JW Honors a Patriot, Friend

Judicial Watch lost a dear friend last year with the passing of Adolf Schoepe, one of JW’s most dedicated and valued supporters. In this issue of The JW Verdict, we wish to honor Mr. Schoepe and his contributions to Judicial Watch.

Mr. Schoepe’s life story is the sort of rags to riches tale that inspires millions of people around the world to seek the American dream. Born in a small German town in 1904, he arrived on the shores of United States in the midst of the Great Depression with nothing more than the shirt on his back and metal-working skills he had acquired during his teenage years.

But through hard work, persistence, creativity and courage, Mr. Schoepe parlayed his resources into one of the most successful business enterprises in the United States. Along the way, he endured poverty, ethnic prejudice, union uprisings, and government corruption. But his refusal to give up in the face of these adversities enabled him to live the life he had dreamed about as a young man.

Mr. Schoepe’s first business enterprise, Kwikset, produced the nation’s finest quality locksets and doorknobs, along with parachute flares, mortar shells and other military hardware during the Korean War. In 1957, Mr. Shoepe left Kwikset to launch a new venture in the plumbing trade, manufacturing a revolutionary toilet tank valve. Though it was this single valve that made Mr. Schoepe’s new company, Fluidmaster, a powerhouse in the plumbing business, today more than 350 products bear the company’s name.

Mr. Schoepe never stopped working to improve not only the quality of his products but also the quality of life for his employees. He went out of his way to offer employment to disabled veterans and rewarded loyalty with special programs to help employees finance homes, cars and education for their children. At Fluidmaster, there is no mandatory retirement age. Employees work as long as they feel able. Mr. Schoepe, for his part, worked 10 – 12 hour days well into his eighties.

The can-do spirit and energy that made Mr. Schoepe an unqualified success in business life also made him invaluable to community causes. He was a prolific worker and fundraiser for many organizations, including The United Fund, Aid to Givers, the YMCA, the Boy Scouts and St. Judes Hospital, to name a few, along with being an active member of the Los Angeles and Orange County Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Schoepe’s generosity, creativity, compassion and sense of humor are missed by all who had the good fortune to know him. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Virginia, and two children, Robert (who now ably runs the business) and Sherrill. The family remains good friends of Judicial Watch.


“When you’re a poor boy growing up in a little German town, no matter what you read, it’s still impossible to imagine what America would be like and what it would be like to live there. It was so wonderful that I thought I was dreaming at times, and I was very proud to be able to say I was an American citizen.” – Adolph Schoepe

In addition to his success in the hardware and plumbing industries, Adolph Schoepe’s Pauma Valley ranch is one of the leading orange growers in Southern California.