Irene Elinor (Jurchen) Schneider, 83, of Plover, Wisconsin, died January 6, 2022, in Stevens Point, WI.
Irene was born September 5, 1938, to Willie and Alicia (Hoppe) Jurchen in Crookston, Minnesota.
She was baptized and confirmed in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Crookston, Minnesota.
Irene grew up in rural Crookston, attended Country School Dist. 140, and graduated from Central High School in Crookston in 1956. Childhood days found Irene active in church, music, and 4-H. Singing was a highlight of her life. When Irene was 4 years old, she began singing in church with her sisters. Irene and sisters Laurain and Gladys formed the Jurchen Sisters Trio, singing in church and at community events throughout the area. In 1954, they entered and won the Search for Talent contest sponsored by Fargo, North Dakota radio station WDAY. Their reward was being the featured guests for one week on the WDAY Morning Show, entertaining listeners with their singing. Shortly after their gig on WDAY, they were chosen to enter the 4-H Minnesota talent competition. Once again, the Jurchen Sisters Trio won and were featured performers at the 1954 Minnesota State Fair. Irene and the rest of the Trio continued singing at weddings, class reunions, and family gatherings. The Jurchen Sisters Trio made it a point to encourage children to sing, as “singing keeps you happy.”
She attended Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating with an Associate Arts degree in Elementary education in 1958. She was selected Homecoming Queen at Concordia where she met the love of her life, Terrell Schneider, a pre-ministerial student.
Irene and Terrell Schneider were united in marriage in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Crookston, on June 18, 1961.
Teaching children, making learning fun, and sharing her love for music were the joys in her life which included organizing choirs for all ages wherever she served. As a Lutheran Christian Day School teacher, she began her career in St. John’s, MI and Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After their marriage, she continued her teaching in Lutheran Schools wherever Terry’s service or education led them. This included teaching in Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI, Tustin, CA, and Mount Pulaski, IL. In the Auburndale School District in Wisconsin, she taught special needs students.
Together Irene and Terry were blessed with four children as they were serving congregations in South Boston, VA, Oshkosh and Auburndale, WI. In Auburndale, the Schneider family enjoyed the small-town community.
Irene is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, Terrell Schneider; and children, Maria (Tom) Kleiner, Sean Schneider, Joel Schneider, and Shanon Schneider; grandchildren, Elizabeth (William) Reiche, Erin (Fisher) Mollet, Kyle Kleiner, Lauren Kleiner, Cullen Schneider, Carson Schneider, Breanna Schneider, and Michael Schneider. She is also survived by sisters and brothers, Gladys (Eugene) Wagner, Laurain Jurchen, Erwin (Marcie) Jurchen, Esther Jurchen, and Arnold (Tamra) Jurchen; and sister-in law, Sheri (Jere) Dhein, as well as other loved sisters-in-law and brother-in-law; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Marlys Ard; and daughter-in-law, Marcy Schneider.
Visitation will be 12pm to 2pm on January 22, 2022, at the Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home in Marshfield, WI. There will be a private family service that will be live-streamed on the Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home website at 11am on January 22, 2022.