Jan. 29, 1938 – Aug. 23, 2013
Jacob Frederick Schoellkopf V, Marine Corps veteran, civic activist and businessman, died Friday in his Hamburg home after a battle with cancer. He was 75.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Schoellkopf was a member of the Buffalo industrial family that pioneered hydropower at Niagara Falls. He graduated from the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., and studied at Cornell University in Ithaca. Mr. Schoellkopf was a sergeant in the 3rd Marine Division from 1957 to 1960 and completed his tour in Okinawa. He served in the Marine Corps Reserves until 1963.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Schoellkopf was appointed by Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller as the youngest commissioner on the board of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. He also was president of Buffalo Columbus Hospital during its period of revitalization, and he worked as a teller at Marine Midland Bank and as a salesman for the family-owned Crescent Tool Co. From 1967 to 1992, he was a director of Niagara Share Corp.
In the 1970s, Mr. Schoellkopf founded Innovative Building Systems, which developed some of the first “green” and solar-powered homes in Western New York. Innovative Building developed several subdivisions in the Southtowns.
He retired in 2008 after working as vice president of construction with Sovran Self Storage Inc. for 10 years.
Mr. Schoellkopf loved the Buffalo community and was active in fundraising and sports. He also was a key player in Republican politics and was partially responsible for the ascendancy of Jack Kemp as a congressman.
Mr. Schoellkopf was proud of his five grandchildren, who all live in Buffalo and who knew him as “Papa Jake.”
He and his wife of 39 years, the former Nancy Luczak, enjoyed travel and riding motorcycles.
Survivors in addition to his wife include three daughters, Susan S. Mele, Kristin S. Borowiak and Olive “Abby” Abbott Schoellkopf; one son, J. Frederick Schoellkopf VI; and four sisters, Marion S. Meyer, Sandra S. Plowden, Phoebe S. White and Spring Schoellkopf.
A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined in Wayside Presbyterian Church, 5017 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg.