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Richard Schneider

May 07, 2010


Tuesday, May 11 from 5-7 at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Funeral Service:

2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 in Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo.


Holy Cross North Cemetery, Fargo.


Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Richard Schneider

May 07, 2010


Richard James Schneider, 70, of Fargo, died Friday at Bethany On 42nd in Fargo.  He had been suffering from colon cancer and complications from recent surgery.

Schneider was born Dec. 9, 1939, in Aberdeen, S.D.  He graduated from the Crippled Children’s School in Jamestown, N.D., now called the Anne Carlson School, in 1961. While a student there Schneider was featured in a movie made by the school entitled “The Twig Is Bent.”   It documented Richard’s struggle to overcome the many obstacles his cerebral palsy created for him as he attempted to do ordinary things.

After graduating, Richard enrolled at North Dakota State University where he went on to earn a B.A. degree in history.  He also earned a M.A. degree in education, with a specialty in counseling.  NDSU was not handicapped accessible then and Richard was often literally carried to classes (over the shoulder of a brother or friend, at the hand of his Mother or sister) to what invariably was the third (top) floor of Menard Hall.   

In 1972 Richard was named N.D. Handicapped Citizen of The Year by the Governor’s Council On Human Resources.

Richard’s love of North Dakota resulted in his writing a history of railroad transportation in the state that was published more than 30 years ago (with illustrations by his brother John).  In 2009, the Upper Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU republished the work and formally recognized  Schneider at a banquet for this distinction.  . The book is still being taught in NDSU history courses today.

That Richard was able to write his master’s thesis and publish his book was particularly remarkable, given he had to laboriously strike one typewriter key at a time, with a pencil, tipped by a band aid.

In 1976, Richard was one of the first developmental disabled residents to move into New Horizons Manor on North Broadway, built with federal funding at the urging of then mayor Herschel Lashkowitz.    Richard was a long-time advocate for independent living and frequently joined other like-minded citizens to express their views to the state legislature.  Richard was considered particularly persuasive when his brother John served as minority leader in the N.D. House of Representatives.

For the past four years,  Richard lived at Bethany Homes, first at South University Drive and then South 42nd Street.

A long-time supporter of the Freedom Resource Center For Independent Living, Richard served for many years on its board of directors.  He also was a member of the Red River Valley Handicapped Club.  Richard was a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Survivors include his sister Dorothy, Salem, NY; brothers Joseph, Arlington, VA; and Mark and Steve, both of Fargo.   He was preceded in death by his brother John and his parents Edward (“Bus”) Schneider and Mary.

That Richard would live as long and accomplish as much as he did was a testament to his Mother, who willed life into a child that most  assumed would never see adulthood.  She was his constant mentor who instilled in Richard a determination to not only survive, but succeed, giving him the will and the strength to live his life to its fullest.   Richard’s mantra was, “I will never give up!” and he, and his Mother, never did.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Richard’s life at a memorial gathering at Boulger Funeral Home between five and seven p.m., Tuesday, Mary 10th.  There will be a funeral at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo, at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. Burial will be at Holy Cross North Cemetery.

In honor of Richard, and in lieu of flowers, his family asks that any memorials be directed to The Freedom Resource Center For Independent Living, 2701, 9th Ave. SW, Fargo, ND 58103.


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0 responses to “Richard Schneider”

  1. Donald John Booth says:

    Fargo North Dakota
    I didn’t know him very well until I met him as my neighbor. I will miss him. Thank you

  2. Becky McDaniel says:

    Fargo ND
    It has been an honor to work with Richard on the 42nd street campus. He was well known by all the nursing staff. He had a great sense of humor and will be greatly missed.

  3. Lyle Thorstenson says:

    Nacogdoches TexasDear Schneider Family,

    Please accept my condolences for our loss. “Ours” because he made “our” world a better place. Clearly, Richard lived a full life and did more than most of us. May God bless you for the love and care you gave him and for the love you received from him.
    May he rest in peace.
    I wish you the best.


  4. willie and Dana cook says:

    Fargo ND
    Peace to you, Richard, you will be missed.


    I never had the pleasure of knowing Richard but reading about him was an inspiration. I’m sure he will be greatly missed by those who knew & loved him. Even as a stranger, I know his passing leaves a hole in the world.

  6. Mike Cameron says:

    Fargo ND
    Thanks Richard for your devotion to Jesus Christ. I was with you at mass on Fridays at Bethany and was impressed at your independence and your devotion.

  7. Jane Plecity says:

    Valley City ND
    I never knew Richard but my sister and her husband, the Mohs have lived next door to the John Schneiders for years. My sister just called me and after reading Richards memorial, I have such admiration for him and what a role model he should become for all of us. He is truly what all American citizens should be. A model of determination, decency and hard work. You must all be proud to have called him a brother. He is being held in Gods arms now. Peace and prayers be with your family. I work with special needs adults and it is truly one of the most rewarding experiences. Jane Plecity

  8. Monica Mohs says:

    Fargo ND
    I feel very blessed that Richard and I crossed paths in life. Heartfelt condolences to the Schneider family.

  9. Brenda Ruehl says:

    Valrico FlRichard’s challenges were many but that did not deter him from accomplishing many things. Watching him inspired me to advocate for inculsion and the right for all people to take risk and make decisions independently. We should all be as determined as he was!

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