor, elementary school tutor, and most recently as technical coordinator for transmittal of church services to those unable to attend.
Mr. Schreiber, a devout and devoted Christian, incorporated his faith-based dedication to serving others within every aspect of his long life. He demonstrated this through his joy of interacting with others, from all walks of life around the world, and most of all, among his family, neighbors, and fellow parishioners. Mr. Schreiber served during WWII as one of the very first radar operators in the world, using skills gained from taking on his life-long hobby of amateur radio as a teenager. During his time in the Navy, he attended and led church services no matter the location or difficulty doing so. Mr. Schreiber then leveraged his interest in radio into a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering (now NJIT) in 1949, followed by the first part of his professional career in helping prevent radio interference from disrupting TV & radio communications.
His true professional calling stemmed from his love of interacting with people, leading him into a second career as a marketing consultant, during which he traveled extensively, learning French and applying his fluency in German as he helped his new company expand services into Western Europe. Following his retirement, Mr. Schreiber turned his attention back to ham radio, as he took on the role of Emergency Communications / Civil Defense Amateur Radio coordinator for Chatham – helping lead efforts during Simulated Emergency Tests, parades, road races, and other events. His greatest thrill occurred when demonstrating ham radio to schoolchildren and he was able to contact the International Space Station astronauts “live”. For all his hard work post-retirement, the Borough granted him in 2008 the Volunteer of the Year Award.
To celebrate his life of devoted service to others, a memorial service will be held at the Chatham United Methodist Church (CUMC) on Saturday April 23rd at 11:00, followed by interment of his ashes in the CUMC Memorial Garden. Then, a luncheon in his honor will take place in CUMC’s Rodda Hall, starting at approximately 12:30.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the Chatham United Methodist Church.