Share this story


Charles L. Schoenleber

1954 – 2021

Obituary Charles L. Schoenleber

Courtesy of Patricia Killoran

Charles L. Schoenleber

“Charlie” was born and raised in Laguna Beach, graduating as a proud “Artist” from Laguna Beach High School in 1972. He was hardworking, friendly, independent and sentimental. Many of his close friends and relatives were fortunate to have received his humorous and nostalgic texts over the years. 

Charlie played hard, first at ping-pong in the backyard of his Catalina Street home that his parents built in 1951. He went on to enjoy Little League with the Elks Club team and join one of the first golf teams at LBHS. He had a wonderful golf swing, as his long-time Laguna friend, John Enfield, will attest. Golfing also became a family glue; he would play with his mother and siblings. Other pastimes included cheering for the Dodgers, playing dominos and reading Lee Child’s thrillers.

He never lost his passion for the ocean, having started his swimming and rafting days at Woods Cove. He turned to skim boarding and water skiing (Lake Mojave), then moving on to surfing at 10 when he found a discarded surfboard along the beach. His home surf spot was at Agate Street beach. He often brought his beloved Springer Spaniel, Peggy Sue, to surf with him. Charlie shared those skills with many friends and took multiple road trips to Central America, including Panama with his brother and El Salvador with other Laguna amigos to ride the great waves near La Libertad. More recently, he would load his paddleboard and bike in his pick-up and head to Mission Bay in San Diego. A fine day ended sharing fish tacos and beer with his friends.

Charlie was destined to be a building contractor, proudly following in the footsteps of his father, uncles and namesake grandfather who moved to Laguna from Pasadena in the late 1940s. After his mentor father died when Charlie was just 21, he had to make his own way, he learned by doing. He eventually established his own construction business in San Diego County, principally in Carlsbad and San Diego. He loved his trade and became confident in his skills; work was his form of meditation. He made close friends with co-workers, Nelson Barrios and Francisco “Frankie” Hernandez. 

Charlie suffered a cardiac arrest at his San Diego home on October 24. He died five days later. He is survived by his siblings, Patricia Killoran (Tom) of Tucson, AZ and Michael Schoenleber (Marcia Steinberg) of Sacramento and 18 cousins, who will remember him with his devilish, fun-loving smile. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, James Schoenleber (1975) and Flora Schoenleber Taylor (2014).