Parkside alumni reunite and marry after 30 years


AUSTIN KRIEGER | krieg004@rangers.uwp.edu

This coming May, UW-Parkside’s ballroom is going to be holding a very special event: the wedding reception for Parkside alumni Gary Schneeberger and Kelly Flory. Kelly was recruited by Gary during a visit to Horlick High School to scout for new members of Parkside’s campus paper, “The Ranger”.

Both Gary and Kelly were members of “The Ranger” together  in 1986 until Gary

GaryandKellySchneeberger.jpg
Kelly Flory and Gary Schneeberger

graduation in 1987.  Though Gary and Kelly met at a young age where hormones tend to be a prevalent variable, but their relationship remained strictly non-romantic until nearly 30 years later.  

Separate ways

After Gary’s graduation, him and Kelly went their separate ways finding triumph and tribulation along the way. Gary started working at the “Racine Journal Times” for a short period of time right after graduation; from there, he moved around over the span of 12 years, working as a reporter and editor for numerous publications from Davenport, Iowa; Victoria and Wichita, Texas; Palm Springs and Los Angeles, California, and also as the editor of his own newspaper in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

In 2000, Gary took a new path in a Colorado-based public relations firm, Focus on Family, where he spent 12 years at the company. Gary’s last stop was in Los Angeles, again, where he worked his way up to Vice President of Grace Hill Media, a public relations firm for films, where he remained until moving to Kenosha. He is now  president of his PR Firm, ROAR.

Following Kelly’s graduation in 1990, she found a position in the Marketing and Communication Department of Kenosha’s Snap-On headquarters for a short period of time. From there, Kelly began working as a journalist as well as some sales and marketing positions in Rockford, Illinois. After Kelly moved on from Illinois, she began a position at the Martin Flory Public Relations Firm in Gurnee, Illinois, which is one of the nation’s leading marine, outdoor or RV public relation firms.

Reuniting

Gary and Kelly once again reconnected in February of last year. Gary, after discovering Kelly on Facebook, decided to shoot her a message, as it had been 30 years since the once good friends had spoken or seen each other. From there began a conversation, which eventually amounted to a total of 40,000 words shared between the two over the next several days. This sprouted a deeper relationship than the two began with and blossomed a true love.

Gary, after moving back to Kenosha to be with his soon-to-be wife, described how the third act of his life had gone from dull to, as he put it, “a great love story, a great adventure and a great opportunity to learn and love and grow.” Gary and Kelly are excited to begin a new chapter of their lives at the same place they began their relationship of sorts, here at UW-Parkside. Along with Kelly’s two children, they will continue to grow as a family. Though it may have taken 30 years to get to where they are, Gary and Kelly agree that “everything happens for a reason and that the timing was exactly right.”

The Ranger1987
A 1987 issue of the school paper that Gary and Kelly worked on together.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GARY SCHNEEBERGER

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