Schindler Family, Pro-Life Advocates Pay Respects to Terri Schiavo’s Father

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Schindler Family, Pro-Life Advocates Pay Respects to Terri Schiavo’s Father

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 31
, 2009

St. Petersburg, FL ( — The Schindler family and pro-life advocates are paying their respects to Robert Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo — the woman whose life and death has been a rallying cry to protect the disabled. Schindler and his family have taken it upon themselves to help other disabled patients and their families.

Bobby Schindler commented on his father’s death with moving words.

"I am heartbroken over the loss of my father and yet I know at this moment he is rejoicing with my sister, Terri," he said in a statement to

"My dad was a man of integrity, character and compassion who was blessed with a close and loving family. He taught all three of his children to respect and value life and to love our fellow man," he added.

"Even at the height of the battle to save my sister Terri’s life, when his patience and temperance was near exhaustion, he managed to display a gentleness of spirit. Yet it was his unfathomable strength that allowed him to shoulder up his own heartache and lead us through our darkest hour," Bobby Schindler added. "What greater legacy could a man leave behind?"

Father Frank Pavone had the somber privilege of spending some of the last moments of Terri’s life with her and the Schindler family.

He told that "Bob Schindler remains an inspiration" to him.

"In spite of enduring the heartbreaking, court ordered killing of his daughter, Terry Schiavo, Bob never stopped fighting for the rights of others who were disabled or medically vulnerable," Pavone said.

"His quiet strength in the face of persecution and his compassion for those who were too weak to defend themselves will forever serve as examples of how we should show Christ’s love," the Priests for Life director said.

Alex Schadenberg, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has fought many end-of-life battles alongside the Schindler family.

He told that "today is a sad day for everyone who is dedicated to preventing euthanasia by dehydration."

"The Schindler family and Bob need to be upheld for everything they had done to try to save the life of their daughter and sister Terri. The horrific reality of death by dehydration for those who are not otherwise dying was made known to the world by the courageous Schindler family who were led by their father Bob," he said.

Schindler’s family released a statement on his behalf and talked about how he tried to save his daughter from a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death.

"Robert fought valiantly to save the life of his brain- injured daughter Terri in the landmark right to life case that culminated in her imposed death by court-ordered starvation and thirst on March 31, 2005," the family said.

"After Terri’s death, he founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg dedicated to supporting other families faced with the same need to fight for the rights of their disabled or otherwise vulnerable loved ones,’ they added.

Robert was born in Philadelphia on October 23, 1937 and was 71 years of age. He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Suzanne Vitadamo, son Bobby Schindler and granddaughter Alexandra.

A Mass of Christian burial with visitation preceding will take place in Philadelphia on Friday.

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation –

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