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Philip Schneider

Date of Death: July 4, 2021

Date of Birth: July 25, 1928


Philip Schneider, 92, died peacefully at his home in Topsham, Maine, on July 4, 2021.  Philip epitomized the American success story. He was born in Brooklyn, New York to immigrant parents and went on to become a pioneer in the early development of worldwide telecommunications.

After earning three degrees from Columbia University in the City of New York (BA Physics; BS Electrical Engineering and MS Electrical Engineering), Philip led the Bell Labs team that designed and developed T-1 lines, testing them by running them through the sewer system of Morristown, New Jersey.  While at RCA, he directed the design, development and business plan for a national satellite network. Under his leadership, his team established the first national cable television network service using the new domestic satellite system. Philip traveled to China before President Nixon’s groundbreaking visit in 1972, setting up the satellite communication system that would allow the President to broadcast his visit live across the world, a new use of the technology. Philip’s extraordinary career included executive positions at RCA, Western Union and Fairchild Industries. Before his retirement in 1999, Phillip was the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of an Internet Service Provider known as DigiNet Communications. He retired from the corporate world in 1999, but continued to give business management advice to his children and grandchildren for the rest of his life.

Philip will be remembered by his children and grandchildren as a kind and loving Dad/Grandpa/PopPop. He will also be remembered for his many lessons about hard work, loyalty, problem solving, logic, patience and always looking forward and not backward. Philip was infamous for his lengthy and
humorous explanations about how the world worked, including why restaurant service was so slow (“well, first they had to grow the lettuce….”).

Philip traveled the world with his wife of 70 years, Marion Kriftcher Schneider. Marion predeceased Philip by 22 short days. In their later years the couple spent most of their time making friends, playing bridge, watching lobster boats, eating lobster, and surfing the internet from their home in Maine.  In the end, he said he had enjoyed his long life and career and that he had no regrets.

Philip and his late wife Marion are survived by their two children, Cathy Dowgin (Michael) and Grant Schneider (Louisa), four grandchildren, Laura
(Sean), Ryan (Jessica), Annie and Kevin (Molly), and three great-grandchildren, James, Emily and Henry.  He will be greatly missed by all.

There will be no services, per Philip’s wishes.  Should you care to make a memorial gesture, know that Philip highly valued education and would have
appreciated any donation to your local high school scholarship fund to benefit students pursuing technology careers.

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