Asbury Park Sun: American Heart Association Survivor Ambassador Shares His Story

There have been many variations to 78-year-old Howard Schoor’s work throughout his years along the Jersey Shore, and beyond.

The avid traveler is an engineer turned entrepreneur, inventor, home builder, bank owner, who went on to become one of the area’s staunchest philanthropists and humanitarians.

After 25 years leading Schoor DePalma, he turned his attention to home construction and land development by way of SGS Communities, HMS Consulting, and Woodstone Companies before trying a hand in the world of finance through the creation of Community Bank of New Jersey, serving as Director of Midlantic/Merchants National Bank and New Era Bank, on the Board of First Pioneer Farm Credit Association’s Customer Service Council, and on the Board of Directors of YHD and Foxtons North America.

There was an uncharted plunge into horse racing by way of Showplace Farms, and invention through Seat Strap, all the while establishing himself as a philanthropist and humanitarian via the Schoor Family Foundation. He’s spent years working behind the scenes at Collier Youth Services, the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, the Heritage Affiliate of the American Heart Association, and CentraState Healthcare, to name a few.

Today, Schoor, who now calls Asbury Park [and Florida] home, has launched yet another career as an artist. And in the ilk of the trailblazing spirit that made him a successful businessman, Schoor has coined a new term for his artwork. As Picasso is known for cubism, and Warhol for his pop art, Schoor will be known for his trianglism.

Born from his engineering foundation, the art is aimed to be pleasing to the eye. But it is clear that this art collector turned artist is influenced by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.

It’s hard to believe that just nine months ago, Schoor was fighting the battle of his life.

t began in mid December when his doctor ordered tests to ‘determine a baseline,’ for future care, he said. Although his father had a valve replacement at age 88, Schoor had no other family history of heart disease.  After a nuclear stress test showed some some irregularities, his cardiologist ordered catheterization, which showed the need for bypass surgery.

“I had no symptoms whatsoever,” he said. “I felt no chest pain, and was fit and healthy. It was like someone hit me on the side of the head with a 2×4 when I found out.”

Expecting the need for one or two stents, Schoor awoke on Jan 24 to the news that his surgery was in fact a sextuple bypass surgery. The specialist who performed the procedure was Dr. Craig Smith, who Schoor shared a seat with on the American Heart Association Board.

“Nothing has really changed since my bypass surgery,” Schoor said. “I do try to eat more fruits and veggies, and I walk the boardwalk every day.

Aside from those daily walks, Schoor paints for a minimum of 6 hours a day at his Mattison Avenue studio [shown below]. The artist meets businessman in him led to the hiring of branding firm and this week, launched his website – Howard Schoor Art.

“At my age, I have no time for games,” he said of his ‘It is What it is’ tag.

On Sunday, Schoor will help lead the American Heart Association’s Shoreline Heart Walk, along the Asbury Park Boardwalk. He will be sharing his story along with two other local heart disease and stroke survivors during the 10 a.m. kickoff and ribbon cutting at Bradley Park, located across from Convention Hall at Ocean and Fifth avenues.

The walk also raises funds to support the fight against heart disease and stroke – the nation’s number one and number five leading causes of death, respectively.  Also participating in the event will the Asbury Park Mayor’s Wellness Committee.

The event features an array of heart healthy activities for the whole family, including a fun bus and kids zone, massage stations, flu shots,  exercise demos, and prize giveaways. Walk participants can begin registering at 9 a.m. and the first 130 cars can park in the Wonder Bar parking lot at a $5 cost, with proceeds supporting Heart Walk.

The Shoreline Heart Walk is sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health, Coral Harbor, Mid-Atlantic Surgical Associates, New Jersey Natural Gas, RWJ Barnabas Health, VNA Health Group and Howard Schoor Art.  To learn how you can join Howard at the American Heart Association Shoreline Heart Walk, visit www.shorelineheartwalk.org.

By Michelle Gladden

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