Mary and George Schneider loved attending events together, everything from Phillies games to Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, from helping out at their church to dining all around Center City.
“They were incredibly close,” said daughter Marylee Sauder. “They had very similar interests. They did everything together except for work. They had a 17-game [ticket] plan for the Phillies, and they had a season-ticket plan for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the opera and the chamber music society."
The Schneiders, married for 63 years, died three days apart — Mary, 91, on Friday, April 24, and George, 88, on Monday, April 27 — from complications related to the coronavirus. They lived in Northeast Philadelphia.
“They were very supportive,” their daughter said. “As a child growing up in Philadelphia, I was a competitive figure skater, and my sister [Jean] was a competitive pianist, so they were just incredibly dedicated to taking us everywhere we needed to be for our activities."
Mrs. Schneider, a graduate of Kensington High School, lived in Mexico City for 10 years as a child after her mother died before returning to Philadelphia to live with her father. She returned to Mexico as an adult with her church and was proud to be the trip interpreter. She visited again late in life.
“For Mom’s 80th birthday, my sister and I took her and Dad to Mexico City, so that was really fun,” Sauder said. “We stayed in a B&B in Mexico City. She remembered parks and churches and things about her childhood.”
After working part-time at a physician’s office near where she lived, Mrs. Schneider took a job as a bookkeeper for a financial adviser in Center City and helped run his office. She would get dropped off by her husband at the Holmesburg station every day and take the train in. She stayed for almost 30 years, working into her mid-80s.
Mr. Schneider graduated from Frankford High School, and received a bachelor’s degree from Drexel University and a master’s from Temple University. He taught business for more than 35 years at Mastbaum Vocational/Technical High School.
During baseball season, he was particularly devoted to the Phillies, keeping score at every game he attended and laying out the rules for those who accompanied him.
“He was an old-school baseball fan,” his daughter said. “You had to be in your seat before the first pitch. Unless you needed to use the bathroom, you didn’t get up from your seat until the game was over. It didn’t matter when that was. We have pictures of him in blankets and rain gear, and my sister has one where it’s freezing on Sept. 30, and he’s the only one in his section at Citizens Bank Park.”
Mr. Schneider also was a “witty conversationalist,” according to his daughter, bringing a smile to anyone he met. She and her sister loved the letters he used to write them after they moved away from Philadelphia.
The Schneiders each had a real curiosity, their daughter said, and loved to ask questions. When they attended coffee hours at First Presbyterian Church in Center City, “they were always the last ones to leave,” she said.
In addition to their daughters, the couple are survived by two grandchildren.