She championed causes for better education. That is how family and friends are recalling 91-year-old Pilar Monroe Schneider this week.
Schneider died from a stroke on Monday at the home in Pacifica she shared with her daughter April Schneider and April’s husband Matt Farley. She had returned to Pacifica about a year and a half ago after living with her son and daughter-in-law, John and Patty Schneider, in Woodland Hills for the last decade.
Born Feb. 19, 1929, her early happy childhood as a U.S. citizen in the Philippines ended suddenly and tragically when two of her brothers died at the hands of Japanese troops who occupied the country during World War II. There was never enough to eat, family says. With her mother and sisters, Schneider sewed pajamas from bedsheets to trade the farmers for sweet potatoes. After the war, she paid for college with money she and her sister Rose found buried by the Japanese in a cave under some hand grenades.
She earned a bachelor degree at University of Santa Thomas in the Philippines. She came to California at age 19 and earned a master’s degree as a reading specialist at San Francisco State University. She met her husband to be, Marvin Schneider, in San Francisco when they were both heading their community day care center.
They were married 41 years, settling in Pacifica since 1959 until Marvin’s death in 2000. He was a Realtor and one-time president of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors.
Pilar Schneider’s 25-year teaching career in Pacifica began as a kindergarten teacher, then as a reading specialist. She remembered every student she ever had, friends say, and enjoyed meeting up with them and catching up with their lives. After retiring from teaching, she served eight years on the Pacifica School District board, including one year as board president. She was instrumental in hiring Michele Garside as a superintendent who led the district and to choose the architect to remodel the school buildings. She campaigned to pass a facilities bond.
She ran the Rob Schneider Music Foundation for 15 years, founded by her well-known comedian son, who recalled a time in his youth when music and the arts were part of the curriculum before budget cuts. She made sure music teachers and music programs were restored to the PSD schools.
She belonged to the Screen Actors Guild, appearing with her son Rob, an actor, comedian and television writer, in “Deuce Bigalow – Male Gigolo,” “The Animal,” “The Hot Chick,” “Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo” and “Big Stan.” She played a nurse on “Restoration,” a role secured for her by her son John, a producer and manager. She finished her last commercial at age 90.
Daughter April said they enjoyed a nice family dinner together on that last evening and celebrated New Year’s Eve.
“She was weak, but things were going pretty well,” April Schneider said. “She was frustrated by the COVID restrictions. She was dancing hula at age 90 with a group at the Pacifica Community Center.”
She loved visiting the beach and watching surfers and the sunsets, taking in the sea breeze.
“She lived a very full and wonderful life,” said her son John, “She was at peace. She told April, ‘Don’t worry. I’m going home.’ It’s a sad time but it’s a joy to have her reach the end of her life.”
Pilar’s survivors are son Stanley Schneider, daughter April Schneider, married to Matt Farley, grandson Sean Meagher married to Connie Meagher, granddaughter Crystal Farley (Lawton) with two daughters Koko and Melina, son John Schneider married to Patty Schneider with children Ashley Jacobson, married to Andrew, children Ryder and Willa, Alexandria Goza, married to Blake with children Finn and Asia Hubble, married to David with one child, Greysen, son Robert, with daughter Elle King, married to Patricia Maya with two daughters, Pilar’s granddaughters, Miranda and Madeline and stepsister Linda Schneider, whose son Marc Beauchamp have Pilar’s great-grandchildren Sean and Megan Beauchamp, and by granddaughter Amy Cancela, married to Jose with a son Mateo. Pilar is also survived by her elder sister Rose Formoso and her sister-in-law Lenice Schneider as well as countless nephews and nieces spanning across the United States, the Philippines, Asia and Europe. Her husband Marvin Schneider died before her.
Services will be private. The family suggests donations to honor her to PSD or the Rob Schneider Music Foundation, 375 Reina del Mar Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044