William L. Van Schoonhoven, retired director of the Buffalo Foundation and a community volunteer, died Sunday in Greenfield Health and Rehabilitation Center, Lancaster, after a long illness. He was 78.
A lifelong Buffalonian, he graduated from Nichols School and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Buffalo Foundation, the state's oldest charitable foundation, as executive secretary in 1969 and was named director in 1979. Two years after he retired in 1996, the organization became the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Mr. Van Schoonhoven, known as "Beau," was a president of Presbyterian Homes of Western New York, the Mid-Day Club and Western New York Grantmakers Association and was active in other community organizations, including Gow School, Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder.
He was a longtime member of the Concord Ski Club and Buffalo Ski Club and a founding member of Parkway Sailing Club in Fort Erie, Ont. He also was a member of the Buffalo Club and Mensa.
His first wife, Shea, died in 1994, and his second wife, Barbara, died in 2006. He is survived by two sons, J. Lansing and Dirk H.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave.