Obit: Schilling, Ervin (1929 - 2012)
Surnames: Schilling, Sellung, Raasch, Bartz, Burdett, Burns, Will, Smets
----Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, WI) 04/25/2012
Schilling, Ervin (24 DEC 1929 - 9 APR 2012)
Schilling, 82, of Abbotsford, died peacefully on April 9, 2012, at Our House
Memory Center in Eau Claire, surrounded by family, where he had been residing
since he had a series of strokes that started this past January.
He was born to Joe and Augusta (Sellung) Schilling near Cherokee in Marathon County on December 24, 1929 and raised on the family farm. He graduated from Colby High School in 1948 and married Doris Will on September 24, 1949.
His first employment was in local cheese factories, including the factory where Colby Cheese originated, and Hull Coop Cheese Factory. In 1951, he and Doris bought Breezy Hill Cheese Factory in Thorp and operated it until it was destroyed by the 1958 tornado. It was the last wood floor cheese factory in Wisconsin. While still in his 20s, he was hired as the manager at Marathon Clark Cooperative Dairy in Abbotsford. While there, he won the Grand Sweepstakes prize for efficiency from Land O'Lakes. In 1959, he and Doris started a new cheese factory (the first all bulk factory in the state) and store, Schilling's Cheese House (now Marge's Flowers), in Abbotsford. They operated Schilling's Cheese House until 1967. He was proud to have supplied all of the cheese for Colby Cheese Days at the time.
Then he became a carpenter and eventually started his own business, Schilling Construction, building large estate homes in Marshfield and the area, and log homes all over the state. He took great pride in craftsmanship and loved unique projects and challenges, such as building a large see-through field stone fire place with a 30 foot chimney. He never did retire from construction, nor from the wry wit that would quietly present itself even when he was deeply concentrating on a project.
In the 1960's, he and the family also raised Arabian horses and beef cattle and operated a Farm Vacation business, with guests from as far away as Colorado and Massachusetts. Ervin rode or drove horses in many Abbotsford Dairy Days and Christmas parades, often as driver of the horse-drawn carriage or cutter carrying the presiding queen of the event.
Though he didn't start cross-country skiing until age 50, this year would have been the 28th time he skied the 30+ mile Birkebeiner ski race in Hayward. He also skied in the Mora Vasaloppets in Minnesota and skied and ran in the Badger Games for many years. One year, he and daughter Jan went to Norway to ski the Birkebeiner race in the country of its origin. He also invented a portable ski waxing rack which he built and sold to other skiers.
A life-long learner, he was very proud that all seven of his children went to college. Also a nature lover, he planted acres of trees on various properties in the area. He loved efficient design and operation and had a special interest in "green" building well before the current emphasis on "going green." Attentive to health and fitness, he could be seen walking a local four to eight mile route daily until his first stroke.
He was preceded in death by his parents and the following siblings: Adeline (Al) Raasch; Thomas Schilling; Clarence Schilling; Paul and Arlene who died as infants; Mabel (Harvey) Bartz; Irene (Tom) Burdett; and his son-in-law, Mike Burns.
Ervin is survived by daughters, Rae Jeanne (Anton Smets) Schilling, Eau Claire; Kathy Schilling, Eau Claire; Jan Schilling, Viroqua; Jill Schilling (Burns), Chippewa Falls; son Kevin (Patricia Stovey) Schilling, Holmen; daughter Krisan Schilling, Madison; son Kent (Kim) Schilling, Abbotsford; grandson Shawn Smets, Eau Claire; granddaughters Marja Smets, Petersburg, Alaska; Tara Schilling, Eau Claire; and grandsons Ethan Schilling and Colbin Schilling both of Abbotsford; by his sister, Margie (Harley) Witt, and brother, Herb (Jean) Schilling both of Colby, and sister-in-law, Lavilla Schilling; and many nieces and nephews.
The visitation will be at the Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford on April 28 at 9:30 am, sharing of memories at 11 am, and lunch to follow.
Memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 422, Abbotsford, WI 54405.
The Maurina Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Friends may send online condolences to www.maurinaschillingfuneralhome.com
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