The mother of comedian Rob Schneider, Filipina Pilar Monroe Schneider, died on Sunday after spending a “perfect” evening surrounded by “loved ones,” the actor announced yesterday.
In an Instagram post, Rob recalled his mother’s early years in the Philippines, then in the throes of World War II. He also included a photo of himself with his mother, along with two children.
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“[H]er mother had smallpox and she was raised for the first 3 years by her aunt,” Rob wrote. “Then one day this well-dressed family showed up and told her they were her family and introduced her to her mother, Victoria.”
Pilar grew up without a father, an American serviceman whom she met “by accident” in San Francisco more than two decades after she was born. Two of Pilar’s brothers, John and Bill, were killed by Japanese soldiers when they were teenagers.
While there was never enough food for Pilar’s family, they managed to survive thanks to their ingenuity.
“Her mother and sisters sewed pajamas from bedsheets and traded them with the farmers for sweet potatoes (kamotes), the ones that the Japanese didn’t steal from her,” Rob wrote.
“After the war, Pilar was able to ‘pay for school’ because she and her sister Rose found money the Japanese buried in a cave (along with what they thought were metal pineapples which turned out to be hand grenades),” her son added.
Pilar graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in Sampaloc and moved to the United States in the 1950s. She earned a master’s degree and taught for three decades.
“[T]hree generations of children…would be grateful that years later she remembered every one of their names,” her son wrote.
“Pilar spoke often of joining her beloved husband of 39 years, my lovely father Marvin Schneider. That day has come for them to be together,” he added.
“I am proud to be able to say that I am the son of Pilar Monroe Schneider,” he said.
Rob, a Saturday Night Live alum, went on to star in comedy movies such as Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, and Click.