Nicholas Edward Wentworth Schumacher
The meaning of his names:
Nicholas – Greek origin, meaning “people of victory” with subsequent connections to St.
Nicholas and giving, empathy and joy
Edward – English origin, “wealthy guardian” or wealthy overseer.
Wentworth – Old English, meaning pale man’s or white man’s village or settlement or white landowner
The first four years Nicholas lived on Elizabeth Street in Charleston, WV. As soon as he
started to walk, he wanted to play ball - the kind with a bat.
We took him to his first ballgame at Watt Powell Park in Kanawha City to watch the AlleyCats. It was windy and rainy that evening. One of the field crew was flung up into the air by the windblown tarp and landed in the air-air filled tarp, unhurt. Even though there was a little more excitement than a regular game, he really didn’t need it. He was hooked, after the game and until bedtime all Nicholas wanted to talk about was playing ball. It was dark when we got home so his Dad told him that we’d have to wait until morning when the sun was back out. When Nicholas woke the next morning, a Saturday morning, he called to us from his bed. When his Dad went to check on him Nicholas’ first words to his Dad were “sun up”, play ball now?” They immediately changed and went to the back yard and on the first toss from his Dad, Nicholas made solid contact and hit one over his Dad’s head with his oversized bat. Thereafter he did not want to quit, and he played for the next 20 or more years
During his school years he played almost any sport he could including basketball, football and soccer (snowboarding, skateboarding) but he always loved baseball. He played baseball through high school at Charleston Catholic (his Grandpa Bertke would have been proud of his desire to be fundamentally sound and his learned ability to bunt so well) and went to High Point University in High Point, NC and continued to play baseball. He stayed with High Point University for two years after graduation to work with and assist in coaching the baseball team as well as youth league teams, until he determined that the coaching profession was not very conducive to a family life. He decided to become a chiropractor and entered Palmer College of Chiropractic in the summer of 2015 and graduated in 2018.
During his preschool years, he fractured a bone in his finger while playing around the house. Considering his flips and gymnastics as well as sporting activities, including skateboarding and all the stunts associated with that he was pretty lucky. Nicholas loved to snowboard and every year after Christmas we took him to Snowshoe. On one trip while trying to avoid crashing with a skier who crossed in front of him, he fell and broke his arm. He refused to be taken from the site by the ski patrol and finished snowboarding to the base and returned on the lift. The next day we left and took him back to Charleston where the doctors confirmed the fracture and his arm was placed in a cast.
Other than those injuries his only significant injury came his senior year in high school when he tore his labrum very early in the season. He avoided pitching so that he could play regularly and did not pitch again until playoffs and tournament when he was able to pitch again in a limited capacity and did so quite well. He had surgery after he graduated, and the surgeon repaired the labrum and a partial tear of the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. He sat out a year to rehabilitate his shoulder but worked his way on to the team acting as team manager and working out with the team his freshman year while “rehabbing.”
The following year he made the team as a walk-on relief specialist and ultimately was given a scholarship his final season at HPU. He developed a close relationship with his high school and college coaches. During Nicholas’ senior year when Coach Bill Mehle was asked by a young player on his team what he should be doing without looking up from what he was doing was overheard saying “find Nick and do whatever he is doing.” His college coach, Craig Cozart always asked Nicholas’ Dad, “What did you do to create such an intense competitive energy and edge in Nick?” Of course, his Dad said, I think he created that himself. Nick used to tell his Dad that he didn’t compete with others, he competed with himself.
Nicholas married Mackenzie Rae Maier in Sanford, FL, December 31, 2015 in an old historic Catholic Church. A more complementary couple will be difficult to find, although they are both great competitors, they are always team players, dedicated, intense and passionate about each other, their family their work and life in general. Their reception was held at the Westin in Sanford, FL. The church ceremony and reception were filled with love and happiness, which continues to this day, including in their family life with Bailey Rae, their daughter.
David E. Schumacher
February 14, 2020