In Lieu of Flowers

Speaking well of the dead

Jim Schneider died at 44, in Colorado Springs. He died at 71, in Fountain Hills, after a long battle with leukemia. He died at 88, in Waterford. He passed away at 67, in Lititz; at 80, in Washington; at 90, in Racine; at 79, at 69, and at 83, 53, 73, 40, and just nine days shy of his 61st birthday; in Fort Wayne, in Orinda, and in Bay City, Jacksonville, Westphalia, Lindstrom, and while vacationing in Naples. He was 50 years, 6 months, and 4 days old when he died in Omaha; he was 86 when he died peacefully in Pomona; he was 32 when he died in Anderson Township. He went home to our Heavenly Father at 70, joining his lifelong companion. In Burlington, Richland, and Lancaster, his life ended at 60, 26, and 100. He departed this life unexpectedly, at 34, in prison, as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head. After a lengthy illness, at the age of 68, he passed away at home in Friendship.

Jim, or “Jimmy,” or “Duke,” or “Coach Schneids,” or “Mr. Outside,” or “Chief,” as he was known to his friends, was born in Oberlin, Ephrata, Lamar, Laurel, and Lodz, Poland. Born on his parents’ farm, in Bluffton, in Cuba, in Washington, and Kalamazoo. Born in Richland Center, Hopkinsville, Middletown, Indianapolis, and Chicago, Jim was a lifelong resident of Sault Ste. Marie. He and his family moved to Dortmund, Germany, where they lived until forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1939. Arriving in America, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought for his new country in several battles, including the Battle of the Bulge. He served in the United States Army Air Corps in England and France, and he served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. While enlisted, he played baseball and basketball in Europe and Orléans, France. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his performance of duty in the office of Secretary of the Air Force. The citation read in part: “His leadership and managerial ability were instrumental factors in furthering the progress of the military space program.”

Gregarious and somewhat flamboyant, Jim enjoyed working and being around people. He was an outstanding band director, a master plumber, a rural mail carrier, a talented carpenter, and a civil engineer designer. His antic personality and penchant for partying defied the reserved, buttoned-down image usually ascribed to the accounting profession. He worked as a police officer for many years before changing careers and working as a computer programmer. He was a pilot and loved to fly.

Mr. Schneider was an avid hunter and enjoyed archery hunting. A member of the NRA and a staunch Republican, Jim was a peace activist who possessed a wonderfully quick wit and a terrific sense of humor and was always ready to share a joke with friends and family. He was a “relentless” golfer and was happiest when on “the links.” Known to enjoy a good game of pool and a nice cold beer, Jim enjoyed life to its fullest and all it had to offer. He played hard and he worked hard. He never knew a stranger and was honored as CITIZEN OF THE YEAR. A devoted football fan, he loved music and watching NASCAR. Most of all he loved spending time with his family.

An all-around loving family man, Jim was a great-grandfather, grandfather, father, husband, brother, half-brother, stepbrother, uncle, son, soul mate, and best friend. He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents; stepfather; parents; father and mother-in-law; son; grandson; his beloved wife of fifty years; infant sister; infant twin brother; sister; and brothers. He is survived by his faithful and loving wife of thirty-eight years, his mother and father, sisters, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, brother, daughter, stepchildren, great-grandchildren, aunts, loving companion, and a special friend, “Spike.” Jim’s family is planning to have a celebration of Jim’s life at a later date. A private family internment will take place. The family will receive friends. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to defer expenses. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made.

About the Author

Jim Schneider

Jim Schneider is a writer and ex-expat currently rediscovering America. He has an MFA in creative writing from The New School.

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