Donald “Don” Joseph Schneider was born on October 17, 1938 to Edwin and Dorothy (Fletcher) Schneider in Breckenridge, Minnesota. He graduated from Breckenridge High School in June 1956, and after a short stint in the Navy with a medical discharge, began working at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M). There, he was affectionately known as “Schnoz,” and worked for 40 years, until he retired. Don was married to Judith (Judy) Ryder on June 3, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Menomonie, WI. Don and Judy started their family and had four children, Carl, Andy, Anne, and Tim, in St. Paul, MN before moving to Ellsworth, WI (God’s country) in 1970. Judy passed away in 1983; Don remained in the same house until 2012. Don met Corene Besetzny in 2010 as a silver lining of Carl’s illness, and they were married on September 8, 2012. Corene (and their two cats) brought so much joy to his life, and she is “just a peach” and a blessing to the entire Schneider family. Don passed away peacefully on February 11, 2021 after a short illness.
Don loved his family more than anything and was always proud to share that he was the third oldest of seventeen children. In Don’s own words, his parents taught him to value faith, love, charity, honesty, and hard work. All who knew Don knew that he exemplified each of these values. Regardless of whether you knew him for 50 years or five minutes, you walked away from the conversation as family. Don loved to play cribbage and euchre, hunt deer and turkeys, cut firewood, tend a garden, have a cold one with the boys, and drink an occasional brandy manhattan. He was an exceptionally gifted storyteller, always speaking with a toothpick in his mouth and showing up with cheese curds in tow everywhere he went.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Dorothy; wife, Judy; siblings, Mary Louise (Tootie), John, Chuck, Thomas, Mary; and his son, Carl. He is survived by his wife, Corene; siblings, Patty, Carol, Richard, Bonnie, Jean, Wanda, Margaret, Nick, Paul, Kevin, and Terry; children Andy (Pam), favorite daughter Anne (Bob), and Tim (Angie); four grandchildren Justin (Amy) Schneider, Danielle (Brock) Hudak, Gabby Schneider, & Tabitha (Ryan) Meyer; four (soon to be five) great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Don was also an ‘adoptive’ father and grandfather to many (you know who you are).
A service will be held Friday, April 30th at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, WI with a reception to follow at Ridgetop in Prescott, WI. Further details will be updated and available on the funeral home website closer to that date. Arrangements entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home, Ellsworth, WI. 715-273-4421 www.oconnellbenedict.com