Hollywood comedian Rob Schneider announced that his Filipino mom, Pilar Monroe Schneider, has died “peacefully surrounded by loved ones” at the age of 91.
“My Mother, Pilar Monroe Schneider, passed away peacefully after spending a perfect Sunday evening family dinner surrounded with loved ones at her side; her daughter April, son in-law Matt, granddaughter Crystal and her great grandchildren,” the actor-comedian wrote on Instagram on Monday (January 11).
In the touching post, the Deuce Bigalow star paid tribute to his mom’s roots and incredible life story as a “World War 2 survivor from the Philippines”.
“Her mother had small pox and she was raised for the first 3 years by her aunt. Then one day this well-dressed family showed up and told her they were her family and introduced her to her mother, Victoria,” he said.
According to Rob, even before his mom was born in 1929 in Baguio City, her family was abandoned by her father — an American soldier whom she never met until by accident 22 years later in San Francisco. Her brothers, John and Bill, were both killed as teenagers during the Japanese occupation.
“There was never enough food during the war and her stomach bothered her for her nearly 92 years. The family survived because of Pilar and her 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,” he said.
“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).”
Rob also shared that his mom graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas and being born as an American citizen, she moved to the US in the ’50s.
He noted that his mom not only survived but also she thrived in the States. She earned a master’s degree as a reading specialist and “was elected to the school board in Pacifica California, getting more votes than Bill Clinton.”
“Pilar became a beloved teacher for 3 decades and three generations of children who would be grateful that years later she remembered every one of their names.
“After retiring from teaching Pilar made sure that the schools in her town where she raised all her children, Pacifica, all had music teachers and music classes, a program she ran for 15 years.”
The star of Netflix’s Real Rob recalled that his mom spoke often of joining her beloved husband of 39 years, “my lovely father Marvin Schneider.”
“That day has come for them to be together.
“I am proud to be able to say that I am the son of Pilar Monroe Schneider.
“May God and Jesús Christ hold you in his arms and fill your soul with the blissful peace that so much of your early life eluded you,” he said.
Pilar was a familiar face to movie fans as Rob cast her in cameo roles in several of his hit films such as Hot Chick, Deuce Bigalow, The Animal, among others.
In a Philippine STAR interview in 2012, the actor who started out in Saturday Night Live had credited his mom for his showbiz success.
“My mom instilled in me, you gotta work and you’ll be successful, and don’t let anything stop you. That’s a beautiful trait and that’s a Filipino trait,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rob’s daughter, singer-songwriter Elle King, honored her grandmother with a loving post.
“Yesterday Bita Babes danced her way into the great unknown. There was no one tougher, stronger, or more of a matriarch than my grandmother. She used to fly from San Francisco to Ohio, pick me up, fly back, spend time with me for a week, fly me back to Ohio, and then fly home by herself,” the Ex’s & Oh’s singer said.
“If that isn’t love and dedication, well I’m not sure what is. I will miss you dearly. We all will. But I’m glad that you and papa are finally together again, and fancy as ever. Rest in Power!
“Mahal Kita Bita! I love you forever and then some.”