Jean Nadine Schneider
September 22, 1926 – March 1, 2023
Jean N. Schneider passed from this world on March 1, 2023 at CHI Lakeside Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She had lived a very active 96 years prior to her death.
Jean was born Jean Nadine Rasp in Shelby, Nebraska, on September 22, 1926. She attended school in Shelby and graduated valedictorian with a prestigious Regents Scholarship to the University of Nebraska at the young age of sixteen. As a freshman at the university, Jean displayed extraordinary talent for acting and starred in a leading role in the play Little Women. When her father, John C. Rasp, became seriously ill, Jean transferred to York College in York, Nebraska, where she continued to excel in all studies, but especially in the dramatic arts.
In her senior year, Jean was crowned Homecoming Queen. That same year, she and Robert Schneider eloped to Belleville, Kansas. They were married for 55 years, until Bob’s death in 2001. Together they enjoyed fishing, hunting asparagus, golf, and picnics on the family farm. Their travels included many trips to Michigan, California, Arizona, and Europe, and a cruise down the Mississippi. These adventures often resulted in a search for historical information, grave sites, and even the location of living relatives in Germany. After Bob died, Jean continued to travel on her own, enjoying an Alaskan cruise with a close friend.
Jean taught third grade for one year and worked part-time as a real estate agent while raising her family. She used her acting talent in leading roles at the York Community Playhouse. One of her favorite roles was in Arsenic and Old Lace where she poisoned gentlemen callers.
While living in York Jean enjoyed volunteer work, including Meals on Wheels, visits to the elderly with their home-grown roses, and giving love to the animals at Adopt-A Pet. She also volunteered as a poll worker and at the public library. Her focus, however, was always on her family and home life.
Her family remembers fondly her preparation of home-grown meals comprised of cucumber salad, sweet corn, catfish, quail, and/or pheasant. The Fourth of July homemade ice cream, made famous by the grandchildren taking turns on the crank, is a special memory and was always followed by fireworks on the farm.
In retirement, Jean greatly enjoyed winter stays in Sun City, Arizona, with Bob, where they played golf and reconnected with numerous old friends.
Jean was an unusually gifted writer. She published a humorous story about fishing with Bob in Nebraskaland magazine, as well as essays in the nationally distributed Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul. Her stories of adventure and family provided entertainment for her entire family. In recent years, she interviewed and wrote biographical pieces about fellow residents at Elkridge Village Senior Living in Elkhorn, Nebraska. The articles were published in the residential newspaper, Musings, and they were greatly appreciated by the Elkridge community. She continued her volunteer spirit as a member of the Elkridge Village welcome committee.
Jean’s portrait by Terence Duren, a celebrated Nebraska artist, was featured in a special exhibit “Worthy Rivals: The Art of Dale Nichols and Terence Duren” at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art. The exhibit was launched by Cole Satore and inspired by the article “War in the Corn” published in Time Magazine, August 1945.
At Elkridge, Jean loved the view of Lawrence Youngman Lake from her apartment. She regularly reported on sightings of red-tailed hawks, occasional bald eagles, and a multitude of birds she asked others to help her identify. Jean was also known by both residents and staff for her thoughtfulness, kindness, and consideration.
Jean adored her grandchildren: Ryan Johnston (Maria), Kyle Johnston (Angela), Solomon Schneider, and Tom Schneider (Rita), and she doted over her great-grandchildren: Elliott and Emmett Johnston, Willa Johnston, and Ethan, Simon, and Chloe Schneider. Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Frieda Rasp and John Rasp, and by her sisters, Mae Kelly and Violet Sawyer. She is survived by her children, John Schneider (Winona) and Susan Johnston (Jef) and many cherished nieces and nephews. Jean’s absence will be felt deeply by her family, friends, and acquaintances.
A burial and celebration of Jean’s life will be held in the Spring in York, Nebraska, on a date yet to be determined. Memorial donations may be made to Adopt-A-Pet, 1511 N. Platte Avenue, York, Nebraska 68467.