Robert Schneider was born on the family farm outside of Hebron, N.D., in 1936, the third youngest of 15 children of Gottlieb and Eva (Sayler) Schneider. Robert (Bob) worked at a bus depot in food service to earn money to attend barber college in Fargo for two summers starting after his sophomore year in high school. Since Fargo was over 250 miles away from home, he hitchhiked, when possible, as riding the bus was expensive. Bob graduated from Molar Barber College, Fargo, 1953, graduated Hebron High School in 1954, enrolled at Dickinson State College and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree. During the summer of 1959, Bob attended graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado; and received a master’s degree in Education from Black Hills State College (BHSU) in 1965. He moved to Spearfish in 1958, and taught various high school and middle school classes for 36 years, retiring in 1994. During his first 12 years teaching at the high school level, he coached track, football, and basketball.
Bob joined the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Detachment, 468 Engineer Battalion in Dickinson in January 1956 and received an honorable discharge in 1960. He also joined the Spearfish SD National Guard Engineer Battalion and served for three years helping fight the 1959, Deadwood fire. In addition to his military service, he and his wife developed the Kampus Kourt Mobile Home Park and built two houses. He also had interests and certifications including a real estate license, insurance license, and barber’s license.
Bob was also an avid member of the Germans from Russia Historical Society (GRHS). GHRS was an important part of his life, and he served as President for 10 years. This organization provides scholarships, research on family ancestry, and an opportunity to socialize and learn about Germans from Russia history.
Bob was a true historian showing interest in his ancestors’ emigration from Russia at a very young age. Bob toured the Ukraine in 1994 to track his family history and then later started a tour company (2000-2012) focusing on the Ukraine. His main motivations for these tours were to help the people of Ukraine. Initially he aided the family that resided in his ancestral home but later expanded to an orphanage, schools, and other people in need; and connected descendants of Germans from Russia who wanted to visit their Russian ancestral villages. Finally, he wrote and published (in 2017 with his wife’s help) his family’s story starting with their emigration from South Russia (Ukraine) to North Dakota. During his lifetime, he interviewed his parents, numerous relatives and researched archives in Germany, Ukraine, and North Dakota. The book can be purchased on Amazon. The title is Courage and Perseverance by Robert R. Schneider.
Robert is survived by his wife, Kathleen, of 61 years. He is survived by his four children: Gene Schneider (Colleen), Sharon Delzer (Roger), Tom Schneider (Pamela Barry), and Lori Butler (William Garrison, Jr.). He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Randy (Emily) Delzer, Rayce Delzer, Ryan (Anna) Delzer, Nolan (Rebecca) Schneider, Kaitlin (Woodrow) Palmer, Jason Schneider, Marisa Butler, Jennifer Schneider, Cody Schneider and three great-grandchildren: Kael Delzer, Brayden Delzer and Bella Delzer.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents and 10 siblings. He is survived by two sisters - Elsie Schneider, Rose Voegele; and two brothers, Stanley Schneider and Roy Schneider.
Every day Bob and Kathy would take a walk from their house along the bike path next to Spearfish creek. All the kids and grandkids knew how important Bob thought exercise was to mental and physical health – and he lived it: by walking, stretching, and doing 100 push-ups a day. While Bob had a very healthy lifestyle, he needed emergency heart surgery because of an aortic dissection, ultimately enduring four surgeries. He spent over two weeks in Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, before being transferred to hospice in Sturgis. While the family was at his bedside in the hospital, he said numerous times “I just want to go home with Mom”, referring to being with Kathy. Robert Schneider passed away peacefully with family by his side on Dec. 21, 2021.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all the Monument physicians and nurses, nurse aides and dialysis nurses. The incredible care Bob received in the ICU and the step-down unit is so greatly appreciated. The palliative care department was caring and knowledgeable. The Lippold Hospice unit and staff at Monument in Sturgis were exceptional and beyond wonderful in his last days to Bob and his family. We are grateful for the many well wishes, prayers, food, assistance, and the many offers of food and assistance we couldn’t accept because we were so well taken care of.
A private immediate-family memorial service will be held with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. If you choose to donate in Bob’s name, suggested memorials are Spearfish Community Food Pantry, Germans from Russia Historical Society (GRHS), and Spearfish United Methodist Church.
Friends and family may sign his online guestbook and leave written condolences for the family at blackhillsfuneralhome.com.
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