RIVERDALE, NY—Gertrude Milchman Schneider, almost 103, died peacefully at home in Riverdale, NY on Monday, June 26.
She is the mother of the publisher of Fabrics & Furnishings International. Her involvement with political causes and letter writing had a big influence on her family, especially her son who started F&FI in 1991.
She was an accomplished violinist and served as Assistant Concert Master for many years at the Bronx Symphony Orchestra and then at the Yonkers Orchestra. Before she passed, she said her only regret was not being able to play the violin in her later years due to a rotator cuff injury; but this did not stop her from coaching one of her great granddaughters to play the violin. Quick-witted and lucid to the end, two weeks ago, on June 18, she sang and held a violin and bow during a family visit when a great-granddaughter performed several violin selections.
Gertrude was the youngest of five siblings. She was blessed with a large and loving family, boundless energy, good health and indomitable spirit. She was feisty and funny. She was multilingual and taught French and Spanish at high school level; she was fluent also in Yiddish and German. An owner/operator of multi-family property in Manhattan and The Bronx, she was well known in real estate circles; along with her late husband track and field champion (and NYU Hall of Famer for football) Harry B. Schneider.
She is best remembered as a proponent of the Bronx for which she campaigned endlessly. Gertrude was an activist all her life and a tireless critic of rent control. She served on the board of CHIP (Community Housing Improvement Program) and as tour guide for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter when he visited The Bronx.
At 85, she mastered the computer, and corresponded daily with New York City editors, with many published Letters to the Editor to her credit.
She was a strong woman role model greatly missed by her children, Carol (Dr. Edward) Crane, Eric (Dr. Gail Goldman) Schneider and Elaine Taylor-Gordon (Allan Panoff), six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.