It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Patti Schneider, who was a long-time member and supporter of the Institute for Cultural Research and the Idries Shah Foundation — and worked in London as Idries Shah’s personal assistant for more than a decade. Patti was the archetypal genteel Texan lady, endowed with the most impeccable manners and charming smile. At her core, she possessed a strong Texan spirit of adventure.

Born in 1934 in Greenville, Texas, Patti was raised in the small town of Sweetwater, best known for its annual rattlesnake roundup. As a young woman, she left the world of oil fields and cattle ranches for New York City. From there, a career with the State Department took her around the world. In Taiwan, she met New Yorker Jerry Schneider, who was on a short secondment to the US embassy. Just a few months later, they married in Tokyo.

It was in Paris that Patti and Jerry met an eclectic group of fellow Americans, many of whom became life-long friends. This group introduced them to Idries Shah’s work. Patti’s interest in Sufi thought remained a constant for the rest of her life.

Patti died peacefully on September 27th in Texas surrounded by her family. She is survived by two children, Adam and Margaret, and five grandchildren, Preston, Kathryn, Kendal, Alexandra and James.