Tributes from across Oklahoma poured in for the family of a former Oklahoma City police officer.
Mike Schoenberger, 63, spent weeks in the hospital before he died on Nov. 29 from COVID-19 complications.
Schoenberger served more than 30 years with the department. In that time, he touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
Friends and family said it was hard to miss "Big Mike," he was not only tall in stature but big in personality.
“If you ever shook his hand,” said Lt. Cody Koelsch, Oklahoma City Police Department. “I mean, he probably broke your hand. He had a nice grip of a hand shake.”
Koelsch said he will never forget the first time he met the veteran police officer while out on a call.
“I never heard Mike pull up behind me but he walked up,” said Koelsch. “Before I knew it, he pulled this guy out of the car, had him spun around and had him ready for me to handcuff him.”
Schoenberger started as a K-9 officer and spent the rest of his career patrolling in far southeast Oklahoma City. He was known to regularly assist other agencies.
“Mike was always thinking of others,” said Koelsch.
His dedication and willingness to help made Schoenberger many friends. After Schoenberger retired, he co-owned a police supply store in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife. She will now take on the business alone.
His youngest daughter started a GoFundMe to help her stepmother through this difficult time.
“I don’t know how much it’s going to cost my precious stepmom to pay for the medical bills for how long he was in the hospital for,” said Abbie Robbins, Schoenberger's daughter. “And how much the services are going to cost.”
Robbins said it was hard to watch COVID-19 take over her father but she knows his legacy will live on.
“He was so tough and we have so many good memories of him and traditions that we do,” said Robbins. “He loved traditions.”
A celebration of life service for Schoenberger will be held on December 21 on what would have been his 64th birthday.