Billy “Bill” Dean Schilling passed away February 14, 2023 at his home in Luck, WI.
Bill was born August 6, 1930 to Tolbert and Delilah Schilling in St. Gregor, Saskatchewan, Canada. When Bill was 5 years old, the Schillings moved to Wisconsin for better farming opportunities. Bill attended Round Lake School and then Blake Lake school through the 8th grade. In August 1951, Bill joined the United States Marine Corps, attending boot camp in San Diego, CA. He then completed advanced training for M.P. duty. After a 2 day stop over in Hawai’i, Bill served 16 months in Guam on a rescue squad after winning a swimming competition. His brother Jack was also stationed there, but they didn’t tell anyone they were related so they could stay there together. Bill was a successful shooter, traveling back to the US to participate in shooting competitions for two months. After earning the promotion to corporal, Bill headed home, being honorably discharged in August of 1954.
Bill married Mary (Peters) on June 4, 1955 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in rural Luck. Together they raised 5 children in the Bone Lake area, with brief stays in California and Minnesota for work. After settling in Wisconsin, Bill and Mary owned and operated the Twin Town store for several years. People came from all over to purchase a double scoop ice cream cone for just a nickel. While the family was living in California, Bill worked at a gym where the Harlem Globetrotters practiced. Back home in Wisconsin, Bill had a varied and full employment history, starting with Stokley’s in Frederic, driving a milk truck, working at 3M in Cumberland, and working for the Polk County Highway department.
Bill and Mary enjoyed traveling the country, camping, visiting family and friends from Oregon to South Carolina. Sightseeing along the way, South Dakota landmarks and South Carolina were some of Bill’s favorite places to stop. Showcasing his handiwork, Bill built a camper for sleeping only, affectionately known as the “sardine can.” While driving cross country every summer, Bill never got lost, because “this road leads somewhere!”
Bill had nearly as many hobbies as he had stories to share. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and fixing anything that needed fixing from bicycles to lawn mowers. When the kids were little, Bill would purchase a twenty dollar car, fix it up and keep it running for a good long time. Bill enjoyed bowling in Couple’s League on Sunday nights in Frederic, with Mary. He also enjoyed going to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s choir and band concerts, school plays, grandparents’ day celebrations, birthday parties, and graduations. He was always happy to play table games from cards to cribbage to dice with anyone who stopped over and wanted to lose. When Bill and Mary played on the same team, there was almost no chance of winning for the visitors. Stopping at the Schilling’s, there was always coffee and treats to be had and stories to be shared. Bill was always welcoming to his grandchildren’s friends, treating them as his own when they visited for birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Bill also loved going out to eat any chance he could. Dairy Queen and various fish frys were among his favorites. Bill enjoyed listening to music at home, especially polkas. He grew a small collection of polka CDs after being gifted a boombox. Bill was an enthusiastic Green Bay Packers fan, even if they didn’t win. Like many of us, his second favorite team was whoever was playing the Vikings.
Bill never met a stranger and was always overjoyed when people would stop by to visit him at home. The first thing he would notice about a new friend would be the make and model of their car. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, and was interested in hearing about everyone’s lives. Spending time with family and friends was always the highlight of his day.
Bill will be fondly remembered and missed by his twin sister Betty Schandorff; children Kathy, Peggy, Brad (Pam), Holly; grandchildren Heather (John), Leroy, Ryan (Tracey), Brandon, Ashley (Jake), Jordan (Shelly), and our adopted cousin Jesse and family; great grandchildren Matthew, Ryley, Kaylie, Cashton, James, Miles, Zydane, Oliver, Eli, and Emma, along with cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless friends.
Bill is preceded by his parents Tolbert and Delilah, his wife Mary, siblings Lee, Max, Ray, Jack, Bob, and Ida, and daughter Susan.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at Rowe Funeral Home (206 Second Ave E, Luck, WI 54853). A funeral service will be held at Bone Lake Lutheran Church at 11:00 AM on Monday, February 20, 2023 with visitation one hour prior to service. A lunch will happen at church following the burial at Bone Lake Cemetery.