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Published: Saturday, 2/9/2008

Nightclub owner fond of boats, sports cars

Richard Louis "Uncle Dick" Schrader, 76, a prominent Toledo nightclub owner with a lifelong passion for boating, died Tuesday in the Lake Park Comfort Care in Sylvania.

The death followed a battle with prostate cancer, his stepson, James Luce, said.

Beginning in the 1970s, Mr. Schrader was an owner and operator of a string of Toledo nightclubs during various periods, often with the help or co-ownership of Mr. Luce.

The clubs included the automobile-themed 21 West Lounge on Alexis Road in Sylvania, the Westgate Lounge in the Westgate Village Shopping Center, and, during the 1990s, the Beverly Hills Cafe on Monroe Street as well as Blu Jeans Cafe and BJ's Lounge, both on Sylvania Avenue.

Known for his outgoing personality, Mr. Schrader cultivated countless friendships over the decades through his businesses and hobbies, Mr. Luce said. "Everybody loved Uncle Dick," he said.

Mr. Schrader bought his first boat while a teenager, and went on to own several wooden Chris-Craft vessels that he took joy in restoring.

He was past marine safety instructor with the U.S. Coast Guard's Power Squadron, and for many years kept his boats at the former Brenner Marina in East Toledo. "He was on the water any chance he'd get," recalled longtime friend and boating partner Greg Knott.

During the 1960s, Mr. Schrader was the sports car manager at the former Jim White Chevrolet in downtown Toledo and in 1966 founded the Glass City Corvette Club.

Mr. Schrader was born in Monroe and graduated from Monroe High School in 1950. He became a licensed airplane pilot while a teen and attended the University of Illinois for flight training with the U.S. Air Force.

Surviving are his stepson, James Luce, and his sister, Nancy Guthrie.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. today, with a time of remembrance at 7 tonight at the Eggleston Meinert Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon. The funeral services will be private.

The family suggests tributes to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition or a cancer research organization.

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