Fred J. Schaake Sr.
February 1, 1924 - March 21, 2014
The Hampton Union , March 25, 2014
HAMPTON — Fred J. Schaake Sr., 90, of Hampton, passed away peacefully Friday, March 21, 2014, at home.
Fred was born Feb. 1, 1924, in Lawrence, Mass., a son of the late Ralph R. and Vernice (Bradstreet) Schaake.
He graduated from Lawrence High School and went on to Louisiana State University before being deployed to Europe by the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. Fred was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war before being released in April 1945.
He went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then moved to the Seacoast area, where he summered as a child. After a short time as a seasonal business owner at Hampton Beach, he began a long and successful career as developer in Seabrook Beach and Hampton. Highlights of Fred's career include the development of Glen Hill, the purchase of the Hampton Beach Casino, with a group of partners, and the building of the Hampton House Hotel. His love of his family and the community was evident in his actions.
Fred is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine (Goodreau) Schaake, and their four children, Kara Schaake, Fred Schaake and his wife, Leah, Keri Hepburn and her husband, Tim, and Kristin Schaake-MacKinnon and her husband, Scott, all of Hampton; his loving grandchildren, Sarah and Michael Trainor, Freddy, Jack, Lucas and Joshua Schaake, and Nick and Lindsey Hepburn; and many loving nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Fred was predeceased by his brother, Ralph Schaake Jr.
SERVICES: The family will receive friends from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, at the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, 811 Lafayette Road, Hampton. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at St. Theresa Church, 815 Central Road, Rye Beach. Burial will follow in the High Street Cemetery, Hampton. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Fred's honor to a cause he supported for many years, Hampton Mounted Patrol.
Loss of a legend: Fred Schaake Sr. a Hampton Beach 'pillar'
By Kyle Stucker
Hampton Union , March 25, 2014Date
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Fred Schaake, Sr, Hampton Beach Casinno, Hampton, NH.
June 20, 1999. [Ralph Morang photo]
HAMPTON — Fred Schaake Sr. is known for doing a multitude of things for Hampton Beach and the surrounding community, although it's the one thing that he never did — and emphatically refused to do — for which he's likely most famous.
When Schaake, who died at age 90 on Friday, and a group of investors purchased the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom and the surrounding complex in 1976, he didn't cave in to those trying to tear everything down to make room for sprawling condominium structures.
Instead, Schaake, drawing from some of the memories of his first job at a soda fountain in the complex, is credited with recognizing the important leading role the historic music venue and tourist attraction could play in the future growth of Hampton Beach.
Doc Noel, president of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, said he has "a tremendous amount of respect" for Schaake for making the decision to rescue and revitalize the complex when he could have made a quick buck off one of the most desirable and valuable plots of land in the area.
"He stated to me, 'It's the industry of the area,'" said Noel, who had a close friendship with Schaake for roughly 40 years. "Condominiums aren't tourism. He kept it as a tourist attraction...; It's the center of the universe as far as Hampton Beach is concerned. He could've just put up those condos and walked away, but he didn't. He invested in the community of Hampton because of his love of Hampton."
Early childhood vacations at Hampton Beach stoked a passion for the area in Schaake, born in Lawrence, Mass., on Feb. 1, 1924. Schaake moved to Hampton after serving in the Army in World War II, starting a family and beginning series of residential and commercial redevelopments in the 1950s and 1960s that helped turn Hampton and Seabrook into popular tourist destinations and strong economic assets for the local community and the state as a whole.
Schaake, who is also known for his involvement in number of charitable endeavors and causes, was "very inspiring" to John Nyhan, chairman of the Hampton Beach Area Commission. Nyhan said Schaake was one of the individuals he sought out when he started with the HBAC, and that Schaake's "love for this community" and dedication to "put his money where his mouth was" to share that love with others served as a blueprint for how to advance and grow the area.
"If it wasn't for people like Fred, we wouldn't be able to have a foundation to work from," said Nyhan.
Schaake has received numerous honors for his work, including this year's Lifetime Achievement award from the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. He was also named the grand marshal of the annual Hampton Christmas Parade in 2011.
He, along with partners Sam Waterhouse, Paul and Norman Grandmaison, James Goodwin Sr. and James Goodwin Jr., were also responsible for the Casino Cascade Waterslide, as well as the first seasonal McDonald's restaurant in the United States.
John Grandmaison, who worked closely with Schaake and held a 25 percent stake of the Casino Ballroom until majority ownership was sold to Sal Lupoli of Sal's Pizza in 2012, said Schaake "had a vision" that the beach could be an "entertainment center" and a "great place for people to come."
Grandmaison and Noel both said Schaake was "very personable" and "quick witted," and that he also brought a "very honest" approach to his commitment to the area. Grandmaison attributes the success and "continuity" of the Casino Ballroom to Schaake, and he said Hampton Beach "has a future" thanks to the countless hours Schaake gave to the area.
"He was very into the social fabric of the beach and the town," said Grandmaison, who added that Schaake endeared himself to others through all of the "little things" that he did. "The beach will miss him. He was obviously a longtime advocate of the Hampton area. In that sense, he will be missed."
Throughout his life, Schaake could often be seen out and about in the community and at the annual Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.
Nyhan said he'll "never forget" a recent Seafood Festival moment when he came up to Schaake as Schaake made his way down Ocean Boulevard in a motorized wheelchair. Nyhan asked Schaake if he liked the state's redevelopment of the Seashell Stage and state park bathhouses, and Schaake replied, "Young man, we have a lot of work to do, but keep up the good work."
Nyhan said that showed him that Schaake still took passion in helping guide Hampton Beach toward a brighter future, as well as the fact that one of the area's "founding fathers" wanted to continue to instill some of that passion in others.
"To this day, I picture him riding his motor wheelchair up and down Ocean Boulevard," said Nyhan. "He loved to be outside. He loved to be interacting with people.
"I think everyone in the community recognizes that we lost a major pillar of our community. ...; He'll be greatly missed."
Visiting hours for Schaake will be from noon to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Remick and Gendron Funeral Home at 811 Lafayette Road in Hampton. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Theresa Church at 820 Central Road in Rye. Burial will be in High Street Cemetery in Hampton.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Friends of the Hampton Mounted Patrol.