William “Bill” Schank, age 94, resident of Milbank, SD, died on May 22, 2019, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 24, from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. at the church, with a prayer vigil starting at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the Mass on Saturday. Father Gary DeRouchey will officiate, and burial will be at St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery in Milbank.
William “Bill” John Schank was born on October 7, 1924, on a farm south of Richardton, ND, to Peter and Theresia (Rettinger) Schank. He was the ninth child of twelve children.
Bill grew up on the family farm south of Richardton. His family attended St. Stephen’s Catholic Church a few miles from his farm, where he was baptized on October 12, 1924. He attended country school. During the “dirty thirties,” the family moved to Mount Angel, OR, where he went to town school. He was voted the most improved student. They moved back to North Dakota two years later. He attended high school in New England, ND, staying with his aunt, Mrs. Albrecht. He then attended the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, ND, before getting drafted into WWII.
Bill served in the U.S. Army from October 26, 1945, until he was honorably discharged on February 28, 1947. He was stationed in Japan after the bombs were dropped, and he earned his GED during his time of service.
After his time in the service, Bill worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher for two years. He then attended business school in Fargo, ND. In December 1949, Bill moved to Milbank, SD, to work as an accountant for Drewlow Ford. He worked there for 35 years. He also did bookkeeping for Flanery Meats and other local businesses.
Bill was united in marriage with Linda Rosella Adelman on February 27, 1954, in Rosen, MN. Together they were blessed with eight children: Pam, Gina, Sue, Lisa, Liane, Mark, Bob, and Steve.
Bill was a hardworking entrepreneur. He owned two laundromats in the local area that he operated, and one had a carwash. After he sold those businesses, he started Schank Water Softener, which he operated for 25 years. He was always busy and willing to help anyone with their water softener or washing machine. He could fix most anything.
In his later years, Bill truly enjoyed riding his bicycle all over Milbank. He loved to go look at the crops in the surrounding countryside. He enjoyed eating fried chicken legs at Pizza Ranch. He enjoyed singing and could remember many songs. He could recite the poem, “A Psalm of Life,” that he learned at ten-years-old.
Bill wasn’t much of a traveler, but he loved when his kids and grandkids came for a visit. He stressed the importance of a good education and taught his children the value of hard work.
Bill is survived by his children: Pam (Terry) Keeney of Rapid City, SD; Gina (Dave) Tyler of Onalaska, WI; Sue (Ted) Mutzner of Holmen, WI; Lisa (Andy) Chown of Onalaska, WI; Liane (Jeff) Davie of Ham Lake, MN; Mark (Tammy) Schank of Mansfield, TX; and Steve (Heather) Schank of Monona, WI; 16 grandchildren: Zach (Beth) Keeney, Carly (Graeme) Stroker, Billie Jane (Brett) Gentry, Michelle Tyler, Bridget (Joey) Coassola, Ryan Mutzner, Daniel (Sonja) Wilde, Christine (Drew) Hoffman, Tim (Kelli) Davie, Josh Davie, Ashlyn Davie, Jeremy Davie, Jordan Schank, Matthew Schank, Josie Schank, and Cheyenna Schank; eight great-grandchildren: Garrett, Peyton, Violet, Olivia, Rowen, Leo, Floyd, and Quinn; and many nieces and nephews. He was grateful for his many friends, especially Kent England and Brad Stevens.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Linda; parents: Peter and Theresia Schank; son, Robert “Bob” Schank; brothers and sisters: Konradt E. “Conrad”, Mary Theresa (Peter) Reiner, John, Franciscum Jacobum, Frank, Anton, Joe, Adam, Helen (Leslie) Scott, Albert, and George.