Skip to content

Alta Mae 'Johnny' Schneider (nee Johnston)

December 23, 2023


November 28, 1927 - December 23, 2023

In Loving Memory ~

Mom: We will never forget you

and will always love you.

It is with our deepest regret we announce the passing of our beloved Mom, Alta Schneider. Mom passed away, in the presence of her daughters, on December 23, 2023 in Williams Lake Seniors Village.

Alta was born in Oliver, BC, on November 28, 1927, to Dora and Levi Johnston. Her family lived in Summerland before buying a dairy farm in Armstrong on Pleasant Valley Road in 1938. Alta and her five siblings were raised there having many adventures.

After attending Normal School in Victoria (where she was first called Johnny) Alta began her teaching career in 1944 at Grand Forks Elementary, earning a salary of $1200.00/ year. She had to repay her bursary and pay 50.00/month for room and board. Alta's class consisted of 56 students in different grades. This was exhausting so she applied to a rural school in Fraser Lake and arrived there in September of 1947.

Alta was pursued by a handsome logger, Wilfred Schneider, and she fell for him. They were married in August 1950. Together they raised three children whom they were very proud of - Ed, Ginny and Sindee.

Wilf was the love of Alta's life and they were never apart for over 70 years. Alta was devastated when Wilf passed away in 2020.

Wilf worked in the lumber industry - jobs were easy to come by so they moved around a fair bit. Alta taught in many of the towns they lived in, including Endako, Armstrong, and Fraser Lake, finally settling in Vanderhoof where she taught from 1962 to 1982. She was a dedicated teacher and her students loved her.

They traveled all over BC, Alaska and the Northwest Territories in their camper and fifth wheel, always accompanied by their beloved gold cocker spaniel. They camped out in the wilderness often hunting and canoeing.

In 1987, they climbed the Chilkoot Pass with their daughters and their daughter's family. This was on Mom's bucket list after teaching about the Gold Rush for many years. They adventured across Canada three times and said there was still more to see.

Wilf and Alta loved to go for drives to see wildlife and they continued to do this almost daily after retiring. Mom's favorite thing in the last four years was to "go for a drive" hoping to see deer, moose or bear.

Alta was a sweet, gentle person with a core of steel. She was a loving wife and devoted mother. She worked full time, teaching most of her life and managed a career, her family and volunteering. Alta volunteered at the library in Vanderhoof for 20 years and with the Canadian Cancer Society for 33 years. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and held the Worthy Matron position three times. She was Grand Warder in 1989-90.

Alta was predeceased by her loving husband, Wilfred, son, Edwin, son in law, Ken McCracken and siblings, Jerry (Fay), Ethel (Bob), and Bob (Marg) as well as her sisters in law, Ellen (Doug) and Violet (Bob) and brother in law, Dick.

Alta is survived by her daughters, Ginny Schneider and Sindee Broen, daughter in law, Corinne Durrell, grandson, Tyler Broen (Michelle), granddaughter, Stacey Sinclair (Aaron), great grandchildren, Cole, Justice, Corbin, Liam and Payton as well as brother, Ted Johnston (Pauline), sister, Pat Garrod and sister in law, Alma Cousins.

No Service by request. For anyone wanting to make a donation, please consider the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, BC.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.