(“Bill”) Schneider was born in 1929 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He
was the second and last child born to George and Tryphena Schneider.
He grew up in Plainfield with his older sister, Betty, who was four
years older and who Bill had great respect and admiration for.
Bill was very athletic throughout his life. While attending Plainfield High School, he threw the javelin for the track team and would run five miles every evening to stay in shape. After graduating from high school, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he spent four years in the anti-aircraft artillery division. After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bill enrolled in New York University, where he threw the javelin for the NYU track team.
One night while he was swimming at the Plainfield YMCA, he met Gertrude (“Trudy”) Lentzsch. The two dated for a while and were married in 1954. The couple welcomed their first child, their son, Keith, in 1955. In 1956 they welcomed their second son, Gregory. In 1957, the family moved across the country to Whittier, California, where one of Trudy’s four brothers, Ray Lentzsch, was employed as a journalism professor at Whittier College. In 1958, Trudy gave birth to their first daughter, Lori. During this time, Bill worked at various office jobs while attending night classes at local colleges, and eventually graduated from Chapman College in Orange, Calif., with a B.A. in Business Administration. In 1965, Trudy gave birth to their second daughter, Lisa, and their family was then complete.
After his graduation from Chapman College, Bill began working in the aerospace industry as an accountant and cost controller. This was during the time of the Apollo moon mission, and Bill enjoyed being a part of our country’s race to the moon. Bill later became interested in real estate and after working for a real estate broker for a while, he obtained his own California Real Estate Broker’s license and opened his own office in Whittier.
Bill and Trudy lived in Whittier for 45 years, during which time they were very active members of their community. They were involved in their church and spent time working within Christian outreach programs, helping troubled youth in the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier. Both Bill and Trudy were extremely sociable and would reach out to help anyone in need. They would often invite strangers over for lunch or dinner, people from all walks of life whom they would meet in passing, and they always enjoyed the uniqueness of each person they invited to share their company. The couple loved living in Whittier and made many lifelong friends while living there.
In 2002, they decided to relocate to Salem, Oregon, to be closer to their youngest daughter, Lisa and her growing family, and enjoyed being able to help out as grandparents and spend time with Lisa and her husband, Mark and their four children. They spent 11 years living in Salem, where they remained active in their community and their church and continued to make many more friends. In 2013, Bill and Trudy relocated once more, this time to McKinleyville, to be closer to their three oldest children and their spouses, their seven other grandchildren, and their growing number of great-grandchildren.
They remained physically active throughout their lives and would often play tennis or go bowling or swimming or go for walks. Bill was quite proud of the fact that he would swim 36 lengths of the swimming pool throughout his eighties.
Bill and Trudy’s relationship was one where each of them would complement the other’s attributes, so that together they were much stronger than either of them were by themselves. This was most evident when Trudy was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 60 and Bill became her caregiver. Trudy made a complete recovery and remained cancer-free for the remainder of her life. At the age of 80, Trudy was diagnosed with dementia, and Bill again became her caregiver, encouraging her to stay active and engaged with family, in the community and in their church. They would continue to visit often with friends and family and always looked for new opportunities to make friends.
Bill and Trudy’s 64-year partnership ended in 2019, when Trudy left this world to spend eternity in heaven with her family and friends who preceded her there. Bill continued to remain as optimistic as he could without his “better half,” remaining engaged with his family and friends and continuing to socialize in the community at every opportunity.
At the age of 88, Bill was diagnosed with colon cancer, and over the next three years his overall health declined. He eventually succumbed to his cancer on October 16, 2021. When Bill left this world to reunite with Trudy and his family and friends who were awaiting him in heaven, close to him on his nightstand was his favorite photograph, which he cherished and was most proud of—a photo of Trudy and Bill on their wedding day. For Bill, this represented the beginning of everything in his life on Earth that he valued the most: his wife, his four children, his eleven grandchildren and their spouses, and his fifteen great-grandchildren. Along with his favorite picture, he left behind many precious memories. Goodbye, Bill, and tell everyone we know in heaven that we miss them and look forward to seeing them again.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Bill Schneider’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.