Local USVI News

Daughter of Dr. Roy Lester Schneider Calls on His Namesake Hospital to ‘Do Better’ as Renowned Physician and Former Governor is Laid to Rest

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Family and friends said their final farewells to the late Dr. Roy Lester Schneider during a state funeral held on Thursday morning.

The well-known surgeon and U.S. army veteran served as the fifth elected Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands from 1995 to 1999.

Mr. Schneider died on Sunday 18, December 2022 at the age of 83 after dealing with health complications for some time.

In his eulogy, his daughter Suzanne Schneider asked that the hospital after which her father is named do justice in its service delivery to honor his memory.

“You can do better, you must do better,” she said, after recalling stories of how her father’s presence at the hospital would rush everyone to action.

The Roy Schneider Regional Medical Hospital, which Mr. Schneider once served over as commissioner of Health has been dealing with staff shortage, long wait times, and loss of revenue which has affected patient care over the past few years.

In her address, Ms. Schneider said that her father became a physician after seeing his grandmother die in the hospital when in his opinion, her life could have been saved.

It is that story that ignited her call for the hospital to do better to uphold her father’s legacy.

“It breaks my heart that one day one of my father’s grandchildren may one day enter the medical profession for the exact same reason that he did. And I hope for the sake of everyone in this territory that you’ve got another singular boy or girl amongst your children; multiple little girls and boys if we are all lucky, dreaming about committing their lives to burning brightly so that others do not go unjustly into their good nights,” she said.

She remembered him as an exemplary man who committed his life to improving the lives of others, saying: “He had an indomitable will and to know my father was to admire him, or at the very, very least respect him. If you couldn’t see that you were in the presence of greatness when you stood before him, then I guess you’re one of those people who witnesses a firework exploding across the heaven and asks only why does it have to burn so bright.”

Mr. Schneider was born on May 13, 1939 on St. Thomas. He attended Howard University and earned his medical bachelor’s degree in 1965.

He also enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War between 1966 and 1968, where he served as a medical advisor and surgeon between 1967 and 1968. Dr. Schneider was awarded a Bronze Star by the United States for his service.

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