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Maurice R. Schurr, Teamsters Union Vice President

May 8, 2008
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Maurice R. Schurr, vice president of the International Teamsters Union, died April 11 at Anne Arundel Hospital in Annapolis, Md.

A trade unionist since his early teens, Schurr received union recognition by representation of Local 929 over the years. In 1943, he became a trustee of Local 929; in 1945, a business agent; and in 1949, president of Teamsters Local 929.

In 1963, he was appointed an International Union trustee and, in 1966, was elected by convention delegates to a full term. He served in that capacity until 1978, when he was appointed 16th vice president of the International Union.

Schurr took part in 1948 in creating the Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and the Teamsters Pension Plan of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and has served as chairman of the trustees.

He also served as trustee of the Local 929-Penn Fruit Pension and the Philadelphia Fresh Food Terminal Pension.

He also served as president of the Food Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

As president of his local union, Schurr became interested in community and charitable activities. He led the membership in financial drives for the Deborah Hospital and the United Fund.

A permanent committee was set up, called the Charities Committee of Local 929, through which the local union participates in the Allied Jewish Appeal, Catholic Charities, March of Dimes and other causes.

Schurr was active with the President's Committee for the Handicapped and, in addition, was honored with awards for his efforts from the Boy Scouts of America. Other civic duties included service on the Air Pollution Control Board of the City of Philadelphia and the Mayor's Scholarship Program Committee for the University of Pennsylvania.

He was also a member of the President's Committee on Productivity, at the request of former President Reagan, from 1982 to 1984.

Hadassah presented him with an award in 1966 and, in 1967, he was the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award at a dinner in his honor sponsored by the Philadelphia Labor Division of the State of Israel Bonds.

Schurr is survived by his wife, the former Jean Erskine; daughters Shirley Guercio and Donna Costalas; sister Dorothy Stark; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made to: the Deborah Heart and Lung Center, 20 Pine Mill Road, Browns Mills, N.J. 08015.

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