Dr. M. H. Schneeberg was called home to his Lord on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at Marshfield Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family, following a courageous battle with Arterial Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Melvin Henry Schneeberg was born on April 22, 1936, the third of five children to George and Anna (Kazda) Schneeberg at the family farm home in the Town of Eau Pleine. It was there he learned the value of hard work, love, and family.
He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Junction City through the 8th grade. Mel graduated from P. J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, a member of the class of 1954. He played center on the Basketball team which won the 1954 Wisconsin State Championship. That championship team was inducted into the SPASH Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Upon graduation, Mel enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He completed basic training as an Air Control and Warning Operator at Keesler AFB in Mississippi in 1954. He then served at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, NM as an NCO Supervisor, monitoring aircraft movement and identification. He was promoted to Airman 2nd Class on April 9, 1955 and was later awarded the National Service Defense Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He received an honorable discharge on June 16, 1958 as a Staff Sergeant.
Mel married his high school sweetheart, and best friend, Carol Ann Hetzer, on September 17, 1955 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stevens Point. In their more than sixty-three (63) years of marriage they were blessed with two children, five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and five step-great-grandchildren.
Using the G.I. Bill, Mel attended U.W. – Stout and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Arts in1961; and a Master’s in Industrial Arts in 1962. He served as an associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN from 1962 to 1965, and at U.W – Stout from 1965 to 1966.
In 1966 Mel accepted the position of Instructor and Department Chair of Industrial Trades at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. In 1968 he was named Dean of the Wisconsin Rapids Campus, He received a PHD in Educational Administration in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Mel was appointed Assistant District Director in 1978 and appointed the District Director in August 1981. He retired July 1, 1995.
During his tenure, Mid-State’s student body grew by over 22% and the course curriculum was expanded by another thirteen (13) Associate Degree programs, including Nursing, Respiratory Therapist, Electrical Power Engineering Technician, Computer Electronics Technician, Real Estate, and Police Science.
He was instrumental in the district’s massive building program, which included expansions of the new Wisconsin Rapids Campus in the mid 70’s and a 1990 voter supported $4.5 million construction referendum which funded an expansion of the Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point campuses, and the construction of a new Marshfield Campus.
Mel served as consultant-evaluator, team chair, and past reader’s panel member for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a college accreditation agency. In the fall of 1991, he was selected to participate in an eastern Europe study group organized by the Association of Community College Trustees and the International Education Council located in Svensborg, Denmark.
Mel was an active and faithful member of First English Lutheran Church; and was actively involved in the Elks Lodge. He was a member of the Wisconsin Rapids Chapter of Rotary International, serving one term as president.
Mel also served on various task forces and boards with specific focus on economic and community development. He had chaired the Area Manpower Planning Board, the Central Wisconsin Area Economic Development Council, the Wisconsin Rapids Industrial Management Council and the Wisconsin Technical College System Administrators’ Association. He also served as a director and chair of Paper Cities Savings and Loan Association, the Wisconsin Rapids Area Business Incubator, Inc., the River Cities Economic Development Corporation and as a board member of the Community Foundation.
Mel used the crafts and skills he acquired and taught in completing construction of a cottage on Lake Gogebic in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Many weekends and weeks were spent with family working on electrical, plumbing, drywall, and woodworking to complete the cabin. He also constructed a garage and a woodworking/loft/ wood storage building. Many hours were spent fishing with the family, cutting and stacking wood, cooking over and enjoying many campfires, boat rides, trail hikes, swimming, yard games, and taking in the area’s 4th of July festivities and fireworks. He also spent many hours creating furniture for the cottage. Mel loved spending time with Carol and the family, whether at the cottage, at home, or their homes.
For nineteen (19) years he and Carol “wintered” in Gulf Shores, Alabama. They made many friends from around the Midwest and enjoyed going to their “Snowbird Reunions” several times a year. As an Air Force veteran, he also attended many squadron reunions; but his biggest thrill was participating in the Korean Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, DC on September 8, 2014. It was an experience and precious memory that he cherished to his final breath.
One of his long-time dreams was realized when he, his wife Carol, son Robb and grandsons Shane, Matt, and Noah ventured north for a Canadian Fishing Fly-In to Roberts Lake South, The fishing quality, family comradery, and the experience of nature’s beauty so captivated them, that they went back four more times.
Mel is survived by his loving wife Carol; daughter Paula (Rev. Gary) Markworth of Pittsville, and son Robb (Sandra) Schneeberg of Lake Mills; grandsons Shane (Shannon) Markworth of Bluffton, SC; Matthew (Kendra) Markworth of West Fargo, ND; and Chad (Charity Carney) Markworth of Gilbert, AZ; granddaughter Abrya “AJ” Schneeberg of Whitewater, WI; step-granddaughters Jessica Erby (Lake Mills, WI), Amy (Nick) Wiley and Mary Kate (Sam) Everly of Sun Prairie, WI; and 6 great-grandchildren Brooke, Jacob, Sarah, Hannah, Ellie, Braxton, and 5 step-great-grandchildren Tenley, Tristan, Taylor, Teagan and Landon. He is further survived by a brother David (IlaMae) Schneeberg of Hood River, OR and sister Judy (Dave) Kulas of Stevens Point; sister-in-law Ione Hetzer, and brother-in-law James (Pat) Hetzer of Nashua, NH; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents George and Anna, his in-laws, Arthur and Effie Hetzer, brother Richard, sister Jean DiCicco, grandson Noah Schneeberg; sister-in-law Roseann Schneeberg, and brothers-in-law Don DiCicco and David Hetzer.
Funeral service will be at First English Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Cheryl Davis will officiate. Interment will be at Restlawn Memorial Cemetery in Wisconsin Rapids, where Military Honors will be conducted. Visitation will take place on Friday, February 8th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids; and again on Saturday, February 9th from 10:00 am until the time of service at the church.
Honoring Mel as casket bearers are grandsons Shane, Matt, and Chad Markworth; great- granddaughter Abrya Schneeberg, grandson Jacob Markworth, and nephews Pat Kulas, and Jeff DiCicco.
Memorials in Mel’s honor may be designated to the Mid-State Foundation for scholarships to given in his name, and to First English Lutheran Church.