Leo Richard Schneider, age 95, of Ames, died Monday, January 18, 2021 at Northcrest Community.
Born February 5, 1925, in Rock Island, Illinois, Leo was the son of Lawrence and Theresa (Oertel) Schneider. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1942 and began studies at Iowa State College. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 and served in the Pacific theater during WWII. He subsequently attended officer training at the University of Nebraska but returned to Iowa State in 1946, where he met his enduring sweetheart, Betty Landkamer. At Iowa State, Leo was tapped into Cardinal Key honorary, served as chapter president of Delta Upsilon fraternity, and was a starter on the basketball team (earning varsity letters at both Iowa State and University of Nebraska). He graduated from Iowa State in 1949.
Leo and Betty were married on June 18, 1949, in Madison, Wisconsin. Following a summer-long honeymoon working in Glacier National Park, he continued his education at Washington State College, completing his master’s. Leo and Betty remained 15 years in Washington, where Leo taught and coached and their six children were born. In 1964 they moved to Ames, where Leo was a Professor in Physical Education at Iowa State University until his retirement in 1990.
Leo’s life centered around faith and family. He was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus. He delighted in gifting the fruits of his labors, whether furniture he built or refinished or fresh flowers and vegetables from his pristine yard and garden. In their retirement, Leo and Betty traveled together from coast to coast, preferably by train, to visit family, attend Elderhostels, or hike in Glacier Park. Leo loved to regale anyone who would listen with tales of his rough-and-tumble youth in Rock Island, earlier years of Cyclone basketball, rural life in the Pacific Northwest, and countless other adventures — often with Betty admonishing, “Oh, Leo, they’ve heard that one!”
Leo is survived by his wife of 71 years, Betty, and six children and spouses: Mark (Meg) of Boise, ID; Carl (Christine) of Dallas, OR; Larry of Silverton, OR; Frank (Gaynelle) of Thornton, CO; Martha (Jim) Fifield of Des Moines; and Paul (Adele) of Des Moines. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Aaron (Milana) Schneider, Beth (Jared) Schneider-Coulter, Matthew Schneider, Anna Schneider, Elizabeth Schneider, Joseph Schneider, Tara (Stan) Sorenson, Audrey (Caleb) Spear, Rachel Ingram, Amber Schneider, Lindsey (Brian) Jungman, Emily Fifield (Karn Shah), John (Fidencio) Fifield-Perez, Joel Schneider, and Rachel Schneider; 14 great grandchildren; and brother-in-law James Landkamer. Leo is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Helen; brother, Carol; and grandson Benjamin Schneider.
A funeral mass and celebration will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Leo’s name may be directed to Iowans for Life or Glacier Park Foundation.
Sincere thanks to the Northcrest staff for their kind and compassionate care.
Memorial contributions in honor of Leo may also be directed to the Northcrest Foundation, 1801 20th Street, Ames, Iowa 50010.