William “Bill” Robert Schilz, 91, of McCook, passed away Feb. 20 at Hillcrest Nursing Home. Bill was born on Sept. 27, 1921 in Red Willow County to Jacob Anthony and Nellie Edith (Spurgin) Schilz and attended rural country school.
Bill learned the trade of jeweler under the direction of Don Brooks, Sr. He utilized his expertise of the trade on all aspects of jewelry design and repair work.
On Feb. 5, 1948 he was united in marriage to Loretta Alice Jones at Cambridge. To this union six children were born.
In 1950 he partnered with Glen Nelson and together they opened Schilz and Nelson Jewelry Store. Bill later became sole owner of Schilz Jewelry until 1984 when he sold the business to Peterson Jewelers.
In retirement he continued pursuing his love of jewelry and clock repair. He often traveled to neighboring communities to repair grandfather clocks.
Other hobbies included hunting, fishing, gardening, and golfing. He and his wife also enjoyed going to the horse races and traveling. After retirement, he took up photography and became an avid amateur photographer.
His true enjoyment of life came from spending time with his family. He was a devoted husband of 65 years, father, and grandfather and will be missed deeply.
He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Through the church he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, serving for a time as Grand Knight. He was also a Fourth Degree Knight. Other memberships included McCook Elk’s Lodge and McCook Eagle’s where he served as president for a time.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Jacob and Nellie Schilz; sisters, Marie Hampton, Margaret Heskett, and Florence Nelson; and brothers, Leo, Bernard “Rusty”, Joseph, Eugene, Richard and infant George Schilz.
Survivors include his wife, of McCook; five daughters, Jane and husband, Michael Walker, of Elm Creek, Anne and husband, Marvin Roth, of Colorado Springs, Colo., Rita and husband, Kenneth Magdanz, of Heron, Mont., Donna and husband, Patrick Pelster, of North Platte, and Alice and husband, Rodney McKillip, of McCook; son, John Schilz and wife, Mei Li, of Fremont, Calif.; sister-in-law, Wilma Schilz of Ogallala; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
Mass of Christian Burial was on Feb. 23 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in McCook with Father Gary Brethour officiating. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery. Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of the arrangements.