Cover photo for Patricia Ruth Schneider's Obituary
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1926 Patricia 2021

Patricia Ruth Schneider

May 24, 1926 — August 20, 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce that Patricia Ruth Schneider (née Edwards) passed away on August 20, 2021. Pat was born on May 24, 1926 at Robertson Hospital in Modesto, CA to Logan Combs Edwards and Mary Lisa Needham. Pat graduated from Fresno High School in 1943 and was accepted into the Cadet Nurse Corps at Oakland Highland Hospital. Before starting nursing school, she met Gilbert (“Gil”) Schneider, a young U.S. Naval Aviation Cadet at a dance in Fresno. After a year in her nursing program, the couple decided to marry. The nursing program would not grant Pat leave to get married, so she reluctantly withdrew from the program, traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas to wed Gil on November 8, 1944. Pat fondly remembers that Gil’s friends from the flight program served as ushers at the ceremony. After completing flight training, Gil was assigned to Naval Air Station Banana River in Florida where he was qualifying to fly the Martin PBM seaplane. Pat joined him there to begin married life. Banana River was to be their first home but only for three months. After completing training, Gil was sent overseas and Pat returned to Fresno to live with her parents until the end of the war. While back home, Pat started work on her teaching credential at Fresno State and worked nights as a nurse’s aide. Gil was released from active duty in 1945 and like many WWII GI’s went back to school to earn a degree in education from Fresno State. Patricia’s father had inherited a forty-acre ranch outside of Ivanhoe. While both Pat and Gil where “city kids,” when it passed to them, they moved to the ranch in the late 40’s. The orange ranch was to become the family’s home for the rest of their lives, although Gil was to serve several additional active-duty tours in the Navy. When Gil was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, Pat found herself in Coronado with two small active boys while Gil was deployed to the Pacific. In 1955 the family was transferred to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and in 1957 the family returned to the family ranch. Upon their return, Pat started teaching at Stone Corral Elementary School and spent summers completing her teaching credential at Fresno State. Life on the ranch was interrupted in 1961 when Gil was recalled to Naval Air Station Alameda for the Berlin crisis, and the family relocated to Piedmont CA for the 1961-1962 school year. Pat again found herself a single parent when Gil was deployed with his squadron to Christmas Island as part of Operation Dominic, a nuclear weapons testing program in the Western Pacific. When the family returned to Visalia in 1962, Pat returned to teaching at Woodlake Elementary School until her retirement in 1998. Pat enjoyed golf and was a member of the Visalia Country Club for over 30 years. She was also an avid bridge player and because of her natural ear, was always in demand to play the piano for the various groups including the Visalia Methodist Church where she was a long-time member. She was also an active member of the Visalia Women’s Club and accompanied women’s choirs for many years. In retirement, Pat traveled extensively, including a six-week trip to Poland to teach English to Polish students. Pat took great pride in the accomplishments of her three sons: Garry, Greg, and Gerald. All three boys had successful careers in the Navy, Army, and Air Force, respectively. Pat was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Edwards (1946), her father, Logan Edwards (1949), and her brother, Mike Edwards (2010). Her husband, Gilbert Schneider, passed in 1984 and her middle son, Gregory Schneider, passed in 2003. Pat is survived by her sons, Garreth Schneider (Katy) and Gerald Schneider (Nancy); her 6 grandchildren, Derrick Schneider, Bruce Schneider, Jack Schneider, Jonathan Schneider, Karin Schneider and Kristine Schneider, as well as one great-grandchild, Naomi Schneider. Her family would like to express its deep appreciation to the staff of Quail Park’s EAL for the compassionate care they provided her over the last several years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to Visalia Rotary Community Foundation www.visalarcfoundation.org
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