Robert J. “Bob” Schnyder, Jr.
Robert John “Bob” Schnyder, Jr., the husband for nearly 48 years of former Philip resident, Alice Janet Minard, has died in California. He was 87.
Born January 8, 1925, in New Orleans, La., Bob grew up loving all kinds of sporting contests and would hop on his bike and ride around his area of the city until he found a game to play in. He became a student of many sports; and his enthusiasm, dedication, and natural athletic ability led to his winning awards and championships as a player in high school and college, and later, as a coach.
Bob also loved animals. In later years, his and Janet’s home became an adoptive home for many stray cats – from Aloysius to The Midnight Cowboy. Two cats – The Sundance Cat and Sparky – even made trips to Philip!
World War II was in full gear when Bob volunteered for induction into the U.S. Army, serving from March of 1943 to March of 1946. He was in various special programs in the army until his outfit was called into action. In September of 1944, he found himself on some of the same French terrain the Allied invasion forces had landed on three months earlier.
After his discharge from the army, he took advantage of the incredible opportunity provided by the G.I. Bill and pursued his athletic and academic career at what now is Illinois State University. On the athletic fields he was known as “Bayou Bob!” Inside the classrooms, he studied the biological sciences, eventually writing his master’s thesis about water pollution he and his students discovered in the town where he first was teaching.
After teaching in Illinois for four years later, he and his wife and children moved to southern California where he taught for 32 years at South Gate Senior High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He taught biology and health and coached football and baseball.
It was at South Gate where, after the dissolution of his first marriage, he met Janet Minard, who had just arrived to begin her teaching duties in September, 1963. Married in August of 1964, they both continued their teaching careers at South Gate for many years.
During these years, they spent much time in Philip during their summer vacations. Bob, who had previously considered golf to be a kind of “silly” game, little by little took up the sport; and with the help of his father-in-law, George, with his own natural ability, and with easy access to a “prairie course,” he became a pretty fair golfer.
At his home in Buena Park, he became a great grower of vegetables – especially eggplant, zucchini and luscious tomatoes. He taught himself to paint pictures – landscapes, primarily, with both oils and acrylics. Many are on the walls of his home.
After he retired from teaching in 1987, he was plagued with osteoarthritis, especially in the hips and back. This slowed him down somewhat, but the stroke he suffered a few days after back surgery in 1999, brought his golf playing days, as well as gardening and painting activities, to an end.
Bob and Janet were avid movie watchers, especially old movies, and in recent years assembled quite a comprehensive collection of vintage films, thanks to the modern miracles of VHS and DVD.
After suffering from two more strokes the last two months, his body was finished, even though his spirit of feistiness remained until almost the very end. His family is thankful that when his death was imminent, it came swiftly and peacefully on February 20, 2012.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert, Sr. and Loretta, and his sons, Jeffrey and Kurt.
In addition to his wife Janet, his survivors include his daughter, Lindsay Schnyder of Ft. Myers, Fla.; her two daughters, Skylar and Story Sandman; his daughter, Lisa Peterson of Duvall, Wash.; his sister, Ruth Masakowski of New Orleans; his sister-in-law, Julie Minard of Long Beach, Calif.; and his many nieces and nephews.
An informal gathering will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 1, at the Midland Cemetery, where Bob’s cremated remains will be buried, and will join his in-laws, George and Vivian Minard, and George’s parents, Dr. Ralph W. Minard and Alice Walker Minard Chase.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com