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Bruce Schneider, longtime Massapequa educator, has died at 83

Bruce Schneider, a longtime teacher and administrator for

Bruce Schneider, a longtime teacher and administrator for Massapequa schools, died on Dec. 2. Credit: Schneider family

Bruce Schneider, a longtime teacher and administrator for Massapequa schools, died on Dec. 2.

Schneider, a Coram and Hanover, Maine, resident, died of complications from a failing liver at Stony Brook University Hospital. He was 83.

Schneider grew up in Forest Hills, where he graduated from high school in 1948. He received a bachelor's degree in education from SUNY New Paltz in 1951, starting his teaching career that fall.

He married Viola Sirico on Aug. 30, 1953. They moved to Massapequa in 1959 because Schneider was hired as a teacher there.

"We fell in love within the first two weeks of meeting each other and had a loving marriage for 62 years," Viola Schneider said. "He was one of the smartest and quick-witted people I ever knew."

Bruce Schneider attended graduate school while working, earning a master's in elementary education and administration from Hofstra University, according to the family.

In 1961, he became a curriculum supervisor. He retired from the district in 1987.

"My dad never referred to anybody by their race or ethnicity," said Bruce Schneider Jr., 60, of Islip Terrace. "He saw people as people, and only cared about the contents of their character and who you were as a person."

About a year after retiring, he founded Bruce V. Schneider Associates All Marine Insurance Agency, now based in Middle Island.

"My father was an extremely organized, bright and loving individual," said Craig Schneider, 57, of West Islip, who helps run the insurance firm. "His knack for business never ceases to amazes me."

One of Bruce Schneider's proudest accomplishments was receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1980, his family said. He traveled with a group of 26 educators from the United States to Israel. They worked with the Ministry of Education and created a national curriculum on the Holocaust for use in American schools, his family said.

Schneider was also a member of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have lost children. One of Schneider's sons, 40-year-old Scot Schneider, died in a car accident in 2002.

In addition to his two sons and wife, he is survived by eight grandchildren.

A wake was held Dec. 4 at O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station. Schneider was cremated and his ashes will be interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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