Gary Alan Schneider
Gary Alan Schneider
  • August 10, 1944 - August 20, 2017
  • Metairie, Louisiana

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Gary Alan Schneider died on August 20, 2017 in the city he was born and loved, New Orleans. He lived a full life, was loved by many, loved many, and was a one-in-a-lifetime character.

Born on August 10, 1944 to the “two coolest parents who ever walked in shoes,” he grew up in Lakeview with his sister Sue and his brother Mark in a home that was full of life and became a hub for all the kids in the neighborhood. He graduated from Alcee Fortier High School and worked during his teenage years as a lifeguard along the New Orleans lakefront, including at Pontchartrain Beach. He often noted that “the money was not really good, but the ladies were really easy on the eyes.” He saved a few folks from drowning and was eager to perform CPR, especially if a pretty woman was on the receiving end. During one summer, he allegedly dated nine local beauty contest winners, a neighborhood record at the time.

He graduated from Tulane University in 1969 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in “fraternity,” having served as the chapter president for Sigma Pi fraternity. He described himself as “more gentleman than scholar” and was particularly adept at having a good time and organizing pranks. One of his favorites was when he placed a drunk fraternity pledge on a one-way trip to Chicago on the Spirit of New Orleans train. He was gentlemanly enough to provide the pledge with just enough money to make a single phone call home when he got to Chicago.

Following Tulane, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was in country from 1969 to 1970. He was inspired to serve by his father’s service in World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1972. He adored his fellow vets and was often involved in veterans-related causes throughout the course of his life.

Immediately prior to his discharge from the military, he married a beautiful tall blonde from New Orleans, the former Rosa Lambert, and had two children, Scott and Stephanie. He frequently described his children as the best things that ever happened to his life. He was a little league coach, cub scouts troop leader, and selflessly gave to both of his children throughout the course of his life.

He worked as a travelling salesman with a territory from Texas to Florida. He drove a white Caprice Classic with red interior and he was known by truckers throughout the Gulf South by his CB radio handle, “the Bearded Wonder.” He was a world-class raconteur and made friends everywhere he travelled.

When he was home in New Orleans, he was adept at passing a good time and loved the music and culture of the city. His food tastes were plebian, preferring a burger at Port O’ Call or a steak at Crazie Johnnie’s in Fat City to a four-course meal at Commander’s. He had a passion for the blues and New Orleans music and at one time or another haunted every music club in town. He had a particular affinity for watching the Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington at the Maple Leaf.

He was at Tulane Stadium to watch John Gilliam’s kickoff return in 1967 and Tulane beat LSU 14-0 in 1973. He was a Saints season ticket holder since the team’s inception and would often take his children and nephews to games (something he described as “child abuse” during the John Mecom era). He was giddy when Hakim dropped the ball. He was thankful Drew Brees came to New Orleans. He also wanted Tracy Porter to know he died a happy man, in part, because Tracy made those two interceptions. Garrett Hartley, he wanted to thank you as well for hitting that field goal against the Vikings. While he did not revel in others’ misfortune, he took a special glee in watching the Falcons lose the Super Bowl despite leading 28-3 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

He was at the first Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970 and attended every year after that (never missing an opportunity to mention how much ticket prices had increased). He was in a very small group of people who attended the first French Quarter Festival and attended thereafter every year (never missing an opportunity to mention how big the crowds had gotten). He had a season pass to the 1984 World’s Fair and mentioned that Ray Charles’ performance at the amphitheater was the best live show he ever saw. If there was a festival in New Orleans, he was there (which had become acutely time consuming the last several years).

He loved Mardi Gras and in 1983 broke an unofficial record for most Mardi Gras parades attended with children in a single parade season, 27. He was an active member in the world’s greatest and oldest Mardi Gras marching group, the Jefferson City Buzzards, having served as Grand Marshall and in various officer positions. As an aside, he wanted it to be known that he viewed male marching groups with choreographed dance routines as an abomination.

He is survived by two children (Scott and Stephanie Schneider), three grandchildren (Emily, Jacob, and David Schneider) and two siblings (Sue Smith and Mark Schneider). He was one of a kind, absolutely irreplaceable, and will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

A service will be held at Lake Lawn Funeral Home on Friday, September 1st from 12 – 2PM to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation in his name.

To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit .