Gayle Schneider was born December 14th, 1955 in Hamtramck Michigan, to Thaddeus and Geraldine Mrozowski. Gayle attended Immaculate high school and then went on to Michigan State where she studied Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management. She graduated from Michigan State and then took a job in Atlanta Georgia for the Holiday Inn Company as a Banquet captain and general manager.
It was while working in Atlanta that she met her future husband William Schneider. She was married Nov. 23rd, 1985 in Atlanta Georgia. In 1988 Gayle moved with William to Mobile Alabama and there Gayle took a job with the mobile Convention and Visitors Center. In 1989 she and William had their first child-Mathew . Then in 1991 Gayle and Will moved to Portland Oregon where they would spend the rest of their lives together. Gayle soon found a job in the Development Dept. at University of Portland where she worked until 1999. She was the Director of Corporate and Foundation Giving during most of this time. In 1987 Gayle was awarded the Miltner Award as the employee of the year at the University of Portland. Gayle always treasured this award that was so important at the University.
In the midst of her busy career she had her second child Sarah in 1993. Then in 1999 Gayle decided to take on the challenge of working at a large public university-Portland State Univ. At Portland State she became Executive Director of University Advancement. While at PSU she helped raise millions of dollars to support the institution. During her last years at PSU she worked as a development officer for the library and social studies departments. Gayle finally retired in 2019 after 20 years at Portland State Univ. But possibly more important than just raising money, Gayle brought a cheerful and positive light to her workplaces. She was known for her little random acts of kindness and her secret thoughtful deeds that no one ever saw.
In her early years Gayle played a little golf and enjoyed working outdoors at summer camps. Once she married William she joined him for many hikes in Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, and Oregon. Later Gayle would join William and her kids in games of tennis. She also enjoyed gardening and harvesting the summer crops, but walking and hiking were always Gayle's favorite physical past times. In general Gayle loved to be with her beloved family doing whatever they loved doing. She attended all her children's sporting events, plays, school events, etc. She also took an active part in her husband Will's chiropractic business-loving and supporting him at every opportunity. In many ways her family was her hobby. She doted over them-along with her extended family that included her parents and sister-even though they lived far away in Michigan.
Gayle had a strong social conscience and felt compelled to help her neighbors with church related activities at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church and actions beyond the church. She was active as a Eucharistic Minister with her husband, she worked with St. Vincent DePaul, and the Mother and Child Education Center. Gayle would often visit the lonely in their homes and offer rides to those in need of transport. Gayle would take it upon herself to make newcomers at church feel at home by engaging them in conversation and welcoming them to the parish.
In 2016 Gayle's life took an unexpected turn when her health began to deteriorate in mysterious ways. Slowly she began to lose strength in her left foot and leg and in Dec. 2017 she was diagnosed with ALS-a rare degenerative disease of the nervous system. Slowly over the next 5 years Gayle would lose voluntary control of legs, her left arm, and finally the ability to breathe or even swallow food or drink. During this time Gayle fought to find a cure for her disease-along with her husband William. And as she fought to stop the advance of this cruel disease she did all in her power to continue to love her family and friends and stay active at her beloved St. Rose Church. She struggled and usually won the battle of keeping her spirits high and her vision optimistic. She inspired all around her with her indomitable spirit and relentless love.
She was finally forced to retire from Portland State in 2019 and slowly she had to drop her involvement with St Vincent DePaul and Eucharistic Ministering at St. Rose. But this did not stop her efforts to help others in every way she could. She continued to support her two children and husband Will in their respective careers and passions. Countless friends would visit her at her home and she would witness her faith to them and work to evangelize all she came in touch with. When in the hospital she witnessed to doctors, nurses, and all. It seemed that the weaker her body grew the stronger her beacon of love grew to envelop all she came in contact with. Finally Gayle had what she called an epiphany in late August 2021-an epiphany which encouraged her to let her life fall completely under God's control. She asked her husband and daughter to begin reducing invasive medical interventions' and allow the natural course of God given nature to control her future life. She passed from this life on earth with Fr. Matt –her parish priest-, two sisters of the Holy Spirit, and her husband and daughter at her side praying and singing hymns on Sep. 2nd, 2021. Her earthly journey was over at last and her battle with ALS completed-with Gayle the clear spiritual victor over this terrible adversary. God gave her grace in proportion to her need. Gayle's ALS allowed her to touch the heart of many souls in a uniquely powerful way. She loved to the end with literally her last breath.
Gayle was predeceased by her parents Thaddeus and Geraldine, and by her sister Camille. Recitation of the Rosary will take place at 6PM on Thursday September 6th and a viewing will occur from 4 to 6 PM the same day. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 AM Friday, September 10th, at St. Rose Of Lima Catholic Church. A reception will follow. Private burial is at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.