Dennis L. Schumacher survived World War II fighting hand-to-hand combat in Italy and North Africa with the famous U.S. Army commando unit known as Darby’s Rangers.
But when his ashes are buried by an honor guard on Aug. 31 at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, his family will remember him not only as a tough soldier but as a tall, gentle, loving father who never complained and “never wanted anyone to fuss over him,” his daughter, Pamela Richmond of Mercer Island, Wash., said Monday.
She said he died on Aug. 9 at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center of complications from a fall. He was 93.
“He was smart, clear and concise up to his dying day,” she said.
His son, Tim Schumacher, of Las Vegas, said his dad seldom talked about the war but shared a story four years ago about when the 1st Battalion Rangers were entrenched on a ledge in Algeria “and tanks were coming at them.”
“He heard scuffling and looked over his left shoulder, then looked up and saw (Lt. Gen. George S.) Patton’s pearl-handled revolvers. Sure enough Patton was standing right behind him,” he said.
Another son, Denis Schumacher, of Independence, Ky., said his dad “was the ambassador of good will. He was never prejudiced, never biased. He was always positive, upbeat, a real inspiration for not making the little stuff bother you.”
Dennis Lawer Schumacher was born Aug. 15, 1921 in Wilmar, Minn. He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and was selected among volunteers to serve in the 1st Ranger Battalion under West Point graduate Lt. Col. William O. Darby. Later he served in the 3rd Ranger Battalion.
After the war, he was the maitre d’ at Spinnaker restaurant in Sausalito, Calif., and worked as a bartender at the Barbary Coast in Las Vegas. He was also entertainment director for the Silver Slipper.
He is survived by his three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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