Marcus H. Schneck, 66, of Hamburg, died Dec. 20 at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown.
He was born in Pottsville, son of the late Bruce F. and Ruth (Herb) Schneck, and was raised in Muir near Tower City.
He graduated from Williams Valley High School in 1974 and earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications/journalism from Shippensburg University in 1978.
He was a reporter for the West Schuylkill Herald in Pine Grove; Assistant Editor for the Ephrata Review; and a reporter for the Pottsville Republican, where he covered the west end of Schuylkill County, his home area. He then became News Bureau Manager in the Department of Public Information at Penn State University, University Park.
He formed Sweet Arrow Communications, named after the lake where he and his wife had their first date canoeing. Clients included the Pa. Governor’s Office, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, Penn State, Ben Franklin Technology Center, Wild Resource Conservation Fund, Pa. College of Technology, and Rodale Press.
Marcus contributed to many outdoor publications, as a writer, editor, and photographer, including Pa. Sportsman, Pa. Outdoor News, Pa. Magazine, Pa. Conservationist, The Drumming Log, and Penn Lines.
He found a home in the position he loved, serving almost 27 years until the time of his death as Outdoor Writer for PennLive.com and The Patriot-News, Harrisburg.
He also wrote more than two dozen books, including Backroads of Pa., Country Towns of Pa., Attracting Wildlife to Your Yard, The Birdfeeder Guide, Creating a Butterfly Garden, The Butterfly Wall Chart, Creating a Hummingbird Garden, Your Backyard Wildlife Garden, Gardening in Small Spaces, Your Backyard Wildlife Year, Backyard Critters, Backyard Songbirds, Cat Facts, Dogs a Portrait of the Animal World, Eagles a Portrait of the Animal World, The North American Hunter’s Handbook, Bass Fishing, Eagles a Portrait of the Animal World, and You’re OK You’re Dog’s OK.
He was also Design Editor for the AD Times, newspaper of the Diocese of Allentown, for the past 13 years.
He was a member of the Pa. Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and was appointed by the governor to the first Pa. Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation.
Much of his boyhood was spent in the woods near his home, where he was free to explore all the wonders of the outdoors. Among his writings is a series of articles about “Growing Up Wild,” which can be found on his website www.marcusschneck.com.
In 2011 he received the Youth Mentoring Award from the 2011 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, Harrisburg for promoting outdoor sports to youth and his 10 years as a Boy Scout leader.
He knew just about everything there was to know about wildlife and the outdoors, especially in Pennsylvania, and was always willing to share his knowledge in formal programs or just in conversation. Most recently he wrote a weekly email newsletter about the outdoors for PennLive titled “Outdoor Pennsylvania with Marcus Schneck.”
He always had a million ideas, and unfortunately, we will never know how many interesting stories were still to come from his notes about topics such as nature, environment, wildlife, hunting, fishing, conservation, sustainability, wild foods, gardening, travel, and even Bigfoot and other cryptozoology topics.
Surviving are his wife of 38 years, Jill M. Caravan; his son, Casey Caravan Schneck of Hamburg; nieces and nephews; in-laws; his dogs Clover, Thunder, and Ginger; and his backyard chickens.
He was predeceased by his only sibling, brother Bruce H. Schneck.
Services will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, or a conservation organization of your choice.
Geschwindt-Stabingas Funeral Home Inc. has been entrusted with arrangements with cremation services provided by Riverside Cremation, both of Schuylkill Haven.