James E. “Jim” Schneider
July 15, 1930 – May 6. 2021
James E. “Jim” Schneider passed away peacefully on May 6, 2021 in Omaha, after 90 well-lived years, including almost six decades in North Platte, where he worked honorably as an attorney and joyfully as a husband, father, and member of the community.
Jim was born July 15, 1930 in Falls City to Alice (Murphy) and William Philip Schneider, and into a home with older brother, William “Bill” Schneider. His twin, John “Jack” Schneider, died in infancy. His father, in what would be a lifelong kindness shown to Jim, explained the tragedy of the loss of one child by emphasizing their gratitude in having him to hold and hug. Jim carried forward that same appreciation for hugs.
Jim graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1948 then boarded a train for a trans-Nebraska trek to attend Creighton University in Omaha, where he played on the Bluejay basketball team. He never sank a shot during his brief time on the court but gave the team his life-long fandom. Jim enlisted in the Army in 1951, during the Korean War. Photographic evidence from the time indicates that he managed to enjoy parts of army life with a cohort of fellow recruits in the Signal Corps. He returned to Creighton in 1954 for Law School.
He met his wife of 64 years, Marilyn (Sucha) Schneider, at a Creighton dance. She was among the event organizers; he stuck around to help her put back furniture that had been cleared for dancing. He moved furniture for her from that day forward. The crazy kids were engaged on April 1 (Fool’s Day), 1956, and made it all official exactly five months later, on September 1, 1956, in Fremont in a Catholic ceremony officiated by Jim’s uncle, Monsignor William Murphy. Marilyn worked as a CPA while Jim finished law school. After his graduation in 1957, the young couple moved to North Platte where he had taken a job with a law firm. They soon started a family that grew to include six children, all of whom he was proud to send to St. Patrick’s Catholic Schools and Creighton University.
Jim often said that his kids ate many apples from trees he had not planted. Something of a tree-planter himself, he was a founder and served on the North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment Trust and as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 292. Being resourceful, as Scouts are, he once negotiated an on-the-fly purchase of a used school bus to replace one that had broken down en route to a canoe trip to Canada. (Later, he negotiated with his wife when she saw the charge on their credit card bill.). He also had a knack for churning homemade ice cream (chocolate peppermint) on hot July days and consistently made a very tricky, corner-backyard jump shot on their regulation basketball hoop. He was beloved by the family’s two consecutive sweet dogs and one very mean cat, the latter of which kept him in a constant allergic state. If he wasn’t in a suit and tie at work or church, he would be seen wearing one of his signature jumpsuits.
During more than fifty years of practicing law, Jim served on the boards of the Western Nebraska Bar Association and Nebraska Trial Lawyers Association. Throughout those years, both when his kids were under his roof and after they had set out on their own, his days started with morning mass and included a trip home for lunch with his wife. He sliced the apple that they would share.
Jim is survived by his wife Marilyn, his children, Jim (Peg) Schneider; Mary (Peter) Meehan; Patricia Schneider Gibson (David Gibson); Michael Schneider (Karen Waddill); Ann Schneider (Ricardo Pradez); and Theresa (Stephen) Fromm. Numbering among his brood of grandchildren are Patrick (Tera Lutz), Kelsey (Joe Wiggs), and Daniel Schneider; Kristen (Pete Anderson) and P.J. Meehan; Allison and Eli Gibson; Jackson Schneider; Oliver and Margot Schneider Pradez; and Elise and Sarah Fromm.
VISITATION observing CDC guidelines: Tuesday, May 11th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, with VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Wednesday, May 12th at 10am at St. John Catholic Church (Creighton Campus, 2500 California); go to www.stjohns-creighton.org to register for in-person attendance (seating is limited; registration required) or click on “St. John’s Live” for the live cast. For in-person attendance, a face covering must be worn, and social distancing will be practiced. Interment with military honors: Wednesday, 1pm at Omaha National Cemetery. The family requests that tributes be made to North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment Trust at 500 S. Silber Ave, North Platte, NE 69101; https://apps.npcschools.org/donate-now.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service, Mass, and Graveside Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.