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Schneider, Norman Christoph
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Norman Christoph Schneider was born in Berlin, Ontario (now Kitchener) on December 9, 1888, the third son of John Metz and Helena Ahrens. He was an engineer and worked from 1905-1910 at Tuerk Tool and Engine company, before joining J.M. Schneider Inc. as a stationary engineer. Over the course of his time with the company he served as company vice-president, president, chairman of the board and as a director, retiring in 1976. He was married to Ethel May Lapsley with whom he had three children: Herbert John, Howard George and Brita.
Beyond his work at Schneider's he served with the 118th Battalion, during the First World War, and served as a Member of Parliament for the riding of North Waterloo from 1952-1958. He won a by-election in 1952, was re-elected in 1953 and 1956, but was defeated in 1958 by Conservative O.W. Weichel. He participated actively in community affairs, serving with the Kitchener Young Men's Club, the Red Cross, the Kitchener Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Federated Charities, Salvation Army, Children's Aid, YWCA, University of Waterloo, St. Mary's Hospital, Doon Pioneer Village, K-W High School Board, Kitchener Citizen's Fire Prevention Committee, Waterloo Township Plowman's Association, Grand River Valley Conservation Commission, Kitchener Downtown Urban Renewal Development Committee, the Schneider Male Choir, and as a director of the Economical Mutual Insurance Co. He was a lifelong member of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Swedenborgian) and served for twenty-five years as Sunday school superintendent and member of the Board of Directors.
Schneider was an aviation enthusiast influencing the development of related amenities in the Region of Waterloo. He was involved in establishing the Kitchener-Waterloo Airport on Lexington Road in Waterloo in 1930 and assisted with the selection of the site of the Waterloo-Wellington Airport in Breslau, Ontario. He served on the airport commission from its founding in 1946 until 1971 and in 1973 the new terminal building was named in his honour. Schneider became an avid skier in his 40's and was a founding member of the Chicopee Ski Club. He also had an interest in motorcycles and automobiles resulting in the 1956 of a LeRoy car built in Kitchener in 1899, which he subsequently donated to Doon Pioneer Village. Finally, an active amateur photographer, he covered the Olympics in Berlin for The Record and in 1929 was the official movie photographer for Kitchener when the King and Queen visited the city.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfrid Laurier University) in 1966 and a Centennial medal in 1967 on the occasion of Canada's 100th birthday.
Schneider died August 26, 1985 at his home in Kitchener and was buried at Woodland Cemetery.