Peter Kurt Schneider, 83, of Marysville passed away peacefully on Friday, July 27, 2018, with his family by his side.
Peter was born on July 10, 1935, to a German family in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea, and he had life- long allegiance to his birthplace. He was the first-born child of Kurt and Anna Schneider and was soon joined by his siblings Karin, Klaus and Ute. For many years, he also lived with his beloved maternal grandmother, Omi, about whom he later wrote in his memoir. During the horrific years of World War II, when his family fled the Russian invasion, Omi was the force that held his family together. He knew she had saved all of their lives more than once, and he felt she was the kindest and most wonderful person he had ever met.
When he was just 17, to support his family, he worked for two years as a coal miner in the town of Baesweiler, Germany, a perilous job where he faced explosions and injuries and ended each 12-hour day covered head to toe in coal dust. He later studied for his journeyman carpenter's certificate and in 1957, was sponsored by his aunt, Omi's sister, to immigrate to the United States. He was proud to be hired by the United Carpenters and Joiners of America in Flushing and soon sponsored most of the rest of his family, who also immigrated.
In 1959, Peter fell in love with Rosmarie ,"Rosel", to whom he was married for 9 years, prior to her untimely death in 1968. Shortly after their marriage, he enlisted in the United States Army and served from 1960-1962. He strongly felt that he owed his service to the wonderful country that had taken him in and that his service is what made him an American. After completing Basic Training at Fort Dix, he was assigned to the 97th Signal Battalion in Boeblingen, Germany. He proudly carried the company's guidon and, because of his fluency in both English and German, was selected to work as an interpreter, primarily in courts martial.
After his service, he returned to New York and, in 1963, moved his family to Teaneck, New Jersey, where he spent many hours renovating their home and enjoying his woodworking hobby. He again worked for the Carpenter's Union in Flushing and worked on the World's Fair and later the World Trade Center.
On Oct 1, 1969, he married Ingrid Nitschke, who became the mother to his three children, his loyal companion as he marched to his own drummer, and ultimately his tireless caregiver.
In 1979, Peter and Ingrid moved with their teenage children to Seattle, where Peter and Ingrid worked as apartment managers in Lynnwood, Bellevue and Federal Way. In 1985, Peter and Ingrid fulfilled a dream of moving to Alaska, where they worked as apartment managers in Fairbanks for 18 years. They retired in 2003, settling in Marysville.
Peter loved history, photography and travel and, in his retirement, he and Ingrid traveled to Germany, Tahiti, New Guinea, Mexico and Peru. Peter was the president of the German Club in Fairbanks and was awarded the prestigious Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany - for his service. In Marysville, he and Ingrid were members of the Marysville Historical Society and volunteered at the Tourist Information Center.
Peter was predeceased by his wife, Rosmarie (Amerkamp) Schneider and his brother, Klaus Schneider. He is survived by his wife, Ingrid (Nitschke) Schneider of Marysville; his children Krimhild (Daniel) Berard of Cobleskill, NY; Kirk (Michelle) Schneider of Tucson, AZ; Monica (Steven) Pascuzzi of Rochester, NY and his grandchildren: Monica, Nicholas, Kari, Alexander, Sophia, Spencer and Olivia. He is also survived by his sisters, Karin (Lutz) Goesser of Saranac Lake, NY and Ute Grandia of Shokan, NY, along with many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.