Rev. James Otto Schneider, son of Otto Frederick and Leona Oberle Schneider was born on July 27, 1927 in Weldon Spring, Missouri and died in Houston, Texas on August 3, 2013 at the age of 86 years. Visitation will be at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX on Thursday evening, August 8, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The funeral will be held in the Memorial Oaks Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. followed by a graveside service at Memorial Oaks Cemetery|
James attended a one-room elementary school in Weldon Spring, MO and Francis Howell High School in St. Charles County, MO. He graduated from Elmhurst College and then entered Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, MO. His thesis was titled "The Soul Cries Out in the Book of Psalms."
Jim loved baseball! He was third baseman for his college baseball team and spent his summers playing with Dardeene Missouri's team in the East Missouri Hardroad League. He also organized and managed the baseball team at Eden Seminary. Singing in the Glee Club at Elmhurst College was also something he enjoyed.
In 1951 James married Lydia B. Fritz. He referred to this event as "one of the very most important happenings" in his life.
Jim was ordained into the Christian Ministry in 1952 at his home church, Emmanuel Evangelical & Reformed Church in Weldon Spring, MO. He served as pastor of the following churches: St. Paul's E&R Church in Blackburn, MO (1952-1954), Church of the Cross in Midwest City, OK (1954-1955), Zion E&R Church in Oklahoma City, OK (1955-1962) and First Evangelical/Central Congregational Church in Houston, TX (1965-1975), where he was elected Pastor Emeritus. After training at the Institute of Religion he served in the chaplaincy departments at several hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. With the support of the First Evangelical congregation Rev. Schneider pioneered a "Program of Clinical Pastoral Education in the Parish Setting" and was honored by being named a Life Member in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Jim received his Master of Sacred Theology degree from Southern Methodist University in 1968. In addition to serving as a parish pastor, he was the chaplain for the Houston Police Officers' Association for nearly a decade. Later in life Jim Schneider's interest in helping people led him to become a life insurance agent, serving his clients for thirty years. He also continued to serve as a guest minister at a variety of churches.
In the mid-1970's Jim cut down pine trees, then split and notched them, and with the help of family and friends built a log cabin at his tree farm near Warren, TX. Building the cabin and working with his trees were some of the best times of his life!
Jim said, "I am grateful to have had these significant experiences during my lifetime which were made possible by the goodness and graciousness of God Almighty who is my Maker, Sustainer, and Lord of Life and Death and Life Eternal."
James O. Schneider was preceded in death by his son, Philip Allen Schneider and granddaughter Laura Marie Hanley. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Lydia; daughters Patti Hebson and husband Harold of Fort Worth, TX; Jeannie King and husband Craig of Longview, TX; and Mary Hanley; as well as seven grandchildren: Philip Hebson, Elicia McGarry and husband Sean, Amy Geppert and husband Scott, Alan King, and Samuel, Timothy and Benjamin Hanley; great-grandson Riley McGarry; and his sister Grace Reynolds and her family in Phoenix, AZ.
The family wishes to thank everyone who cared for and supported Jim. Contributions in his memory may be made to St. John's Presbyterian Church 5020 West Bellfort Avenue, Houston, TX 77035; The Bonhoeffer House 1311 Holman Avenue, Houston, TX 77004 or the
Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 6, 2013