Artist and island historian passes
Richard Eugene Schneider passed away quietly amid family and friends on Feb. 15, 2015.
Born to Dorothy and Clarence Schneider on April 5, 1928 in Seattle, Wash., Richard grew up on Orcas Island with his two sisters, Joyce and Viola.
Early in his life, Richard and his lifelong partner, Albert (Bud) McBride, Delbert McBride and Oliver Tiedemann started Klee Wyk Studio.
Klee Wyk made a big splash locally through its use of Northwest Coast Indian imagery in design work. Klee Wyk’s design legacy is still evident in the recently restored West Seattle High School mural in Seattle. Several Seattle apartment buildings still have Klee Wyk tile murals with Indian themes installed on the outside. Local collectors have coffee tables, fountains, fireplaces and back splashes designed specifically for their homes. Bread-and-butter items like wind chimes and pendants were also designed and sold to tourists and visitors to the gallery. The construction of I-5 eventually ended the cooperative.
Subsequently, in 1959, Richard and Bud McBride opened what was then called the Crow Valley Shop on Orcas Island. With their experience, the shop became known for their wind bells, pendants, pottery and vases largely decorated by Richard. Richard and Bud McBride ran Crow Valley Pottery on Orcas Island until their retirement in 1995.
Richard and Bud restored the original Crow Valley schoolhouse and recently donated it to the Historical Museum in Eastsound.
As an avid historian, Richard studied and knew more about Orcas Island history and his lineage than one would expect. And more recently, Richard and Bud moved the Dixon House across Crow Valley to restore and show. A definite work in progress.
Richard is survived by his sister, Joyce Nigretto (Johnson) and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to APS at 84A Hope Lane, Eastsound, WA 98245.
There will be a celebration of Richard’s life at his home at 2274 Orcas Road, Eastsound on April 5 from noon to 3 p.m.