A father’s memory lives on through endowment

Tyler, Jud and LuAnne Schneider lost their father and husband, ‘Rayzor’ Ray Schneider, to brain cancer when he was just 53. 

“My dad was a big part of the community,” says Tyler. “He was the barber, and for 34 years he cut the hair of most of the people in town and built strong connections with them. He was the commissioner of the town's little-league baseball; he owned a team and was a coach for many years, as well.”

A lifelong resident of Monticello, Ray prioritized giving back to his community. He was an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America and a member of the Eagles Club, and he pushed his sons to become just as involved in the community. Before he died, Ray was proud to see both his sons become Eagle Scouts, the highest rank in scouting.

Not long after his death, a group of Ray’s friends came together in mourning and decided to start a memorial endowment to keep his memory alive in a way that Ray would have truly appreciated. The Raymond G. Schneider Living Endowment for Youth enhances the opportunity for growth and education among the youth of Monticello, helping to empower them to achieve lifelong success.The fund is administered by the Jones County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

“Ray took care of his community in life, and the endowment in his memory is doing the same,” says Sherri Hunt, Jones County foundation coordinator. “Memorial endowments are an ideal way to recognize a loved one, keeping their memory alive while providing a permanent source of funding for a cause they cared about.”  

Private donations collected at Ohnward Bank and public events in the community raise funds for the endowment. “We host a four-person best-shot golf tournament every year the Sunday before the Great Jones County Fair,” says Tyler. “We usually get an exceptional turnout. There are prizes and it’s great fun for the whole family.”

Proceeds from the tournament fund grant awards to three graduates from Monticello High School. “We encourage applicants to attend a trade school, as my father worked in his trade all his life,” Tyler explains. Students involved in the community through sports, volunteering, continued education and clubs like 4H, Boy/Girl Scouts, or Future Farmers of America are prioritized. 

“Another factor that affects our choice is an expressed need,” adds Tyler. “Some of the children in our community are less fortunate financially, and we like to help the best we can.

“I love this endowment because it helps to give back to our community and keep my dad's memory alive. It even helps behind the scenes: This year we donated to the Monticello Summer Lunch Program to help pay for student lunches in Jones County. It makes me feel good to give back to the community that gave me so much.”

To make an impact in your community by memorializing a loved one, contact Sherri Hunt at 319-551-3402 or jccf@dbqfoundation.org, or visit dbqfoundation.org/jccf.