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PFC Glenn Shely Schoenmann, age 20, a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division United States Army was reportedly taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy during the infamous Battle of Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on November 28, 1950 and died while a prisoner on December 29, 1950. He was unaccounted for after the war and was presumed to have died or been killed while in captivity. His remains were reportedly recovered in 2004, but the identification process was finalized in December 2012 by using DNA from his family.
About eight or nine years ago, while searching for information on Tennessee members of his family, Dennis Schoenmann of Creve Coure, Illinois, posted on an ancestry site on the Internet. To his surprise, he was later contacted by a government official who was involved in identifying Korean War remains and who said he had a possible lead on Dennis’s uncle, Glenn, who was known to have died in a North Korean POW camp on December 29, 1950, a month and a day following his capture near Chosin Reservoir on November 28, 1950. The nature and date of Glenn’s death was based on information from other POW’s obtained after repatriation following the signed of the armistice in July 1953.
Through the U.S. official, DNA samples were obtained from Dennis’s father, Ernest, and an aunt, Edna Kilgore, who lived in Monteagle.
Finally after eight years, the family received a call around Thanksgiving of this year with the news that a set of remains had been tentatively identified as those of Pfc. Glenn Scheonmann.
Glenn was born in Palmer, Tennessee on November 12, 1930 to William Elbert and Minnie Agnes Tate Schoenmann who preceded him in death along with his sister and her husband, Alvenia and Ray Luttrell and his brother Charles W. Schoenmann, sisters-in-law, Lucille Cole Schoenmann, Mary Joe Thomas Schoenmann and Clara McFarland Schoenmann, and brother-in-law, Billy Jackson Kilgore.
His father worked in the lumber camps in Palmer and Barkers Cove and moved to the Werner Farm in Tracy City where Glenn grew up working with his family and attending Shook School until he went into military training in Kentucky.
Mary Ruth Mayes Rogers of Palmer grew up in Tracy City and remembers Glenn well. “I went to Shook Elementary School with him and he sat in front of me in the second grade,” said Mary Ruth. “I’d trade him some sheets of my writing paper for some grapes or apples he’d bring for recess. The Schoenmann’s were hard working people and had a good name in Tracy City.”
“The Schoenmann family has waited 62 years to give Glenn a proper burial, and we join them in remembering his service and sacrifice,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “As a state we mourn the loss of PFC Schoenmann, but we are grateful for his return to his home and family.”
“PFC Schoenmann’s courage and bravery to serve his country will be recognized and remembered by his fellow Tennesseans,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder. “The closure for the Schoenmann family is continued proof we should never give up until all of our missing in action and prisoner of war service members have been brought home.”
He is survived by his sister, Edna Kilgore of Monteagle; brothers, Ernest Schoenmann of Creve Coure of Illinois, Raymond Schoenmann of Tracy City, and Carl (Shirley) Schoenmann of Winchester, sister-in-law, Joyce Schoenmann, of Gallatin, TN, several nieces and nephews and a host of cousins.
Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the Grundy County High School Gym in Coalmont, TN (weather permitting) with burial to follow in the Brown’s Chapel Cemetery, in Palmer, Tennessee where he will rest with his parents after 62 years of separation with full military honors.
Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Layne Funeral Home in Palmer and 10:00 a.m. until time of service on Saturday at the high school.
If weather is inclement all services will be held at the funeral home.
“It just means a lot that he will be buried in the same cemetery with our mother, father and grandparents,” said Raymond Schoenmann. “It’s finally uniting the family back together.”
Arrangements were made by Layne Funeral Home in Palmer, Tennessee. Complete obituary and online condolences may be made at www.laynefuneralhome.com.
Editor’s Note: The remains of PFC Schoenmann will be arriving from Nashville Airport to Monteagle and on to Layne Funeral Home in Palmer on Thursday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. When the procession is nearing the Monteagle exit, it will be announced on the scanner so that everyone may honor PFC Schoenmann by standing on the sides of the road as the procession moves through to the funeral home. Let’s honor our fallen hero as he finally makes his way to his final resting place!