March 24, 1945 — March 17, 2020
Dick Schneider, a 51-year member of Machinists Local 63 and a former Grand Lodge representative of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), died March 17 of cardiac arrest. He was one week shy of his 75th birthday.
Schneider, of Gresham, retired in April 2007 as a coordinator in the international union’s Aerospace Department, where he was responsible for 115 labor contracts with the Boeing Company and other aerospace firms in the United States and Canada.
Schneider initiated in 1968 as a member of the IAM in Long Beach, California, after taking a job in the plastics lab at Douglas Aircraft. One year later he transferred his membership to Local 63 when he moved to Oregon and began working as a helper at Portland Iron Works.
He was very active in the union, and in September 1978 was hired as a business representative of Machinists District Lodge 24. He next worked as the assistant directing business representative, and spent eight years as the IAM’s political director and lobbyist. He served as secretary-treasurer of the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League of Oregon and as a trustee on the Oregon Marine Machinists Health and Welfare Trust. Gov. Vic Atiyeh appointed him to a Citizens Unemployment Advisory Committee, and he served on the Portland Community College Advisory Board for many years.
He went to work for the international union in October 1988, accepting an appointment as a Grand Lodge special representative for the Western Territory. Two years later he became a Grand Lodge rep for General President George Kourpias. He was hired as administrative assistant to General Vice President Lee Pearson in July 1996. He held that position until November 30, 1997, when International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger appointed him to serve as Aerospace Coordinator for a newly formed IAM Aerospace Department.
Richard (Dick) Lee Schneider was born on March 24, 1945 in Lebanon, Oregon. He attended schools in the Portland area and in other places because his father, Bob, worked construction, requiring many moves for the family. His father was a member of Operating Engineers and worked out of Local 701 when he was in Oregon.
Schneider attended Benson High School in Portland and graduated from high school in Long Beach, California.
After high school he worked pulling green chain in a sawmill in Oregon and in 1963 joined the U.S. Army. He spent most of his military service in an artillery unit in Germany and earned the three stripes of a sergeant.
He married Kathi Dyer in 1988. She is a member of Office and Professional Employees Local 11 and was employed as an office secretary at District Lodge 24 for 39 years. Between them, they have five children, 15 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 29 years of age, and one great-grandchild (with two more on the way this year). Both were married previously.
Because of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to IAM-sponsored Guide Dogs of America.