OAKHURST – With heavy hearts buoyed by a tremendous outpouring of community support, the family of beloved Amy Fouse Schneider announces a funeral service will be held at Our Lady of the Sierra Catholic Church on Thursday, Apr. 23, at 4 p.m.
A Celebration of Life for Amy will be held the following day, Friday Apr. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Golden Chain Theater. It will be pot-luck, open-invitation to all friends and family and anyone who knew Amy or whose life Amy touched. The family invites the community to come for singing and dancing with a DJ, to honor Amy and her love for life.
Amy Fouse Schneider
Treasured mother, adored wife, loving sister, teacher, favorite friend, actor, and amazing spirit, Amy passed away on April 15th at the age of 45, as a result of a sudden cardiac incident.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 26, 1969, to parents Brigitte Joerges and John Fouse (both deceased), Amy moved to Memphis with her family at the age of five, and relocated to Pasadena when she was eight years old. Amy was the high school mascot and graduated from South Pasadena High.
In 1991, Amy married Roderick Keeler and moved to Oakhurst in 1992. She began working for the Madera Office of Education as a sign language interpreter. Amy dedicated her life to raising her two beautiful daughters, Elise, 16, and Abby, 13. Along the way she earned her Masters in Education.
Amy married Jeff Schneider on July 22, 2011.
Amy’s passions were children – hers, Jeff’s and everyone else’s. She was the teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing in Madera and Mariposa counties, and traveled from school to school assisting those kids.
She loved cooking, gardening, country music, and singing. Amy most of all loved performing at the Golden Chain Theater.
Amy is survived by her two children, Elise and Abby; husband Jeff Schneider; sisters Annie, Emilie, and Katrina; nieces Charli, Delaney and Shannon; four step-children, Victoria, Lorelei, Anja and Michael; many family members in Brazil, and a world full of friends.
Jeff Schneider thanks the community for all the support
“The human spirit is an amazing thing, and this community is an amazing place,” writes Amy’s bereaved husband, Jeff, in a letter directed to those who have helped during this catastrophic time.
“On April 13 at around 2 p.m., my young, healthy, beautiful 45-year-old wife suddenly collapsed due to a cardiac event.”
Amy’s daughter Abby was home celebrating her 13th birthday, and called neighbors for help. Soon EMS arrived and attempted resuscitation.
“Because of Amy’s young age and health they soldiered on and rushed her to Mariposa,” says Jeff, who wants emergency responders to know how much he appreciates their diligence.
“I want to thank the team of professionals at Sierra Ambulance and Cal Fire for their never-quit attitude in trying to save my beautiful wife. They treated her as if she was their own family member they were trying to save. Thank you. We have amazing emergency response people up here who really care.”
Jeff says the team at John C. Fremont Hospital was equally skilled and compassionate.
The doctors and nurses at J.C. Fremont were able to stabilize her enough to be airlifted to the closest level 2 trauma center that was available, Modesto Memorial. Thank you.”
Despite the best effort of teams who tried to save Amy – by all accounts a light and life-line to all who knew her – the news was not good.
“What happened next is what really restored my faith in the human spirit,” says Jeff. “Over 150 people made the trip to Modesto to see her in the 48 hours we were there. No one lived closer than 100 miles away. People came from up and down the state and even as far away as Texas.”
Jeff is overwhelmed by the embrace of family, friends and even strangers.
“It was beautiful to see just how loved she was by so many and how she touched their lives, but even more impressive was the distance and sacrifice people made to support our family and encourage Amy. Thank you to everyone who came out to visit us.”
Modesto Memorial overflowed with Amy’s visitors, and Jeff says the hospital threw away the rule book, allowing dozens of people by her side in the Intensive Care Unit.
“Ten of Amy’s oldest daughter’s friends surrounded the bed and sang for her and came together in prayer. The hospital even set up a separate holding room in the ICU to handle the sheer number of visitors waiting to see her. They said they had never seen this much outpouring of support for someone.”
Amy officially passed away on April 15 at 3:20 p.m.
“Thank you to the entire medical staff and hospital in Modesto for allowing us to grieve and be supported. This was the most human experience I could have asked for and one Amy deserved.”
The next day, daughter Elise turned 16.
“With the help of some dear friends whom I now call my Warrior Women, organizers pulled together the impossible and threw a surprise party at El Cid’s last Thursday, where there must have been 100 people there in support of Elise and the family. Thank you to everyone in this community for focusing on the living, remaining positive, and making this little girl’s birthday so special.”
“What a great community we have here,” Jeff says. “What an amazing outpouring of support. What a dedicated team of medical professions. This community rocks. I love you all.”
Our Lady of the Sierra Catholic Church Funeral Service for Amy
Celebration of Amy’s Life at Golden Chain Theater (GCT)
Friday, Apr. 24, at 6 p.m. This is a potluck and guests are asked to bring a dish to share. GCT is providing plates, utensils and napkins. People are encouraged to carpool. Once the theater parking lot is full organizers are asking guests to park at Oakhurst Elementary School. Discover Yosemite is providing a shuttle service beginning at 5 p.m. for overflow parking. The shuttle will go to the new parking lot at OES. The shuttle will run about every 20 minutes. The last shuttle back to OES will be at 10 p.m.
Account set up to help Amy’s family
An approved account has been set up on GoFundMe for people who want to make donations directly to Amy’s family.
Community award scholarship at Yosemite High School in Amy’s name
“Amy Schneider was a very special person who helped everyone she knew,” writes YHS Theater Department chair Lars Thorson. “She gave her time, money, love and energy to her children’s many teachers, her church and other social and charitable organizations. Because of her giving heart, we have decided to start the Amy Schneider Award. It will go to a senior who has demonstrated Amy’s spirit of altruism in their life.”
This year, Thorson says, the money will come from the Theater Arts Award and donations received from the community. During the school’s spring play a donation box will be available for those who wish to contribute.