Gertrude Elisabeth Schweikhard Schneider
March 29, 1927 – December 23, 2018
Humanist. Activist. Wife to husband Jack. Mother to children Lisa, Claudia and John Paul. Oma to granddaughter Ruby and her husband Shaun. Oma T to great-grandsons Miles and Brigham. Trudi to sons-in-law Ed and Philo. Tante Trudi to her German family.
The youngest of nine children, Trudi was born in Neunkirchen, Saar, Germany to shopkeepers Anna Maria Kopp and Johann August Schweikhard. She grew up in war torn Germany. As a young adult, she worked as a typist for the US Army in Germany, and then for Catholic Welfare, uniting displaced survivors from all over Europe with American family sponsors.
In 1951, when Catholic Welfare asked Trudi to relocate to their Washington office, she booked passage on the Ile De France and headed to DC. She was quickly recruited to a new position as translator for a group of government historians documenting WW2. Throughout her time in the capital, she harbored a dream to work at the UN.
Then Trudi met Jack and her life road diverged - the two tied a knot that lasted sixty-five years. The Schneiders started their family in Woodstown NJ, where Trudi worked at a Ford dealership and did all things Mom. As she learned to jar homegrown fruits and vegetables, to sew, knit and raise children, horses, dogs and an occasional cat, she continued to develop her personal philosophy of local and global service.
In 1966, Jack was offered a position at the University of Maine at Farmington, and the family moved north. Trudi worked for many years as secretary for the law office of Mills & Mills. In her forties, she earned her BA in education at UMF and taught in several area schools before settling into a third grade classroom in Wilton. In addition to her elementary career, she received stellar student evaluations for her innovative German classes at UMF.
In 1989, the Schneiders retired to coastal Georgetown, which became their hub for the next twenty-nine years. Trudi tended the gardens surrounding the pond at their Robinhood Road homestead. She fed her beloved birds and feuded with the resident squirrels. Her house was filled with friends from all cultures, religions and political persuasions. Dinner at Trudi’s table served up delicious food, stimulating conversation and always, laughter.
With retirement came new purpose. Trudi became an active member of the Georgetown Book Club, Library Board and Working League. She devoted her energy and expertise to numerous League of Women Voters of Maine initiatives, her favorites focusing on children's health and welfare. Trudi and Jack joined the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister Cities Association and on several occasions delivered humanitarian supplies to Trinidad, Cuba.
Trudi accomplished her early dream of working with the United Nations. For twenty years, she served as a UNA-Maine Board member and as a League of Women Voters representative to UN NGO conferences in New York City. She was a founding member of the Maine Model UN, an experiential learning program for high school students.
Trudi and Jack enjoyed worldwide travel and, most of all, visits to their great-grandsons in Vancouver BC and to family and friends in Germany.
With gratitude for her original and enduring spirit, Trudi's family looks forward to welcoming the community to a celebration of her life this spring in Georgetown.
Arrangements are by Daigle Funeral Home, 819 High Street, Bath. Condolences may be made online at www.Daiglefuneralhome.com.
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