Obituary: Dortha Jean Schneider |

Obituary: Dortha Jean Schneider

Like the Western land she called home for 91 years, Dortha Jean Schneider was resilient, robust and a joy to encounter.  She passed away in Carson City on Nov. 29, 2010. Although we are grieving the loss of her joyful presence, we are blessed to have known her as a grandmother, mother and friend.


Born in Texas on Oct. 2, 1919, to Roy and Stella Games. Dortha Jean was the youngest of three children, with older brother John Games and older sister Faye Snoeberger. At the age of 17 Dortha’s family was making the move to California, however, she had fallen head-over-boots in love with Fred McFarren. Rather than leave him, they were married. They shared 24 blissful years together as husband and wife. A few years after they were married they too ventured out to California where they had three children: Nancy Jean, Fred Leroy and Timothy Charles. She also shared her love, wisdom and advice with her two loving daughters-in-law, Marcia McFarren and Dr. Sandra Koch-McFarren.


Always a trailblazer, Dortha was one of the first women in history to work at Lockheed during WWII, she was president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in Southern California and later the president of the Northern Nevada Republican Women’s Club. She worked night shifts at a police station for several years after her husband passed away so she could have mornings and afternoons with her children. Following that role she became an employee of the telephone company where she worked until she retired. Dortha was always a dedicated, caring friend and a volunteer in her community. She taught our family many important lessons and the value of friendship, family and hard work. 


Dortha had seven grandchildren, David, Marco, Matthew, Leigh, Kelly, J.P. and Katie and we will remember our Nana for so many wonderful things. Her love for the beach and our many family trips there, her enthusiasm for football and horse races, her hugs, her wit and laughter, how she always won at cards no matter what game we were playing, her great advice and of course, no visit with Grandma was complete without her cookies, noodles and toasted cheese sandwiches.


Whether it was an important race or game we were playing in, a graduation, a holiday or just because, she was always there and she will be deeply and forever missed.


Dortha is survived by her two sons and their wives, Fred and Marcia McFarren of Tucson, Ariz., and Drs. Tim McFarren and Sandra Koch of Carson City; and her seven grandchildren.


We invite you to help us honor and celebrate her life at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at the First United Methodist Church on the corner of Musser and Division streets, Carson City.  She will be laid to rest with her husband and family at Forest Lawn, Glendale, Calif., on Feb. 5, 2011. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made to the National Federation of the Blind.

National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place

Baltimore, MD 21230

Phone: (410) 659-9314, ext. 2371