A native of Maple Heights, Ohio, Steve Schaider attended high school at St. Peter Chanel, a small Catholic high school in nearby Bedford. Chanel High didn’t have a baseball team, so Steve was on the Firebirds’ cross country team and played on city league baseball teams. After graduation, he entered a work-study program at Cleveland State where he worked for Republic Steel and studied at the university. He later transferred to Arizona State and earned a BS in Business with a marketing major.
Unfortunately, Steve graduated from college at the peak of the 1971 recession (those were the days of Nixon’s wage and price freezes), so he pumped gas while seeking better opportunities. After about six months he was hired in the Repo and Bill Collections Department at Valley National Bank. He stayed in banking for nine years before joining UPS. What started out as Christmas season work turned into a rewarding 23 year career. He retired with full pension rights in 2003, but at age 57 wasn’t ready to completely retire. So, would you believe, he decided to become a firefighter. He obtained his certification and worked with the Forest Lakes (AZ) Fire Department for ten years. He not only fought fires, but also performed emergency medical and rescue operations. A couple of years ago he really retired.
Steve’s lovely wife, Cindy, also recently retired so they’re now planning to do more traveling and will also spend more time at their cabin up in the Rim Country. They just purchased a 23-foot Wildwood travel trailer and plan to explore California and Oregon this summer. Steve’s daughter lives in Ashland, Oregon, so they’ll be able to visit her on this upcoming road trip. Their longer term plans include visiting Mt. Rushmore and the Dakotas and, in general, “seeing what we haven’t yet seen.”
Team sports have always been Steve’s favorites. He’s not into individual sports like golf; he truly enjoys the camaraderie of softball and has played on several travel teams in addition to playing in our Sun Lakes League. His focus on teamwork also partially explains his interest in firefighting, which is very team-oriented. With UPS, he was the area union steward for the Teamsters, another team-oriented position. Down at the field Steve is interested in his team’s success, not his individual statistics, even though he’s usually one of our top ten hitters and a slick-fielding shortstop.
Steve is a cancer survivor and says that softball and Jesus got him through the difficult times. His softball teammates provided significant emotional support during his struggles. Things have been good for the past two-and-a-half years, so now Cindy and Steve celebrate every day that is cancer-free.
The Schaiders participate in church and community volunteer activities, particularly social services organizations. They count their own blessings and try to give back to the community. In a way, they strive to live by Steve’s high school’s motto, “Quaecumque Excelsa, To Seek What is Above.”