Adolph Richard Schell, longtime resident of Clarkston, passed away peacefully at the age of 95 on Sept. 27 at the Guardian Angel Homes in Lewiston. He was a World War II veteran, a farmer, he could build and fix anything and was a finish carpenter, a husband of 74 years, a father, grandad, great-grandad and a great-great grandad. He was a strong German man but also had a tender heart. He would do anything to help his family, friends and, many times, strangers.
He was born May 10, 1923, in Portland, Ore., to Adolph and Katie Schell. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1941. While in school and afterwards he sang, played his accordion on the radio, and also played his accordion while walking in the Portland Rose Bowl Parade. After graduating, he worked at Carr Chevrolet in Beaverton as a mechanic. He met the love of his life, Helen Churchwell, in Ritzville, Wash., in 1943; he was 20 and she was 15. They were married Aug. 27, 1944, and celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary last month. After marriage, he was a wheat farmer at Ruff, Wash., and then was drafted during WWII. He served in the anti-aircraft wing of the U.S. Army Corps at El Paso, Texas. He later served at Wichita Falls, Texas, until his discharge in 1946.
He provided for his family by farming and working in construction in and around Ruff, Palouse, Pullman and Fruitland, Wash. They lived in Fruitland from 1959 until 1974. While in Fruitland, Dick was involved with the Enterprise Grange, serving as master and other positions. He also served on the Columbia School Board, acting as chairman for eight years. They sold the farm/ranch and moved to Spokane, where he was a realtor selling farms and ranches for a few years, and then retired to Clarkston.
Music was always important to Dick and Helen, and they made sure that all their children played in the band and sang. They were always involved in Christian churches everywhere they lived, and instilled in their children and grandchildren a strong faith and love of God. Dick loved the ocean and spent many vacations with his family on the Washington and Oregon coasts.
He enjoyed watching all the John Wayne movies, reading Louis L’Amour books, gardening, fishing, tinkering in his garage, but most of all being with his family and helping them in every way he could.
He was preceeded in death by his parents, Adolph and Katie Schell; two brothers, Benjamin and Raymond; and one grandchild, Jeffrey Schell. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Helen; brother Ronnie Schell; sister Kathryn Scheib; daughter Darlene Wheeler (Bruce); son Richard Schell (Teresa); daughter Donna Richards (Danny); son Michael Schell (Kay); daughter Sue Pring; 12 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. The memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Mountain View Funeral Home. Graveside and reception immediately following service.