Successful Family Businessman Does Phi Delt Proud

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Though the chapter has had its ups and downs, as a whole, it is home to some outstanding alumni and has had a positive impact on the world around it. Take, for example, Brother Jay Schoedinger ’64, who was previously featured in the November 2003 edition of The Buckeye Phi. Brother Schoedinger has become quite the successful family businessman and has contributed generously to Phi Delt over several decades.

Here is the full article from the November 2003 The Buckeye Phi:

Though Jay Schoedinger '64 spent only a year as an active member of Phi Delta Theta at Ohio State, he remembers it fondly and has been a member of the Alumni Club and generous contributor for 40 years. In turn, the fraternity has watched proudly as Jay has helped lead his family-owned funeral services business into one of the largest independent funeral homes in America, even awarding him the Distinguished Alumnus Award in the field of business in 1997.

The Phi Delts are not alone in their praise of Schoedinger Funeral Services, which is now in its sixth generation of family ownership. The business has won The Pursuit of Excellence Award from the National Funeral Directors Association for the last five years, the Business Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau and The Family Business of the Year award from the Family Business Center of Ohio, and was named The Best Place to Work by Columbus CEO magazine and National Business of the Year by Mass Mutual. Jay says he was extremely honored when Roger Blackwell of the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business said in May 2002, “This is the best-managed and most-enlightened family-owned business in America.”

Jay Schoedinger’s great-great-grandfather, Philip Jacob Schoedinger, immigrated from Dorrenbach, Germany, to Columbus in 1830 at the age of 5. He established a cabinet-making business as a young man, eventually expanding into livery and undertaking. The business has remained in the Schoedinger family ever since, with Jay’s great-grandfather being the first to provide motorized service in 1912 and his father and uncle the first to expand to the suburbs in the 1950s and ’60s. Jay insists that that is when the direction of the business was really established. Jay and his brother David continued the expansion from the mid ’60s through the ’90s.

Jay is understandably proud of what he and his family have accomplished in building such a successful funeral services business. He has used his success to help give back to the community. Currently on the board of the Rosemont Center and the advisory board of the Columbus Salvation Army, Jay is also a 40-year member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, receiving The Distinguished President Award of the Ohio District of Kiwanis International.

Jay has been married to the former Joyce Rogers, a Tri Delt, for 40 years. They have three married children and five grandchildren. His interests include traveling and collecting antique toys, wine and Lionel trains. In 2003, he was invited to join the Antique Toy Collectors of America, a group of 250 antique-toy collectors. Jay remains proud of the accomplishments of his family-owned business and stresses that its success comes from family members working together rather than the efforts of just one person. That sounds a bit like the brotherhood of Phi Delta Theta.