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Another riverboat personality is gone

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    Another riverboat personality is gone

    Joe Schadler, who founded Schadlers Riverboats, now Celebration Belle Cruises, died today. He started with a little squared-off diesel boat, the QUEEN OF HEARTS, back in 1984 or so, and worked up to the 800 passenger CELEBRATION BELLE, which runs both sightseeing and luncheon/dinner cruises out of Moline with great success. The CB was always a popular boat at Tall Stacks and it was/is well-known for its good food, for which Joe was responsible. In recent years Joe supervised the food end while his son Scott oversaw the navigation end. In addition to running the CB, they bought boats and refurbished them (the PHILADELPHIA BELLE being the biggest and latest); they run a large souvenir/jewelry store on the landing barge; and are connected with the Channel Cat water taxi operation out of their landing. Joe played a vital role in revitalizing the excursion boat business here in the Illinois QuadCities. Schadlers are to the QC as the Bersteins are to Cincinnati. Joe will be missed.

    Hey Judy,
    Thanks for passing along the news of Captain Joe Schadler. While I never personally met Joe or Scott I do have a story I thought I'd share about them. Prior to the 1992 and 1995 Tall Stacks I always wrote letters to the companies who had boats coming. I'd explain that I was a boat nut and that my family and I always camped at mile marker 500.1 to watch the boats come up for Tall Stacks. Late one evening prior to the 1992 event we saw what we thought was a light towboat coming up below Laughery Island. The boat was really hugging the Kentucky shoreline. As the boat reached our encampment the deck outline lights were turned on and a salute from the air horns echoed up the hill behind Kirby Rocks. It was the QUEEN of HEARTS and the Schadlers! They had probably marked the mile marker on their charts from my letter and really made my day. My sympathy to the Schadler family with the passing of Captain Joe.

    Aaron Richardson