Robert Joseph “Duke” Schneider died on November 27, 2021 at the age of 88. He had been a long-time resident of Stamford CT before residing in Westport CT for the past five years.
He was born in the Bronx, NY on August 7,1933 to S. George and Anna Mandile Schneider.
After graduating from P.S. 34, he attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx until his family moved to Stamford CT where he transferred to and graduated from St. Basil’s Prep in 1950. He was a member of the basketball team. After graduation, he attended Southern Connecticut State University and the Stamford branch at UCONN to pursue a teaching career.
For more than 25 years, he was employed by Consolidated Diesel in Old Greenwich and Waterbury as a contracts administrator. His last 10 years of employment were spent at Circon ACMI in Stamford with weekends at Sterling Farms Golf Course though, proudly, he never played one hole of golf.
The arts, great friendships, and family made life worthwhile. His first music love was jazz, with Count Basie and Sarah Vaughn among his favorites. Tanglewood and Caramoor were his preferred venues for classical music, particularly when Beethoven piano concertos were on the program.
He was never without a copy of The New York Times, The New Yorker, or The New York Review of Books. Murray Kempton was his favorite journalist. Albert Camus’ “The Stranger”, Nathanael West’s “Miss Lonelyhearts”, and Frederick Exley’s “A Fan’s Notes” were his top three works of fiction. Karl Shapiro’s “Poems of a Jew” deserves special mention.
In his younger days, he was active in local Democratic politics, and throughout his life, an unapologetic liberal.
He was known for his left-handed hook shot whether he played at the New Canaan Y, the Stamford Jewish Center, or the Stamford Athletic Club. His love of basketball carried over to UCONN and their women’s basketball program. He rarely missed a game.
In his last years, he would say that the nicest word in the English language was “Dad” and would remind us all to be kind.
Surviving are his daughters, Christine Baskin (Robert) of Madison CT and Pamela Fusaro (Christopher) of Citrus Springs FL, three grandchildren, Ben Fusaro of Santa Monica CA, Allison Fusaro of Citrus Springs FL, and Jake Baskin of Madison CT, three sisters, Judith LaValla of Westport CT, Linda Schneider of Norwich CT, and Susan Schneider of San Diego CA, his brother-in-law, David Vetrane of Stamford, two godchildren, Maura Daly and Geoffrey Bello, both of Stamford, several nephews, nieces and cousins. Robert was predeceased by his son, Robert David.
Burial services and a gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter or to Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.