Richard M. Schneider

KENNEY — Richard M. Schneider, 68, of Kenney, left this world and entered heaven on April 19, 2023.  He passed away at his home in Kenney. 

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Decatur, at a future time yet to be determined.

 Richard was born on November 2, 1954, in Elmhurst, Ill., to Kenneth and Mary (Ochotnicky) Schneider.  He spent the majority of his growing years living in the Grand Rapids, Mich. area. 

He attended Concordia Lutheran College, in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he studied organ performance and where he also met and married his wife Joan.  He also attended Michigan State University, where he completed a program of study in Industrial Electricity. 

Following their marriage in March 1976, Richard and Joan moved to Decatur, and Richard went to work for the Gratian Organ Builders, of Kenney.  Working on pipe organs was always Richard’s passion, although he was also a registered electrical contractor in several municipalities around central Illinois.  Following the death of Mr. Gratian, Richard bought the organ shop in Kenney, from which he pursued his avocation for over 40 years. 

He achieved the rank of Fellow of the American Institute of Organbuilders and worked on many instruments around the midwest over the decades.  One of his highest joys was hearing an organ he had worked on filling its space with beautiful sounds and especially in leading a congregation in worship. 

He also enjoyed traveling, trains, and working with his hands on any type of project.  He was highly skilled in many areas and was one of those people who “could do anythin,” or would at least attempt it, usually successfully.

Richard is survived by his wife of 47 years, Joan, and their three children, Matthew (Shari) Schneider, of Clinton; Daniel (Sarah) Schneider, of Peoria, Ariz.; and Joy Schneider, of Clinton. 

He was blessed with five grandchildren, who also survive him,  Sean (Katie) Schneider, of Bloomington; Trent and Tyler Horn, of Clinton; and Christian and Jordyn Schneider, of Peoria, Ariz.  Richard also is survived by his only sibling, William Schneider, of Granbury, Texas, as well as a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, one nephew, one aunt and a number of cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.

 In addition to his family, Richard’s church family and many friends were especially precious to him.  The family wishes to thank the many brothers and sisters in Christ from St. Paul’s as well as from the Kenney and Clinton areas who’ve helped us in so many sacrificial ways over the past years and especially the past several months. 

We also want to thank Gentiva hospice and the E.M.T.s from our area who helped us through especially difficult times recently.  Thanks to all who prayed for Rich and our family.  We could not have made it through these past few months without everyone’s prayers and tangible acts of service.  Most of all we thank our Lord for the special gift Richard was to us in so many ways and for the gift of eternal life in heaven, where we will be reunited soon.

Memorials for Richard may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Decatur, or the Kenney Fire Department