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Richard Schneider, independent insurance agent; May 8, 1927 -- April 16, 2012

Richard Schneider of Cheektowaga, an independent insurance agent, died Monday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 84.

Born in Pittsburgh, he served stateside in the Navy and afterward earned a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Schneider, known as Dick to his family and friends, started his career as a salesman for the Creamette Co. In 1958, he went to work for CNA Insurance and eventually became a regional manager for the company.

In 1969, he was transferred to the Buffalo branch of CNA and served as its branch manager until 1979, when he went into business for himself and became an independent agent.

Mr. Schneider was active in the civic life of both Cheektowaga and Buffalo. He was a member of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in the town and had served as chairman of its parish council. He also was a member of the church's usher society and served as a lector, Eucharistic minister and religious education teacher.

In addition, he was a volunteer at the Response to Love Center, served on the board of the Franciscan Center and was involved in the annual WNED-TV Channel 17 auction.

Mr. Schneider also served on the Cheektowaga Democratic Committee and was involved in numerous political campaigns.

Mr. Schneider also was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and recently celebrated 50 years of sobriety. He devoted countless hours of service counseling youth and adults on drug and alcohol addiction as a volunteer at Maryvale Drive Presbyterian Church's AA group and at Renaissance House, a youth treatment program in West Seneca.

His first wife of 46 years, E. Maureen Kieselbach Schneider, died in 1999.

He is survived by his wife of eight years, the former Sharon Powley, and three sons, Richard Jr., Gary and Jeffrey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Philip the Apostle Church, Losson Road, Cheektowaga.

[MCNEIL]