George L. Schneider, 74, aerospace engineer

volunteer (George L. Schneider,)
Posted: March 24, 2012

George L. Schneider, 74, of Springfield, Delaware County, a retired GE aerospace engineer and church volunteer, died of leukemia Wednesday, March 21, at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Schneider grew up in West Philadelphia. While still in eighth grade, he got a job as a carpenter's helper making window valences, and he delivered milk by horse and wagon while attending St. Thomas More High School.

In his senior year, he designed and built a scale model of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre that was featured on the cover of the school's magazine.

After graduating in 1955, he was a carpenter at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In 1956, he became an apprentice draftsman at General Electric and enrolled in the engineering program in the evening school of what is now Drexel University.

In 1959, he married his childhood sweetheart, Sally Martin. The couple had four children by the time he earned a bachelor's degree from Drexel in 1965.

Upon graduating, he advanced from draftsman to design engineer in the Reentry Systems Division of GE. He was involved in numerous U.S. missile and satellite programs and traveled frequently to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to participate in weapons testing.

Throughout his career at GE, he received numerous awards and commendations for exceptional performance, his family said. He retired in 1993.

A resident of Springfield since 1972, Mr. Schneider was a former member of the Parish Council of St. Francis Assisi Church. He was a former moderator of parish Catholic Youth Organization programs and was a fixture at CYO football and basketball games, track meets, and One Act Plays for nearly two decades, his family said.

He designed and built a children's game room for the St. Francis annual Christmas Bazaar. The manger he built for the parish school's Christmas show is still in use.

Over the years, Mr. Schneider completed numerous home-improvement projects, stripping and restoring the oak windows, handrails, doors and trim, and hammering, sawing, and measuring until late into the evening, his children said in a tribute.

His hobbies included model trains, outdoor Christmas displays, caring for his lawn and pool, watching movies, baking raisin bread, and tinkering in his garage and basement. He and his wife were known for their "unique style of jitterbug dancing and were the highlight on the dance floor" at family celebrations, their children said.

For their 50th anniversary, the couple traveled to Ireland, their ancestral home.

Besides his wife, Mr. Schneider is survived by sons Chip, Thomas, James, and Paul; daughters Mary Ann Gibbons, Sally, and Elizabeth; two brothers; and 18 grandchildren.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 25, and from 9 a.m. until a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 26, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 136 Saxer Ave., Springfield.

Donations may be made to Delaware County Regional Cancer Center, 501 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill, Pa. 19026.

Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or

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