Dr. June Schneider, much-loved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and family bedrock, died in New York July 22, 2020, three days after her 61st wedding anniversary.
A composer, champion of music and dance, esteemed professor, critic and musicologist, she was the youngest Ph.D. to graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand and went on to teach in the music faculty there, as well as at Emory University and Mercer University in Atlanta.
She developed the award-winning exhibition “Sensation” at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and was a co-founder of the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
In New York, June continued to build upon her passion for childhood education and she revamped the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where she curated many exhibitions including the life and work of artist Maira Kalman. She was the dance critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and wrote frequently about dance, music and opera.
June loved ballet, having studied it in her youth. She went on to serve on the board of the American Ballet Theatre and was a founding board member of Complexions Dance Company. She was often seen backstage at the Metropolitan Opera House, where she was a friend, supporter and advocate for the dancers who adored her.
She met the love of her life David at an engagement party in Johannesburg. They were married before the couple for whom the engagement party was held, and they danced the night away at their wedding and on their honeymoon, and never stopped dancing together. They loved to travel and entertain; loved collecting art and supporting aspiring artists.
June is survived by her beloved husband David; sons John (Hope Cohn) and Anthony (Caroline Levy); and grandchildren Jack, Sophie, Harry and Max; as well as her “big” brother Colin Benjamin, and about a million devoted friends. She was a collector of music, art, friends, and quotations. June was fond of quoting The Rolling Stones on any occasion, and, quoting William Blake, exhorting everyone she loved to “kiss the joy as it flies.”
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to American Ballet Theater, https://support.abt.org/donate-now?select=70.
A private funeral was held July 26 at Arlington Memorial Park. An online shiva was also held. A memorial service will be held when it is safe to do so. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- Dr. June Schneider
- Emory University
- High Museum of Art in Atlanta
- Children's museum of Atlanta
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Maira Kalman
- Atlanta Journal Constitution
- American Ballet Theatre
- Complexions Dance Company
- Metropolitan Opera House
- Arlington Memorial Park
- Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care