Ruth Schneider

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On Friday, March 24, 2023, Ruth Anna Schneider, nee Layton, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family. Throughout her life, Ruth placed her family at the center of her attention, her energy and her love. Her faith ran deep and bolstered her through tough times. Angels surrounded her, protected her and guided her and now she stands among them – as well as with Len, her husband, and her firstborn son, Gene.

Our mother, Ruth arrived in this world on February 11, 1929, the third of nine siblings. She grew up in East St. Louis, IL, and Bloomsdale, MO, and served as an aspirant at St. Mary’s Convent in O’Fallon, MO for two years. She then graduated from St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis in 1946.

Ruth met Leonard “Lenny” Schneider, her husband, in 1946 on a blind date shortly after her graduation. They spent their first evening dancing together at the historic Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis, MO, marking the first of many dances they would share throughout their marriage. They married on June 28, 1947, lived in East St. Louis, IL for two years and then moved to Belleville, IL in 1949. Together, they raised six children in the parishes of Blessed Sacrament and of St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, both in Belleville.

Ruth impressed many with her talent and her industriousness, becoming an entrepreneur and environmentalist long before those terms were part of our lexicon. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing much of her children’s wardrobes, as well as once tailoring a suit for her husband. She altered clothing for friends and neighbors, and constructed impeccable custom pinch-pleated draperies in the basement of her family home for many years. Ruth would do anything to contribute to the financial well-being of her family, including selling pies to neighbors during economically challenging times. Her lack of pretense and ego during difficult periods taught her children the beauty of humility.

Our mother recycled items long before the appearance of those blue plastic containers, not for the environmental reasons we might consider today, but to economize for her family’s sake. There was not a piece of foil too small, or a used, but well-washed, plastic bread bag too thin that could not be repurposed, and each had their assigned drawers in the family kitchen. Plastic cutlery lasted almost as long as their metal counterparts.

Ruth’s energy was boundless – she simply did not know how to sit in one place for a long period of time. One of her daughter’s friends often referred to her as the “energizer bunny’. That energy meant our mother never shied away from hard work, teaching us, her six children, grit and determination and an incredible work ethic. She painted the interior of our childhood home many times, as well as her children’s homes in her later years, gardened with her husband, and harvested and canned the fruits of her efforts. Neighbors would often see her mowing the lawn or planting beautiful flowers in the flowerbeds surrounding her home well into her early 80s.

Another one of Ruth’s lessons for us, her children, was that of service. If anyone needed a hand, whether it be a friend, family member or neighbor, she would step up when she learned of their need. She brightened many friends’ days with the delivery of a loaf of her famous banana nut bread.

She loved to dance – she and Lenny would go dancing most every Saturday night with friends, tripping the light fantastic together so well and for so long that they seemed to merge into a single entity on the dance floor, one of the places giving them the most joy as a couple.

Ruth played a pivotal role in the significant growth of Mosby Building Arts, the business owned by her son-in-law, Scott Mosby, and her daughter, Judy in St. Louis. She worked with them for 10 years, while also often providing childcare for her precious grandsons, Alex and Ryan.

After retiring, Ruth enjoyed her involvement in community organizations, including the churches where she was a parishioner: St. Augustine of Canterbury in Belleville, IL, and Immaculate Conception in O’Fallon, MO; the Catholic War Veterans, and the Catholic Knights and Ladies of Columbus. She garnered the reputation of the lady with the camera, often responsible for documenting the activities of the organizations and becoming the historian for the CWV as a result.

During our dad’s physical decline in the early 2000s, Ruth heroically served as his primary caregiver for six long years. Unfortunately, it did take a physical and mental toll on her, but she persevered. We offered to hire different services for her, like mowing the lawn, but she would not hear of it. It was her decision, and her decision alone, to move out of our family home and move to a mature apartment community in O’Fallon, MO, close to our eldest brother, Gene, and his wife Jan in 2011.

Our beloved mother lived her last years of life at the MorningStar Assisted Living home in Fountain Hills, AZ, making wonderful new friends and appreciating new flora and fauna in her desert surroundings. Her friends appreciated her enduring sense of humor and shared many laughs at their communal dining table. During her time in Arizona, Ruth enjoyed the constant companionship of her loving daughter, Judy, who oversaw her care. Even during her physical decline, Ruth remained sassy and surprised and humored many of us with her constant quips.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard J. Schneider, and her eldest son, Eugene F. Schneider.

She is survived by five of her children and their spouses, Eugene’s wife, Jan Schneider of O’Fallon, MO, Doris Davis of San Carlos, CA, Donald Schneider and his wife, Charlotte, of St. Charles, MO, Laura (Loretta) von Godanyi and her husband, Michael, of Springfield, MO, Judy Mosby and her husband, Scott, of Rio Verde, AZ, and Sandra Thabet and her husband, Samie, of Bethesda, MD; four grandchildren, Alex and Ryan Mosby and Zaki and Zahra Thabet, one great-granddaughter, Sophie Mosby; three step-grandchildren, Doug Gundlach, Greg Gundlach and Anne Sunderland and their spouses and nine step-great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Catholic War Veterans – Butz-Jobe Post 370. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. Ruth preferred that her family and friends not mourn her with the traditional black clothing at her service, but rather celebrate her life by wearing something a bit brighter.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Burial will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO immediately following the service.


9 Comments on Ruth Schneider

John Rule said : Guest Report May 09, 2023 at 3:48 PM

Don and Doris, It seems as if your mom lived a full life. I remember her as an energetic mom who was proud and protective of her family. She was a great asset to our society.

  • Smithton
  • IL
Sharon Frierdich said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2023 at 3:55 PM

Dear Doris, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Not only are we friends but my mother and your mother were also friends. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you peacel, Love , Sharon Frierdich

  • Madison
  • Wisconsin
Doris (Koesterer) Rowden said : Guest Report Apr 18, 2023 at 7:05 PM

Dear Doris and Don, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Sounds like she had a very full life doing what she enjoyed. My sympathy to you and your family.

  • Springfield
  • IL
Denise Muskopf said : Guest Report Apr 17, 2023 at 10:17 PM

Dear Family: I remember Ruth so well. She made draperies for my living room picture window and I was so proud. She was an exceptional lady.

  • Smithton
  • IL
Deb and Steve Timko said : Guest Report Apr 17, 2023 at 9:34 AM

Steve and I have fond memories of Ruth and Lenny during our years of Marriage Encounter involvement in the Belleville Diocese. We are sorry for your loss but trust you will always rejoice in your wonderful memories of your mom.

  • Dunedin
  • Florida
Michael Anthony said : Guest Report Apr 16, 2023 at 10:53 AM

Sorry for the loss to the Schneider family. After reading the obituary, I now know why the CWV Post 370 history books are in such great shape from decades past! Please accept my condolences, I had only became an active CWV member in the early 2000s, and had met Ruth several times. God Speed... Mike A~ Commander, CWV Post 370

  • Damiansville
  • IL
Karen and Greg Latz said : Guest Report Apr 15, 2023 at 4:55 PM

Sorry for your loss. Ruth was a great friend always Happy, Caring, and Thoughtful to all that she met!!! Her Banana bread was the best. We were lucky enough to see her out here in AZ for her 93rd birthday. Our friend will be missed but always remembered. RIP Ruth

  • Buckeye
  • Arizona
Jack Oesterle,Jr. said : Guest Report Apr 15, 2023 at 12:41 PM

Dear Laura, I'm so sorry for your loss of your loving mother. I understand your loss! I lost my mother 2 years ago. I will always keep you in my prayers! "May The Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her" Love, Mary & Jack Oesterle,Jr. Kirkwood, Missouri

  • Kirkwood
  • Missouri
Connie Jean Goyda said : Guest Report Apr 14, 2023 at 10:22 PM

Dear Family, I remember your mother fondly going up to St. Augustine’s for chicken dinners, picnics & many Penny Carnivals. You all have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear motger, mother-in-law, grandma, etc. RIP Ruth.

  • Belleville
  • IL

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