Colonel Donald Eugene Schneider Sr., USMC retired (1929-2020) was born in Glenolden, PA. He was the second child and son of Albert M. and Ellen A. Schneider. Don developed his lifelong love of planes, flying, and travel at an early age. He also learned his enduring love for boating and the sea from his father. Together, they built a cruiser for weekend boating and family memories. Don met his wife Jackie, from Marshallton, PA, while still in high school. They dated for several years before marrying at the end of Don’s college junior year in 1952. He graduated from West Chester University in 1953. He had planned on becoming a teacher, but another career beckoned; one that combined his passion for flying and travel, while offering a larger horizon and security for his family. After Don’s graduation from college, he and Jackie and infant daughter, Kay, moved to Quantico, VA where Don was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He had signed up for the Marine Platoon Leadership Course (PLC) as a way to help pay for college, where he was introduced to a lifestyle and community that he would proudly serve in for the next 27 years of his life, retiring in 1980 as a Marine full bird colonel. Don earned his wings as a naval aviator. Prior to the Viet Nam war, he switched over to flying helicopters. He was extremely proud of his assignment as a helicopter pilot to HMX-1, and flew former Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He and his wife Jackie, and four kids moved many times over the course of his career, making home in Cherry Point, NC; Oceanside, CA; Pensacola, FL; Camp LeJeune, NC; New Orleans, LA; Corpus Christi, TX; Quantico and Lorton, VA. Upon retirement, the family settled in Fredericksburg, VA. They initially raised black Angus beef cattle on their beloved Cedar Hill farm. Always ready for adventure, he and Jackie and their two dogs, Tess and Tom, enjoyed traveling in their Airstream motor home and later, living part of the year in the Tampa, FL area in their RV. They traveled through Canada and all four points of the continental U.S., enjoying caravan trips, checking off their bucket list, and making many friends. Don loved to sail the Chesapeake Bay on his large sailboat with his family, continuing a family tradition of sailing, teaching his kids to sail. Don had a deep love for dogs and other animals. He and his daughter Susan, showed, rescued, and raised dogs, including a number of champions. One of his dreams came true when his daughter, Susan, won the national junior handling competition at Westminister Kennel Club. He remained active in his community, volunteering at the Orange County Animal Shelter, the Mary Washington Hospital Center, Old Dominion Kennel Club, and was a member of the Ruritans. His later years were spent as a resident of Lake of the Woods. He enjoyed being near his granddaughters, son and daughters. He also helped to take care of Jackie, his wife of 65 years, during her brave battle with Alzheimer’s. They were both able to live at home until the very end. His family is blessed for the gentle and loving care their parents received from caregiver and treasured friend, Carolyn Fisher. Don lived a full and rich life and passes on his legacy of learning, curiosity, integrity and adventure to his family who are grateful for his devotion, love and steadfastness as a father, husband and grandfather. He is survived by daughters Kay Lynn Schneider, JoEllen Schneider, and Susan Schneider; granddaughters Rachel Smith (Jeff) and Rebecca Schneider; daughter-in-law Sheli Schneider; grand dogs Chase, Ellah, Matilda, and Cooper. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jackie Schneider; his son, Donald E. Schneider Jr.; and his brother Albert M. Schneider Jr. and their parents.
All services were private.