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Public Memorial for Bill Schonely to be Held Monday

The celebration of life is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

A public celebration of life for legendary Portland Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely will be held Monday, March 13 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The service is scheduled for 4 p.m. and Blazers fans are invited to attend and honor the long-time broadcaster.

According to KGW, Blazers television play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro will lead the celebration, which is expected to feature speeches from both current and former team players.

Schonely died on Jan. 21 at the age of 93. He became the Blazers radio play-by-play announcer in 1970, the franchise’s inaugural season, and called Blazers games until 1998. During Schonely’s illustrious career which saw Portland’s lone NBA championship in 1977, his voice became synonymous with Blazers basketball and coined the famous phrase “Rip City.” He returned to the organization in 2003 in an ambassadorial role which he continued until his retirement at the end of the 2021-22 season.

A private memorial service was held for Schonely on Feb. 10.

Schonely’s wife of more than 30 years, Dottie, died at the age of 92 in late February — 33 days after her husband’s passing. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden paid tribute to the late couple during a speech on the Senate floor this week, with KGW highlighting some of his remarks.

“Bill and Dottie were the ultimate teammates as the ‘First Couple of Rip City’ so perhaps it’s fitting they could not be separated for long,” Wyden said.

Wyden added that he is grateful for the memories and the legacies that the pair leaves behind.

“Oregon is said to have ‘Seven Wonders,’ including Mount Hood and Crater Lake. In my scorebook and in the scorebooks of Blazers fans everywhere, The Schonz and Dottie are our state’s ‘Eighth Wonder,’” Wyden said.