Pauline “Polly” Schneider, 94, died on Oct. 8 at Riverbend Assisted Living in Great Bend, Kan. She was born Dec. 1, 1926 to Thomas and Hazel McDonald of Barton County in their home on the Santa Fe Trail. She married Lawrence Schneider on Aug. 11, 1945 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho after Lawrence finished his service to the United States Marine Corps during WWII. The two returned to Kansas to build a home and family. Her husband named her his “Domestic Engineer” in a poem about the love and care she devoted to family, farm, and home. A true farm wife, Polly could whip up a hearty meal in the morning for lunch and be out on a tractor in the afternoon. Her grandchildren can recall many a ride in wheat trucks and stops along dirt roads to deliver lemonade and cookies during wheat harvest.
Polly loved the land and its history, and her contributions to learning, recording, and passing down both extend far beyond her stories around the table. As a lifetime resident of Barton County, Polly was an active member and leader in the Fort Zarah Club for 63 years. She was a volunteer, contributor, and lifetime member of the Barton County Historical Society and Museum. Through the years she was also a member of South Bend Township Club, Santa Fe Trail Association, PTA president, and even a Campfire Girl Leader. Most recently, Polly was inducted into the Daughters of the American Revolution, Smoky Hill Chapter along with her two daughters, five granddaughters, and four great-granddaughters. She received the Sons of the American Revolution Medal of Appreciation, Martha Washington Medal, and Daughters of Liberty Medal for referring ten members to the Son of the American Revolution-her sons, four grandsons, and four great-grandsons. Two great-grandchildren were also inducted into Children of the American Revolution.
Polly’s home was always filled with good food, family, and friends. Her hobbies and interests in history helped fill her home with numerous collections of items from the past, most notably her antique irons. Polly literally had a collection for every letter, A to Z and could tell you the origin, purpose, and history of each piece. The bustling farmyard outside was host to many adventures for children and grandchildren from the “jungles” of the poppy garden to the “wild west” of the hand-crafted cabin playhouse. Polly and her husband Lawrence instilled the love of Kansas, history, learning, and creativity, a legacy that continues to live on through their family.
In the words of her late husband of 69 years, “Now this could go on forever, me bragging on my wife, but to anyone who knows her, can tell you that I’m right!” Polly was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence, parents, and many friends and family members. She is survived by her four children: Larry “Butch” Schneider, wife Marcia of Great Bend; Pamela Maresch, husband Myron of Ozona, Texas; Sally Davis, husband Matthew of Early, Texas; and Todd Schneider, wife Kim of Great Bend. She had 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Bryant Funeral Home, with family to receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Bryant Funeral Home, with Warren Ethridge officiating. Interment will be in the Great Bend Cemetery, Veteran’s Circle. Memorials have been designated to the Barton County Historical Society or Wetlands Education Center, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Oct. 13, 2021