Edward Arthur Schneider, 81, of Kirksville, Mo.


KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Edward Arthur Schneider, 81, passed away on Dec. 16, 2023, at his home with his wife, Carol, at his side.

The son of Edward T. and Lillian M. (Johnson) Schneider, he was born Dec. 11, 1942, in St. Louis, Mo. On Aug. 21, 1965, he married Carol Ann Sears of Middlebury, Vt. at Mary Immaculate Church in Kirksville, Mo.

Ed is survived by his wife, Carol; three children, Darren Schneider and his wife Sheila of Winona, Minn., Andrea Schneider of Bradenton, Fla., and Gregory Schneider of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; three grandchildren, Reed Schneider, Grant Schneider, and Mia Schneider; one sister-in-law, Ellen Meisenheimer; a niece, Denise Bell; and a nephew, James (Ann) Schmitt.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law and mother-in-law (James and 
Helene Sears); his sister, Donna Schmitt and his brother-in-law, Harvey Schmitt.

Ed graduated from Jennings High School (St. Louis, Mo.) in 1961. As a high school athlete, Ed became the first Missouri high school track and field athlete to win individual state championship titles in both the 880-yard run and mile run at the same championship. His 880 performance set a new state championship meet record for that event.

Following his high school career, Ed chose to continue his academic and athletic pursuits at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Mo. There he became a five-time, all-American in both track and field and cross country.

His crowning collegiate achievement was capturing the individual NCAA College Division Cross Country championship in 1964. Ed’s title was the first ever individual national championship earned by a Truman State University athlete. His individual effort contributed to his team’s national runner up finish at the 1964 championship. In addition to his cross-country exploits, he was the second-place finisher in the 1500m and also achieved a fourth-place finish in the 880 run at the NCAA Championship Track & Field Championships in 1964.

One of his favorite memories was anchoring his teammates to a Drake Relays championship in the 4 x 880 relay in 1965. His talent and accomplishments earned him invitations and opportunities to compete in both national caliber and world class competitions as a collegiate athlete. Fifty-nine years after his collegiate career ended, Ed still holds both the Truman State school records in the indoor mile (4:10.2) and outdoor 1500m (3:46.8). Ed graduated from Truman State with a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree in 1965 and a Master of Arts Degree in Education in 1970.

Ed taught Elementary Physical Education at Kratz Elementary School Ritenour School District in St. Louis, Mo. He moved to Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis County, where he instructed Driver Education courses and began his cross country and track and field coaching career. In his six years as a high school coach, two of his track teams and three of his cross-country teams placed in the top ten at 4-A Missouri state high school championship meets. He coached individual state champions in both cross country and track and field.

In 1974, he returned to Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State University) as an instructor in physical education and as a coach of cross country and track and field. His cross country teams won four MIAA (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) conference championships, three NCAA regional titles, and twelve of his teams qualified for the NCAA Championships. His 1994 and 1995 teams finished third in the nation, and his 2001 team captured a fourth place finish. His cross country athletes achieved individual all-American status twenty times in national meet competition.

As a track and field coach, Ed led Truman State squads to six MIAA indoor and outdoor team championships. Individual athletes earned fifty-four NCAA all-American honors under his watch, including James Walton, an individual national champion. Seventy of his track and field athletes won individual titles at the MIAA indoor and outdoor conference championships. In 1990 his teams were eleventh at the NCAA indoor meet and sixteenth at the outdoor NCAA meet. He coached two athletes that participated in Olympic Games competition. Ray Armstead won a gold medal as a member of the United States 4 x 400 meter relay team at the 1984 Olympics and Brian Dzingai represented Zimbabwe in the 200 meters (4th place) at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

After thirty-one years of coaching at Truman State, Ed retired in 2005. Ed was honored by his enshrinement into five Halls of Fame. He was elected into the Jennings High School Hall of Fame (1961) and the Truman State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. He was elected as a charter member of the NCAA Division II Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2000), the MIAA Hall of Fame (2012), and the Missouri State High School Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2002). In 1988, Ed was named Honorary Referee of the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2006, Truman State University appointed Ed as an Instructor Emeritus in Exercise Science.

Ed loved his family. He greatly enjoyed attending activities in which his children and grandchildren participated. Ed was an avid outdoorsman, who thoroughly enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a tremendous steward of his land and the wildlife that his property attracted. He enjoyed watching and attending sporting events. Ed will always be remembered for his lifelong attachment to running and the running community. He valued and appreciated the many relatives, students, athletes, and friends whose lives touched his.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, at Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Kirksville, Mo.

A Mass of Christian burial will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Kirksville. A private interment will be in the Mary Immaculate Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ed can be made to the Edward A. Schneider Men’s Cross Country Scholarship Fund at Truman State University or personally plant a tree in memory of Ed. To express condolences to his family online, please visit ◊


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