IHS Class of 1950
James Lee Schaepe, M. D.
James Lee Schaepe was born on November 30, 1931, in Ilion, NY. He was the son of Douglass Schaepe and Mae Sykes (Holmes) Schaepe. The family grew to five sons: Douglass H. Jr., George W., Herman A., James Lee and William and one daughter, Nancy. The family lived at 81 South Third Avenue. His parents would later divorce and his mother would later marry Niram Holmes.
1932 - Schaepe Family Tragedy
High School Years
Perhaps the tragedy that befell his brothers influenced James to become a life guard. In 1948, James was listed as one of the lifeguards at the Ilion Municipal Pool. "The swimming pool, which opened Thursday, was a favorite cooling-off spot for hundreds of Ilion youths over the weekend. Supervisor at the pool is Neil Etson with Sue Bronner, Grace Day, Robert Nunneker, James Schaepe and Frank Callahan as lifeguards." He was President of his Junior Class and attended Boys State. He was also a letterman in track.
Ilion High School Graduation 1950
James graduated with a class of 89 seniors in 1950. The graduation ceremony was held in the Capitol Theater before an audience of nearly 1,000 persons. James Schaepe earned a College Entrance diploma. Musical interludes were provided by the senior choir and James Schaepe was the violin soloist. James Schaepe was accompanied by Mrs. Maude Wood.
Post High School Graduation
James served in the United States Navy from 1950 to 1954 before attending Johns Hopkins University. In 1959, during his second year as a medical student at Albany Medical College, he was selected for a special Summer Fellowship Award by the New York State Division, American Cancer Society. He was one of 30 medical and dental students from the four upstate medical colleges selected for the three-month summer programs in selected medical centers for advanced work in cancer diagnosis and treatment. He received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1962. He interned at The Genesee Hospital in Rochester, and completed his residency there in 1965.
The marriage of Dr. Schaepe, on June 16, 1962, was reported in The Albany Knickerbocker News. "Dr. James Lee Schaepe and his bride, the former Peggy [Marguerite] Burke, who were associated with Albany Medical Center Hospital, will live in Rochester where he will be on the staff of the Genesee Hospital. They were married June 16 in St. Mary by the Lake Church, Bomosee. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William T. Burke of Castleton, Vt. The bride is a graduate of Albany Medical Center School of Nursing. The bridegroom, son of D. H. Schaepe and Mrs. Niram Holmes of Ilion, attended Johns Hopkins University and was graduated this month from Albany Medical College." (* Note - Peggy Burke is the sister of William Burke. William Burke started his first teaching assignment, as a 6th grade teacher at Barringer Road School, Ilion NY in 1967. Mr. Burke was my 6th grade teacher.)
Joins Mohawk Valley General Hospital Staff - 1965
The Herkimer Evening Telegram June 29, 1965 edition, announced the return of Dr. James Schaepe to his hometown, Ilion. "Dr. James Schaepe, formerly of Ilion, has been accepted as a member of the Mohawk Valley General Hospital medical staff as of July 1, according to a release following, last night’s meeting of the hospital's Board of Managers. August Oliver, president, said that Dr. Schaepe would be affiliated with the local institution and the medical team of Dr. Arthur Applegate and Dr. G. Roger Weeden, of Mohawk."
In 1965, Dr. Schaepe was named as one of the physicians who were planning to occupy the London Bridge Medical Building. By 1967, Dr. Schaepe's office was listed as 42 West Street; in the building that previously shared the medical offices of Dr. Theodore Carney and Dr. Donald Davidson.
Dr. James Schaepe - Ilion Physician Years
Dr. Schaepe did not maintain a practice in Ilion for very many years. However, while he was here, he did have some interesting medical cases. The Utica Observer Dispatch reported on June 13, 1967 that he treated a gunshot victim. Arnold F. Leuenberger, age 36, of 69 W. Clark St. suffered a bullet wound in his upper leg and was treated by Dr. James Schaepe. The April 8, 1968 edition of the Herkimer Evening Telegram announced that he treated a patient for possible botulism.
CANNED FOOD VICTIM IS RELEASED ILION
Dr. James Schaepe, Ilion, said the illness was diagnosed as possible botulism. This is a poison that may infect preserved or canned food. Dr. James Schaepe, Ilion, said the illness was diagnosed as possible botulism. This is a poison that may infect preserved or canned food.
Dr. Schaepe described the sickness as possible botulism caused by home canning.
The serum was flown from Roxbury, near New York City, to Oneida County airport. Oneida County Deputy Sheriff William Jones rushed the serum to Ilion as soon as the plane touched down at about 2:15 a.m. yesterday.
The Oneida County sheriff’s department said it received an emergency call early yesterday morning from Mrs. Doris Hartmann, night supervisor at Mohawk Valley General Hospital, that the package of serum was arriving at the airport from the Ranapor Air Delivery firm.
Dr. Schaepe noted that "home canning by regular steam methods is unsafe in that it will kill the bacteria, but will not kill the spores that later make the deadly toxin that causes botulism.
He added that "for canning, it is safe to can by steam under pressure-cooker methods.
On Sept 28, 1967, Dr. and Mrs. James Schaepe, 3 Lewis St., Ilion, welcomed their third son, David. The older sons were, Christopher, born in 1963 and Steven, born in 1965. Dr. Schaepe was appointed Ilion village health officer at an annual salary of $1,344 in 1968. While living in Ilion, he also continued using his musical talents by joining The Little Falls Symphony Orchestra, per The Evening Telegram, February 17, 1968.
Orchestra members from Herkimer include: Carl DesChamps, Miss Frances Ridley, Philip Scalise, of the Herkimer High School music dept.; also Dr. R. W. Dussault, Miss Jo Ann Lukomsk, Miss Christine Brown, Mrs. Olga Kokey.
Mohawk members: Ronald Burke, Charles Anthony, and Donald Rankins, David Spencer, Mrs. Alwina Parr.
Ilion: Walter Griswold, concert meister, Dr. James Schaepe, Sam H. Nile Jr., Robert Wood, Mrs. Patricia Radley.
Frankfort: Mrs. Jean Clifford, William D. Clifford, high school music dept.; Miss Janelle Snell, Miss Barbara Nicestro.
Dr. Schaepe 1968 - Present
Dr. Schaepe moved to Delmar in August 1968 and opened a small family practice in Slingerlands in 1969. In 1972, The Oneonta Star reported that Dr. Schaepe joined the staff at The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Coopestown.
Dr. James L. Schaepe of Delmar has joined the professional staff of The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital here as an Associate in its Department of General Services with privileges in general medicine according to Dr. Charles Allen Ashley, Bassett Hospital Director. Dr. Schaepe, who is 42 years old, is a native of- Ilion and graduated from high school there in 1950. He served in the United States Navy from 1950 to 1954 before attending Johns Hopkins University. He received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1962. He interned at The Genesee Hospital in Rochester, and completed his residency there in 1965. Later that year, he opened a family practice in Ilion before moving to Delmar in 1968 where he had since conducted a family practice. He is a Diplomats of the American Board, of Family Practice, one of tile newer specialties in the field of medicine. While practicing in Ilion, he was a staff member of the Mohawk Valley General Hospital there, village Health Officer, and Director of the Herkimer County Chest Clinic of the State Department of Health. During his practice in Delmar, he was a staff member of St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, clinical instructor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Albany Medical Center, and preceptor in Its Family Practice program. Dr. Schaepe is a member and past secretary-treasurer of the State Academy of Family Practice and served on its Commission on Education this year. He also has served on its Ad Hoc Committee for liaison with medical schools and hospital residencies in Family Practice. He and his wife, the former Marguerite Burke, have three sons, Christopher, 9, Steven, 7, and David 5. They will be living at 96 Chestnut Street.
His career would later take him to Massachusetts where he resides today. The Amesbury, Massachusetts Municipal Council appointed Dr. James Schaepe to the Board of Health on April 13, 2010. In 2011, he was a proponent of "...re-establishing fluoride in the water, based on a study from the CDC. He suggested that the town should look into using liquid fluoride instead of powder. The town of North Andover uses the liquid form and has had great success with it." Dr. James Schaepe, MD was listed as an emergency medicine physician in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Dr. Schaepe attended his 50th Class reunion from Ilion High School in 2000. He also attended his Albany Medical College Class of 1962 reunion. He currently lives in Peabody, MA. He will be 90 years old on November 30, 2021.
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