Dr John P. Schneider
May 18, 1927- April 11, 2022
The world lost a great man on April 11, when Dr. John Schneider, known as Jack, Dad and GranJack to his
family and friends, passed away after a brief illness. He spent 95 amazing years with us and will be
Jack was a true son of Austin. He was born in 1927 and grew up swimming in Barton Springs, riding his
horse around Travis Heights, and delivering groceries for the Schneider Store, his family’s dry goods
business at the corner of Second and Guadalupe streets. He attended Stephen F. Austin High School and
the University of Texas. He watched the last great flood of the Colorado River, which devastated Austin,
and told stories about watching Lake Travis fill up after Mansfield Dam was completed in 1942. His only
regret was being born too early to have ridden along the ChisholmTrail like his favorite characters in
Louis L’Amour novels.
As the grandson of immigrants, Jack wanted
to show his love for his country by joining the United States Navy in 1944. His training as a Navy Corpsman was his first job in medicine. He returned to the
University of Texas on the GI Bill after leaving active duty in 1946. He was the first in his family to attend
college, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1949. He attended Tulane University School of Medicine in
New Orleans. He interned in urology at Philadelphia General Hospital from 1952-53, followed by a
residency at the prestigious Mayo Clinic from 1953-56. He was a surgeon at University of Texas Medical
Branch at Galveston for two years before he returned to Austin in 1958 to open his own medical
When taking a month-long break from medical duties in 1953, Jack was home in Austin when his sister
Frances introduced him to Eleanor Luckett, Sweetheart of the University of Texas. They were married
one year later.
Jack and Ellie were best friends and partners in everything they did. They always enjoyed one another’s
company and loved every moment of their 68 years together. At a special mass to celebrate their 50th
wedding anniversary, the priest asked them to renew their vows in front of their family. Jack replied,
“No thank you, I’m still good with the original ones I made.” He often told his grandchildren that the
secret to a good marriage was to never go to bed angry with one another, but that it also helped to be
married to someone who rarely got angry and was so nice all the time.
Jack and Ellie had six children, 20 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren (so far.) As a doting parent
and grandparent, “GranJack” loved to talk about his family to anyone who would listen. He was an early
adopter of cell phone technology and made brief, but entertaining, phone calls to his children and
grandchildren all day long. He was most happy at family gatherings where he could tease his
grandchildren, tell jokes with his “boys,” and be doted on by his “girls.”
His circle of friends was wide and deep. He could be found eating breakfast with his buddies at the
library in Garfield, chatting with the guys at Bert’s BBQ during lunch, or telling stories with other
veterans during his monthly WWII meetings. He made friends everywhere he went. He would introduce
himself with a handshake and start conversations that would often lead to years’ long friendships.
His passion for medicine and being a doctor was Jack’s true calling. It was his hobby and his vocation. He
never stopped learning and studying. He purchased cutting-edge equipment on his own dime and would
donate it to the hospital after seeing demonstrations at medical conventions. A visit to his office often
meant you waited well past your appointment time. But once he had you in the examination room,
Jack’s attention was on you for as long as was needed. He visited patients at home, treated multiple
generations of families, and was known to show up at the hospital late at night to check on a worried or
No patient ever went home without having Jack’s personal phone number and he always said, “If I’m not
available, my wife Ellie can help you.” A testament to the respect and commitment he showed others is
the fact that many of his employees worked for him for more than 20 years.
A voracious reader with eidetic memory, Jack loved history and exchanged books with like-minded
friends after his retirement and move to the Querencia at Barton Creek. He was always enthusiastic
about learning a new subject and meeting someone who was a specialist in his or her field. Both Ellie
and Jack thrived at the Querencia and felt they were surrounded by the most interesting people.
Over the years Jack joined and was honored by many organizations. He was proud to have been the
Chief of Staff at St. David’s Hospital in Austin, President of the Texas Association of GU Surgeons,
President of the Texas Urologic Society, Travis County Medical Society Executive Board, Vienna Austria
Medical Society, the Advisory Council for the School of Information at the University of Texas, and the
Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee at the University of Texas.
Jack was a devout Catholic. He was member of the Knights of Columbus, and he received a Papal
appointment to the Equestrian Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher.
Jack is survived by his wife, Ellie Luckett Schneider; son, John, and his wife, Mary Pat, of Austin; son,
James, and his wife, Mary Frances, of Austin; daughter Mary Schneider Pitts, and her husband, Will, of
Austin; daughter Phyllis and her husband John Russell of Winnetka, Illinois; and daughter, Catherine
Schneider, of Austin. He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter, Frances Schneider Mertz, and
remained close to her husband Len Mertz and his wife, Trish, of San Angelo, Texas.
In lieu of flowers Jack’s family would be honored with gifts to the John P. Schneider Excellence
Endowment for Annual Lectureship at the University of Texas https://give.utexas.edu/?menu=OGPGL**
and The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul https://ssvpusa.org/donate/
The funeral will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Saturday, April 23 at 12:30 p.m.
Reception following at the church’s event center, Morris Hall. https://sjnaustin.org/