Michael Schurman, safety director in Atlantic County

Michael R. Schurman
Michael R. Schurman
Posted: July 26, 2014

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson recalls his friend Michael R. Schurman as "the go-to guy in county government."

"When you wanted to get something done, and done right, you went to Michael," he said.

After a career as a newspaper, radio, and TV reporter, Mr. Schurman was Atlantic County highway safety director from 1990 to 2011.

"He was an extraordinary man," Levinson said.

On Sunday, July 20, Mr. Schurman, 71, of Northfield, N.J., died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home.

"I've known Michael for over 40 years, mostly as a radio man, a newspaperman, and, most importantly, as a friend," Levinson said.

As a newsman, he said, Mr. Schurman "was a curmudgeon."

"He was everywhere; he knew everybody. And he was one of those extremely interesting characters.

"If there was a story, Michael would turn up there. He tackled corruption wherever he saw it," Levinson said.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., , Mr. Schurman was educated in Catholic orphanages - though he wasn't an orphan - including St. John's Home for Boys in Rockaway Beach, he wrote in autobiographical notes.

When Mr. Schurman and his twin brother were 15, "their dad brought them to McKeesport [Pa.] and they lived with him there," said Mr. Schurman's wife, Debbie.

After graduating from McKeesport High School and serving in the Army's 82d Airborne Division, he became athletic director at St. John's Home for Boys while attending St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

For 17 years, Mr. Schurman was a correspondent for The Inquirer, who teamed with staff reporters on many news stories from the Jersey Shore.

His last byline, on Dec. 22, 1982, reported the fatal shooting of a witness in a federal grand jury investigation of alleged racketeering in Cape May County.

His autobiographical notes stated that he was "the first news director and news anchor for WOND radio and WMGM-TV," Channel 40 in Linwood, N.J.

Among his responsibilities, he wrote, he was "producer of Atlantic County Report monthly public affairs television on TV 40."

A former five-term president of the Press Club of Atlantic City, he was executive director for 14 years of the National Headliner Awards, founded by the Press Club in 1934.

From 1971 to 1973, he wrote, he was the administrator for the Atlantic City Bureau of Investigations and Inspections.

A founding member of the Atlantic County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, he was a member of the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association.

Besides his wife of 26 years, Mr. Schurman is survived by sons Thomas and Robert, daughter Shannon, stepson Larry Fernan, seven grandchildren, and his former wife, Sally Jo Bartlett. He was predeceased by two brothers.

A visitation was set from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at St. Bernadette's Church, 1421 New Rd., Northfield, N.J. 08225, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with burial in Veterans Cemetery, Estell Manor, N.J.

Donations may be sent to St. Bernadette's Church at the above address.

Condolences may be offered to the family at Jeffries & Keates Funeral Home, Tilton Road and Infield Avenue, Northfield, N.J. 08225.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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