Roland (Rollie) Erwin Schneider 63, of Watertown, WI died after a 22-year battle with congestive heart failure on Friday, October 12, 2018. He remained a proud and courageous Marine up until the end.
Rollie was born on February 14, 1955 in Scotia, CA the son of Albrecht Erwin Lothar and Beverly Jean (Liles) Schneider. He was a 1973 graduate of Watertown High School.
He enlisted with the United States Marine Corps April 4, 1974 and was honorably discharged on April 4, 1977 as Lance Corporal. He was stationed at Marine Barracks 8th & I Washington, D.C., the oldest post of the Marine Corps. Service awards include: Navy Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal Ribbon, and M16 Rifle Sharp Shooter. He then enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1979 and was honorably discharged October 13, 1987 as Sargent. Service awards include: Army Presidential Unit Citation Military Ribbon (with bronze oak leaf cluster), Army Reserve Components Achievement Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with 2 numeral), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training (with 1 numeral), Wisconsin National Guard Write (Perfect Attendance) Award Ribbon (with 5 numeral), two WI National Guard Recruiting Outstanding Support Awards as a Specialist and as a Sargent, Certificate of Achievement from the 32nd (SEP) Infantry Brigade (MECH) Reforger 1986, and “Expert” rating with the National Rifle Team.
Rollie held civilian positions at 7 Up Bottling Company, Wis-Pak, Inc., Bresse Blu Cheese Factory, City of Watertown Recycling Center, Target Distribution Center, and he finished his career at Walmart Distribution Center in Beaver Dam, WI.
Rollie is survived by: his mother; baby brother, James Schneider; the mother of his children, Elizabeth (Beth) Laurie (Lang) Schneider; daughter, Sonia (Sunny) Mae Schneider; step-daughter, Miranda MaGee (Schneider) Weston; and three step-grandchildren who affectionately called him “Big Grandpa.”
He is preceded in death by his infant son, Waylon Lang Schneider; his father; and his younger brother, Ronald Gene Schneider, who passed from cancer in the morning of October 12, roughly thirteen hours before his big brother. Both Ron and Rollie are wished lasting peace in this next journey together.
Message from Sunny: Dad – I miss more than anything hearing you say, “Oh, hi love” as I walk through the door. Miss seeing the pride on your face when you’d tell strangers I was “in the Army, too,” just like you. Miss you leaning down so I could kiss your cheek goodbye. Miss seeing you tenderly nurture your beloved roses and flower garden. Miss seeing your weathered, strong hands hard at work. Miss your ridiculous, quirky, and, often times, inappropriate humor. Miss listening to our favorite classic rock and blues music together. Miss how big and often you dreamed. I even miss the temper that you have gifted to me. Do you know how much I love you? I didn’t get to tell you at the end, so I worry. So much of my strength, grit, and loyalty is you, but so is my depth and capacity for feeling. I am proud and honored to call you my dad. Always. SEMPER FI.
Message from Beth: They say time heals all things, I think that a few people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and they are never, ever forgotten. I met Rollie when I was 4 years old and he was 6. Our souls made a connection that was never broken. Loving him was harder than anything I’ll ever do again, but he is interwoven in the fabric of my life. Dear Rollie – Go find your happy place. Be with those you love who have passed before you. Go find our son. Walk in the hills and valleys hunting with your dogs Hans, Jake, and Gunner. Feel the sun on your face with no stopping to catch your breath. Go to Maui and relive every precious memory. See the Beartooth Highway from the view of the stars. I promise to love you the rest of my life. I will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge. Your friend through this journey, from start to finish, Beth.
In accordance with Rollie’s final wishes, a ceremony and visitation with full military rites will be held at the Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home in Watertown on Friday, October 19, 2018. Visitation will be held from 4:00PM until 7:00PM with the ceremony starting at 7:00PM. Please join the family as we celebrate and honor Rollie’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations and condolences may be sent to the funeral home and those will be forwarded to Rollie’s daughter, Sunny Schneider.