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OBIT: William “Bill” Schneider, 81, of Colwell

This news story was published on June 9, 2020.
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William “Bill” Schneider, 81, of Colwell, passed away Monday, June 8, 2020 at his home.
According to Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a later date.

William James Schneider was born in Mason City, Iowa, on January 26, 1939, the son of William Woodrow Schneider and Loretta DeMar Schneider. As a child, Bill was very close to his maternal grandparents. Bill tells that, when he was a teenager, his grandfather drove up from Greene and let Bill drive them back to Greene even though Bill did not have a driver’s license.

Bill’s parents moved frequently, living in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Oregon. He attended about 12 different schools. His favorite school was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the last one before Charles City where he graduated in 1958. Bill married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Kay Adams, on June 20, 1959, in Charles City. They settled in Colwell with plans to move to St. Paul and continue their educations that fall. But their plans changed when his father was killed in a plane crash. Bill, at the age of 20, suddenly found himself the sole supporter of his wife, his mother, and his four young sisters. He took over his father’s business, Schneider Furnace, and ran it until his increasing pain and disability forced him to retire.
He was a man of great natural mathematical and mechanical ability. He formed all of the sheet metal for his furnace and air conditioning installations. He took pride in being able to completely replace a furnace in one day when cold weather required it. For a couple of years he had a back hoe and did tiling and rock burying. He ran a welding and sickle repair shop another few years. These were in addition to his heating and air conditioning work. He twice built a “doodlebug”, a hydraulic powered end loader, from an old car engine and frame. He and his “doodlebug” volunteered a couple of weeks clearing streets in Charles City after the tornado of 1968. He bought a lathe and learned to make furniture under the tutelage of his father-in-law, Charles F. Adams.
Life changed again in 1969 when his only child, a son, Andrew James Schneider was born. Two years later, Bill began construction of a new home in Colwell. He did all the work, with the help of friends and Mr. Adams.

When he had a hobby, he threw himself into it entirely. For a time it was square dancing, and he was a good dancer. Then he expanded on a youthful hobby of model airplanes. He built and flew radio controlled airplanes, often in competitions where he was often the winner. He loved to fish, especially in Canada. He took his family tent camping for many years until he built a small travel trailer for them.

Bill was a man of honor. He served as the marshal in Colwell for two years. He loved and cared for his wife and son. He took responsibility for a widowed aunt in her last years. He was good to his in-laws and helped them when possible. Because of his failing health, Bill was not able to travel, but he enjoyed Andy’s visits and loved to play with his dogs.

Living family members include his loving wife of nearly 61 years, Sharon Schneider; son, Andrew Schneider; sisters: R. Marie (Mark) Keeney of Center Point, Texas, Marjorie, (John) Richardson of Mason City, and Shirley Schneider of Mason City; and many nieces and nephews.

He was pre-deceased by his parents, William and Loretta (DeMar) Schneider and his sister, Linda (John) Albright.

Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, 1205 South Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616 is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall for the family at

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