RIP: Señor Stan Schneck

For my lunch break today I took a scary ride on my motorcycle to Eudora.

The wind was blowing something fierce, but I was undeterred to make the trek. And for whatever reason, I decided to head there via I-70, taking the new Eudora exit to come in the north way into town. As I approached our neighbor to the east, I passed by the former home of Señor Stan’s Salsa.

The place looked a little run down from the last time I saw it in 2001. That didn’t surprise me much. I had heard Stan Schneck moved his operations from the little shack he had based his operations out of when I first met him. His pride and joy – a wonderful salsa that got its start here in Douglas County – had grown up. You could find Señor Stan’s Salsa at many grocers in the region and I often saw it when I was shopping in Hy-Vee here in Lawrence.

Tonight I heard some sad news: Señor Stan passed away Nov. 1 from complications of liver cancer.

Stan’s friend’s mother, of Mexican heritage, taught him how to make salsa, so he scratched his own itch. He wasn’t satisfied with other salsas and decided to give it a go himself. The dude was great to speak with. I love to be around anyone who is truly passionate about something, and Stan was really into salsa. He lived and breathed that stuff. It was as much a part of his essence as his own skin.

Stan’s product had an impact on a friend of mine who also died of cancer last year, Brandon White. Brandon loved, and I mean LOVED, the Jayhawks, and one night as were discussing excellent game-watching food, he mentioned that Señor Stan’s Salsa was his favorite.

Man, cancer is a real bitch.

I think the thing to take away from Stan Schneck’s life is this: find something you’re madly passionate about and go after it. As I mentioned yesterday, time is a precious, finite thing we’re given. Stan took his passion and did amazingly well for a little operation from Kansas. He touched other people’s lives with a flavorful concoction of all things, salsa.

Go do something amazing. Honor the memories of those who took a chance on themselves by taking a chance on yourself. You never know how much time you have left. Make it count.

Related: Chips Not Included from The Eudora News.

14 thoughts on “RIP: Señor Stan Schneck

  1. ericjgruber Post author

    Ray, I have the utmost confidence that you’ll find it soon enough. You do a great job at searching for it. Keep at it!

    Reply
  2. Phil Cauthon

    Nice tribute~ There’s a photo of Señor Stan in a story I did about another of his passions… shrooms: http://ljworld.com/mushrooms

    I didn’t know him well, but it was quite clear from the few conversations that I did have with him that he was passionate about life in general. He was cagey at first, talking to the newspaper about mushrooms, but once he opened up I hardly had to ask him questions… he went on and on, intensely, in his sorta laid back way.

    I first met him at the Baldwin City antique mall, which had the commercial kitchen he used to produce his salsa. Nosey as I am, I was looking into the kitchen checking out the operation — quite clearly a tight ship. He came up and introduced himself and proceeded to tell a complete stranger anything I cared to know about his process.

    He was impeccably friendly, modest and subtly funny … Kansas style. I hope his passion lives on for a long while, just like you say Eric… via his salsa~

    Reply
  3. CHATTY KAT

    TY FOR THE TRIBUTE TO A AWESOME MAN AND FRIEND!~~ LOVE UR STORY THATS HOW HE WAS PROBALY GOT THAT SALSA GOING IN HEAVEN NOW!~ I THANK U LORD FOR HIS NOMORE SUFFERING GONNA MISS HIM AS EVERYONES HEART HE TOUCHED WHEN U MET HIM!!!! PRAY FOR HIS FAMILY! LOVE U ANGEL GIRL I KNOW ITS TUFF I KNOW ULL NEVER STOP MISSIN HIM!~ MANY WILL MEET UP WITH HIM HE WILL HAVE SALSA WAITTNG FOR US ALL MAYBRE A MUSHROOM ALSO! LOVE U AND URS TY FOR BEING MY FRIEND AND SHARRIN THIS! KAT.

    Reply
  4. Brenda Brandon

    Stan Schneck was a close friend since high school, like family. We talked over the years about cooking, natural foods & subsistence lifestyles. Stan was extremely intelligent & honored civil rights of all people, always speaking out for the disadvantaged & under served. He was one of the greatest fishermen in the area- a great naturalist that found spirituality in knowing utility of forests, fields, wetlands, streams, lakes around Douglas county. I am not sure how you got from Eudora riding motorcycles to talking about Stan & his salsa, unless you were truly tapping into his love for the great outdoors & all the wonders held in local areas of interest. Thanks for sharing your kind thoughts with others.

    Reply
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  6. Sandy E.

    I have been looking for Senor Stan’s salsa for a couple of years now and had no idea he had pasted away. I never ate salsa until I tried his and I haven’t been able to find any I like since I left Lawrence in 2012. Does the family still run and own the company that made the salsa? I went back to Lawrence several months ago and couldn’t find it in the store. Is there any way I can get some more of this salsa? I live in Bonner Springs now and they don’t sell it anywhere in town. 🙁 RIP Senor Stan.

    Reply
  7. Sandy E.

    I had to come back and tell you I found Senor Stan’s salsa in my local grocery store yesterday and I was so excited! I’m so glad they brought Stan’s salsa back into the stores. I almost gave up eating Mexican food because I couldn’t find a salsa that compared to his. I snatched up a jar but unfortunately I already ate all of it and yes, I ate it all by myself. That’s how good it is and how much I missed it. Will need to go to the store tomorrow and pick up a few more jars as I don’t ever want to run out of it again.

    Reply
  8. Ian Schneck

    Hello, My name is Ian. I am the nephew of the late Senior Stan Schneck. I just wanted to inform you we are producing the salsa again, and it is still in the family!

    Reply

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