Pro-Life Leaders Mourn Death of Terri Schiavo's Father

( [email protected] ) Sep 04, 2009 01:41 PM EDT

The father of the late Terri Schiavo, whose right-to-life case drew attention from around the world, died from heart failure this past weekend at a hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Robert S. Schindler, Sr., of Gulfport, Fla., was 71 when he died Saturday at Northside Hospital.

Though best known for his seven-year-long court battle to save the life of his daughter, who was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state, Schindler continued fighting for the rights of others who were disabled or medically vulnerable even after Schiavo's life-sustaining feeding tube was removed by a court order, according to Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

In a statement, Pavone said Schindler "remains an inspiration" and that 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."

Also testifying to Schindler's efforts was Operation Rescue's president, Troy Newman, who said he and his staff knew Schindler to be a "kind man with a big heart."

"Bob's legacy will continue through his family and the work of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation," he stated.

"May he rest in peace."

Schindler's daughter, Terri Schiavo, died from the effects of dehydration on March 31, 2005, after a local court's decision to disconnect Schiavo from life support was carried out on March 18.

Schiavo's case was highly publicized and led to involvement by politicians and advocacy groups, including members of the Florida Legislature, the United States Congress, and the President of the United States.

Schiavo's death was followed two days later by the death of Pope John Paul II, who had stated that health care providers are morally bound to provide food and water to patients in persistent vegetative states.

Schiavo was 41 when she died.