1919 - February 20, 2009
Longtime Craig resident Dr. Leo Schneider died Feb. 20, 2009, in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
There will be a celebration of life party in June in Leo's honor. It will be a chance for all of his friends and family to get together and remember Leo and his life.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Schneider, daughter Anna Mae Seely, daughter Deborah Schneider Pollok, granddaughter Amanda Barbee, grandson Alexander Polk and two great-grandchildren, Anthony Barbee and Katlin Barbee.
Leo was born Feb. 1, 1919, in Pueblo. He grew up in Salida.
In 1935, while attending high school in Salida, Leo was an all-state tackle on the Salida High School football team that also produced two undefeated state championship teams. He attended the University of Colorado, where he lettered as a freshman on the CU football team in 1936.
While at CU, Leo played football with Bryon "Whizzer" White, who later became a Supreme Court Justice. He also was on the CU wrestling team and won a wrestling crown.
After graduation, Leo attended the University of Missouri and obtained a doctor of dental surgery degree. He was a captain on a Navy ship in World War II and, during his service, witnessed the Bikini Atomic Bombs experiments.
On Jan. 11, 1948, Leo married Ruth Wiseman.
Later that same year, Leo and Ruth Schneider moved to Craig, where he opened his dental office. Leo's main love was practicing dentistry, but he made time to contribute to the community of Craig.
He was instrumental in getting the city water fluroridated in 1951, which led to a dramatic reduction of cavities in Craig. He served on the Dental Advisory Committee at Rangely College for four years. He helped get the Rangely College Dental Hygiene Course accredited with the American Dental Association.
Leo was a past president of the Craig Chamber of Commerce and served on The Memorial Hospital staff for 27 years as a dental surgeon. He helped get the hospital fully accredited with the American Hospital Association. He served as a board member of the Colorado Dental Association and as a member of the Craig City Council.
He later was the Exalted Ruler of the Craig Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, District Deputy of the Elks, state president of the Colorado Elks Association, state chairman of the Elks Laradon Hall fund drive, and he also started the state highway safety program for the Elks.
He was a member of the Masons. He started Huck Finn Fishing Day for the Craig Elks Club in 1951. He was president of the Northwest Colorado Shrine Club. He also was the president of the Craig Kiwanis Club and lieutenant governor of Kiwanis' district seven.
Leo worked and donated for the Craig golf course at the start. He helped get the Craig Swimming Pool built for the community. He also was awarded a lifetime membership to the Shrine El Jebel Temple and the American Dental Association.
Leo served on the Yampa Valley Electric Association board for 27 years, including two years as president of the board, and two years as chairman of the board.
He was a director of the Colorado Rule Electric Association, director of the Western United Election Supply Corporation and a past member of the D.A.V. American Legion Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Leo had a positive "can-do" personality that enabled him to be a tireless worker and to accomplish a tremendous amount of good deeds for Craig and Moffat County.
Leo often gave free dental work to children and would trade services for goods for those who could not afford cash.
His love of fishing and hunting was well-known, and he was rarely unsuccessful when in the field. Leo's sense of humor and unlimited store of jokes helped lift many a public function and party.
Leo has a long, accomplished life, and few have touched as many lives in such a fun, loving, helpful and positive way.