Obituary for Jim Schneider
Jim Schneider passed away on Friday April 28, 2017, at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado at the age of 73 after a fierce but valiant 6.5 year battle with COPD and Multiple Myeloma. Jim was born on April 20, 1944 in Greeley to Victor and Margerethe (Wilken) Schneider. He was a twin and grew up on a family farm west of Greeley. He attended Windsor schools and graduated in 1963. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Greeley, where his Grandparents were founding members.
In 1963 he moved to downtown Denver to attended Denver Automotive and Diesel College. He met a lot of interesting people working as a gas station attendant to support himself and pay for school. He graduated college in 1965 and returned to Greeley to farm until early 1966 when he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Bliss, Texas. He worked as a Radio Relay and Carrier Operator and was awarded several medals for rifle sharpshooting. He was honorably discharged in 1972.
Jim married Elaine Carol Haas from Greeley in 1968 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. They celebrated 48 years of marriage on November 30 and have two daughters Jamie Yost and Courtney Olin. They lived on the family farm where Jim farmed with his Dad and brothers until 1990. They grew pickles for Heinz, onions, sugar beets, corn, pinto beans, and alfalfa. They also had a dairy farm west of Greeley and a hog farm north of Galeton. Jim was the fourth oldest of nine kids and had 12 nieces and nephews. He loved kids and he and Elaine opened their home to exchange students Monica Boeris from Argentina and Yasushi Okawa from Japan who became children in their hearts.
Jim was a volunteer for the Colorado Farm Show since 1978, serving as chairman and in many other capacities. He was proud that he helped the show grow from a handful of exhibitors and volunteers to the size it is today. Jim was a director on several ditch company boards, including Seven Lakes and Boomerang. He was also a director on the Bracewell Local Sugar Beet Board and represented this board at the state level. Jim was honored to then represent Colorado at the federal level based in Washington D.C. (today called the U.S. Sugar Beet Association). He spent three years going back and forth to D.C. helping write part of the sugar provision for the 1981 farm bill. That language remained in the farm bill for 21 years. Jim was fascinated when he testified in committee and worked in the offices of Colorado’s Representatives and Senators. He worked on Capitol Hill to gain support for the bill, an experience he was grateful to have had. Politics became a passion and after passage of the Farm Bill, he was asked to represent the United States on the International Sweetener Council in Geneva, Switzerland, which is in involved in import, export, and quota regulations. He declined the offer to continue farming.
In 1990, Jim went to work for Simplot Soilbuilders in Gilcrest. He worked for Simplot for seven years as a chemical and fertilizer salesman and unit manager. In 1997, he went to work for Centennial Ag Supply in Kersey as a salesman, sales manager, and ultimately the Mountain Division Manager until he retired in August 2016. Jim thoroughly enjoyed his customers, from people who needed help with their lawns, to mountain ranchers, to vegetable, orchard, and vineyard growers. Jim welcomed every new crop, tree, or grass as a challenge to learn how they grow and how to make them healthier. The Mountain Division stretched everywhere west of the Continental Divide and Jim loved traveling to see his customers who all became friends and many he “adopted” as family.
Jim’s unique gift was that he formed a connection with everyone, from any walk of life, and build a lifelong friendship. After cardiac issues in 2004, Jim's doctors asked him to appear on radio and billboard advertising for North Colorado Medical Center. He advised his first oncologist on plant health nearly as much as his oncologist advised him on cancer. He was a kind, generous, funny, smart, beautiful soul who will be forever missed.
Jim believed he had COPD and Multiple Myeloma so he could help educate people about these diseases. Many times his doctors asked if he would speak with newly diagnosed patients to share his experience. This, in part, gave Jim the strength to continue the fight.
Jim's grandchildren, Johan, Charlie, and Quinn, were a huge motivation in his fight. They were the light of his life and he lived for their hugs and to hear them call him “Grandpa”.
Jim is survived by his wife Elaine Schneider of Windsor; daughter Jamie Yost and son-in-law Jay Yost of Windsor; daughter Courtney Olin and son-in-law Tom Olin of LaSalle; three grandchildren: Johan Yost, Charlie Olin, and Quinn Olin; seven siblings: Alvin Schneider of Kansas City, Missouri, Bob Schneider of Windsor, Jack Schneider and wife Cheryl of Greeley, Charlotte Lehmann and husband Bruce of Windsor, David Schneider of Timnath, Dennis Schneider and wife Peggy of Galeton, and Vickie Dwyer and husband David of Las Vegas, Nevada; twelve nieces and nephews; thirteen great nieces and nephews; and many, many cousins, friends, and customers. Jim is preceded in death by his father, mother, and brother LeRoy Schneider.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday May 13, 2017 at 11:00am at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1800 21st Ave, Greeley, CO 80631. Jim loved Springtime and happy colors; suggested attire is Spring clothes. An “After Party” luncheon will immediately follow to celebrate Jim’s life. In lieu of flowers and plants, donations may be made to The Mayo Clinic with a memo “The Jim Schneider Tribute Fund” in care of Mark’s Funeral Home, 9293 Eastman Park Dr, Windsor, CO 80550. This fund is designated for Multiple Myeloma research. Alternately, donations may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
Online condolences may be made at www.marksfuneralservice.com.