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Jackie Schneider passed away peacefully on April 8th 2014 in the presence of her loving family; husband Randy and sons Patrick and Erik. Jackie was born March 30th 1952 in Washington State and immediately adopted by Jack and Lois Hill in Spokane, Washington. A second daughter, Janice, was born just over a year later completing the family. Jackie attended school in Spokane graduating from Ferris High School in 1970. She attended the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in elementary education and a minor in German. She later earned a Masters in Literacy from Washington State University and her Administrator's Credentials for the State of Washington.

Jackie was a kind and loving parent and a wonderful wife. She taught school in the Pasco and Kennewick districts for 25 years until Alzheimer's Disease forced her to retire. Teaching was not only her occupation, it was her passion and calling. In her career she touched more lives than we will ever know. Many of her former students would insist on reintroducing themselves and thanking her for the dedication. In her career she taught nearly every grade, from kindergarten through high school, and loved the challenge, no matter the age of her students. Jackie did more than just teach children; she also chose to spend three years mentoring new teachers, advising them, helping them when they were overwhelmed, and passing her passion on to them. The thought of retiring had never entered her mind, and being forced to do so at an early age pained her deeply.

Jackie loved travel and took the opportunity whenever possible both before and after her diagnosis. She visited Europe several times to spend time with our oldest son Patrick and crossing the mountains as often as possible to visit Erik, his wife Jennifer, and son Ryan, now 4 years old. Sadly the advanced stage of her illness did not allow her to get to know her granddaughter Annabelle who was born this January. In all of her travels she loved the Island of Maui the most.

Jackie lived her life with integrity, honesty and had an incredible inner strength. You always knew where you stood with her but she was also a loving, kind and forgiving person. She faced her death the same way she did her life with tenacity and grace few could match. She left this life on her own terms and while we will never know for sure if it were by her design she somehow stayed with us until our family was assembled.

The family has opted not to have a public service. Her remains will travel to Maui Memorial Park to wait for her husband to join her someday. Friends who feel compelled to honor her life are asked to consider a donation to the Benton Franklin Humane Society in consideration of her deep love of animals, or to the Neurological Research Center to help fund the fight against Alzheimer's in lieu of flowers.

Published in Tri-City Herald on Apr. 13, 2014
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