Stanley M. Schneider
Stanley M. Schneider
  • January 2, 1926 - September 16, 2015
  • Sugar Land, Texas

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Leopold Selman Baer passed away on September 15, 2015 at the age of 88. Leop was born in Monroe, Louisiana on September 17, 1926 to Selma and Adrian Baer. Selma died when Leop was an infant, and Leop's first five years were spent with his grandmother, Caroline Steinau Baer and his father. When Leop was six years old, his father married Doris Wertheimer and they moved to Houston. Doris and Adrian had Richard Baer, Leop's brother. Adrian died in 1942, and Doris lovingly raised Leop and Richard. Leop graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1943 and began college at Texas A&M. He graduated from University of Texas in 1947 with a bachelor of business administration. Then he was drafted into the U.S. Navy and became a supply officer stationed in China. When he completed his military service, he returned to Houston. His friend and fraternity brother, Mickey Spolane, and Mickey's father Henry offered Leop a job at Sterling Electronics. After beginning work at Sterling, Leop married the love of his life, Minna Friedlander, on December 17, 1950 in Houston and they honeymooned in New Orleans and Biloxi.
Minna and Leop had two children, Adrian ("Ardie") in 1953 and Melanie in 1955. Leop welcomed fatherhood and delighted in Indian guide campouts and meetings with Ardie. He advanced in his career to the position of controller of Sterling. He and Minna took the kids on a lengthy car trip to Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the summer of 1960. In 1961, Melanie was diagnosed with terminal kidney failure at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Melanie needed a kidney transplant and despite Leop's concerns, Minna agreed to donate her kidney. The transplant was performed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts on November 22, 1963 and was the first known mother to daughter kidney transplant in medical history. Leop, his brother Richard, and his brother's wife Judy took care of Ardie in Houston, while Minna and Minna's mother Reba took care of Melanie in Boston. Melanie survived until July 29, 1967.
After Melanie's death, Leop and Minna set out to rejuvenate their already strong marriage. He encouraged Minna to return to work in the Sakowitz fine jewelry department. He was promoted to financial vice president, executive vice president and ultimately president of Sterling. He also served as a trustee of Congregation Beth Israel and as a member of the ritual and music and cemetery committees. He and Minna maintained their friendships with a large circle of friends from high school, college, and later life, and their friends became like family. Leop took up bicycling and rode in the MS150 for a number of years. He was elected to the boards of the Jewish Family Service and Seven Acres Jewish Home for the Aged. After his retirement, he volunteered with the Children's Art Project at M.D. Anderson Hospital. He and Minna built their second home in the Sea Isle subdivision of Galveston in 1981 and rebuilt it after Hurricane Alicia in 1983. They spent many happy weekends there while beachcombing, fishing, swimming and watching sunsets.
Minna and Leop celebrated the marriage of Ardie and Lisa on December 29, 1979 and the births of their beloved grandchildren, Melissa and their twins, Gigi and Jenna. After Minna passed away in 2011, some of Leop's fondest memories were going out to new restaurants with Melissa and playing scrabble with Gigi, Jenna, and Ardie.
Leop was predeceased by his parents, Melanie, his inlaws Reba and Leon Friedlander, Minna, Richard, and his brother in law, Jack Friedlander. Leop is survived by Ardie, Lisa, Melissa, Jenna, and Gigi, his sister in law Judy Baer, Judy's sons, Arlen and Cary, Minna's sister in law, Judy Friedlander and her children Lisa Kinney and Steven Friedlander and their families, and Leop's first cousin Caroline Masur of Lafayette, Louisiana. The family thanks Dr. Anita Major and Dr. Patrick Herlihy, and Liliana Montes, Mayang Bitaseme, and William Parker and the other members of the staff at Brookdale Galleria for their wonderful care of Leop during his later years.
Leop's funeral was held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at the Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery mausoleum at 1207 West Dallas, Houston, Texas. Rabbi David Lyon officiated.