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Barbara Schneider, 77, longtime resident, was refugee in Siberia

Barbara Walentina Schneider, 77, of Ridgefield, wife of the late Marcel Curt Schneider, died on Wednesday evening, July 10, 2013 at Danbury Hospital.

Mrs. Schneider, known by her friends as “Bobbie” or “Basia,” was born in Zloczow, Poland, Feb.15, 1936, a daughter of the late Mieczyslaw and Helena Prokop. As a child she and her mother were refugees from Poland for seven years, arriving in the United States by way of Siberia and India.

In February 1939, Russian soldiers appeared on Barbara’s doorstep; she was then 3 years old. Her mother was told that they had 30 minutes to gather their belongings before they were taken to a safe place.

Travelling by cattle car they arrived at a camp in Siberia where her mother made bricks. From there, they were moved to Tehran, Iran, and later Karatchi, India, to the Country Club Refugee Camp.

While in India, her mother mentioned that she had been born in the United States. With a designated sponsor they travelled to the United States aboard the merchant ship Terra Haute, arriving at the Statue of Liberty in 1944.

A resident of Ridgefield for 47 years, she was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish of Ridgefield.

Mrs. Schneider was an active  member of Founders Hall where she enjoyed playing Bridge and taking a variety of classes. She was a former volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

Her home was important to her as were the outdoors. She enjoyed tennis, canoeing and camping with her family.

She is survived by one son LTC Marcel A. Schneider, his wife Marcia and their two sons, Alexander and Jackson of Fort Bragg, North Carolina; one daughter, Teresa (Tei or Mala) Schneider and her husband Steven (Cecil) Fink, of Waitsfield, Vermont; and one nephew, Stefan Jerzy Kubiakowska of Paris, France.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM at St. Elizabeth Seton Church; 520 Ridgebury Road, Ridgefield.

Interment will take place in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield, at a later date.

There will be no calling hours.

Memorial contributions can be made to Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah St., Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.

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