Gary Schneider, 1939 - 2009 10.09.2009 -- It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of a great ambassador and icon to the sport of karting and the World Karting Association, Gary Schneider. Gary fought a courageous battle against...
Gary Schneider, 1939 - 2009
10.09.2009 -- It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of a great ambassador and icon to the sport of karting and the World Karting Association, Gary Schneider. Gary fought a courageous battle against an illness until October 7, 2009.
In discussing Gary's life with many of his colleagues and friends over the past 24 hours, certain words kept repeating themselves: dedication, respect, commitment, purpose and conviction. But the two most frequently used adjectives were consistency and integrity.
Gary lived his life with these principles, whether at the racetrack or in everyday life. This allowed him to be very easy to talk to about any daily topic.
Many of the people with whom I spoke recognized that Gary would always refer to someone as "Mr." or "Mrs." until he was sure that that person showed him the same respect. Once this level of respect was attained, he would then ask that person if he could call him or her by their first name.
As I got to know Gary, I found he did not talk negatively about anyone. In a way uniquely his own, he sometimes would not immediately share an opinion on an issue, then he'd lower his head and peer at you with his eyes peeked over the top of his glasses as if to say, "Are you sure you want to go there?" In most cases he wanted to make sure he was looking directly into your eyes, so you knew how passionate he was about his answer or feeling on a situation.
During the time that many of us shared with him, we knew Gary as a staple within the Badger Kart Club, where he filled many positions over the years. He also was a technical official for the Great Lakes Sprint Series and most recently the Midwest Sprint Series. Within WKA, he will always be remembered as a key technical official and member / advisor to the Technical Committee. In 2005, Gary was inducted into the WKA Hall of Fame for his years of dedicated service to the sport of karting.
Gary mentored many people on issues regarding the history of motorsports as well as rules and procedures. His careful guidance in helping people understand principles in tech procedures, chassis dynamics and driving can be witnessed in many people around motorsports today. These people learned the craft via his teachings.
I was always comforted when I knew I could call Gary at any time to arrange a meeting, whether at home with his wife Nancy or out for a coffee to discuss and understand a problem or situation. He always had a way of presenting the voice of reason. I will miss that. I trust that in the years to come, we all will continue to see the benefits and guidance that Gary gave to his family and to motorsports.