Tatyana Lynn Schneider

SKOWHEGAN – On Friday, July 17, 2020, Tatyana Lynn Schneider of Back Road in Skowhegan passed away, from complications due to a massive cerebral hemorrhage, at Maine Medical Center in Portland. Tat was born in Sochi, Russia on Nov. 12, 1993. Abandoned at birth, she was adopted on Jan. 6, 1997 by dad, Robert and mom, Nancy (deceased March 10, 2018) previously living in Sabattus and resettling to Skowhegan in 2001.

Until suffering insidious, progressive pain for the last 10 years of her life from a disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, she had a shy yet gregarious personality, always championing the underdog, which as a teenager, occasionally worked to her detriment but which she never wavered from. She was a hands-on, tactile learner who could put anything together in 15 minutes, without instructions, often saving her dad from pulling his hair out trying to construct the same project in two hours, and using the dreaded I word (Tats words). Even when showing signs of the disease, Tat excelled as an athlete, playing field hockey for both the Skowhegan and Waterville school systems.

She enjoyed music (played saxaphone and clarinet in middle and high schools, taught herself to play four additional instruments, eschewing sports camps in favor of music camps during her summer recesses). She attended a year of University at Orono, transferring to UMA as an Architecture major until her body would not let her continue in her chosen career.

If it were possible for Tat to be here, she would like those reading her obituary to be informed that RSD is a very real idiopathic, physiological disease; neither is it psychological nor a figment of one’s imagination (unfortunately, she did often experience, as did many on her RSD chat site, her veracity being challenged by teachers, physicians she saw for help, and even some friends). And so many people on that chat site had their bodies surrender to the pain, like Tat’s, and they passed from this world in much the same manner as she. While Tat could not reach her living aspirations, in death, her organ donations were able to save five people and give sight to two others, which would have made her so very proud.

Tat is survived by her dad. Bob, of Skowhegan (who deeply loved and admired his little mesomorph); aunt Aileen and husband David of Woodmere, N.Y.; cousins Avi and wife Dana of Cedarhurst, N.Y., Daniel of NYC, and Mark and wife Debbie of Boca Raton, Fla.; and her many second cousins and other relatives too numerous to mention. And Aussie Shepherd Bugsie, the wonder dog, who was Tats constant companion and stalwart service animal and saw her through the toughest of times; Golden Retriever Sagan who gave her the gift of happiness when happiness was almost an elusive commodity, and Greyhound Twiggie, who gave her the gift of calmness and serenity, and by her two parrots Frican and Indigo.

Important people in her life that predeceased her were mom Nancy; grandparents, Murray and Beatrice Schneider of Boynton Beach, Fla. and Joe and Marian Robichaud, of Kennebunk.

Incredible gratitude and love to aide Sherry who, for the past 2 ½ years, not only took care of Tats everyday needs, but was like a surrogate mom to her, and thanks to Dale who, as a contemporary of Tats, was more like a friend than an aide, which helped fill an important void in the last few months of her life, and to the various nurses, case workers, hospitals, agencies, administrators and aides who helped her along life’s path.

There will be no funeral service, and a celebration of Tat’s life has yet to be planned.

As a lifetime proponent of animal dignity and animal causes, Tat would be honored by those who wish to donate to:

World Wildlife Fund

1250 24th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037

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