Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Dick Schell

February 28, 1933 - March 6, 2023
Kalamazoo, MI



Sunday, March 12, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Guests are invited to continue sharing stories from 7-9 pm at Bilbo's on Stadium Drive.

Driving Directions


Monday, March 13, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 West Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-5165

Visitation will begin one-hour prior.

Web Site


Monday, March 13, 2023
12:00 PM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Marian Hall


Monday, March 13, 2023
1:30 PM EDT
South Portage Cemetery


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church FBO Fr. Ben's Orphan's and Lepers
1150 West Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-5165
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Hardworking and honorable, Dick Schell lived a life rooted in faith and the determination to provide well for his family. Dick was a man who embodied his values. He gave his all to his endeavors, encouraged others to reach for their dreams, and knew how to balance work with play. He had a terrific sense of humor and enjoyed close friendships, travel, and using his hands to creatively make his visions a reality. A man who was proud of his accomplishments and his family, Dick will long be remembered and very missed.

In Sandusky, Ohio, Norman and Anna (Brown) Schell welcomed their son Richard to their family on February 28, 1933.

Growing up during The Great Depression left lasting impressions on Dick, including his entrepreneurial spirit and self-driven goals. Wanting to get a job, he lied about his age to get a job as a paperboy. When he was older, he secured a job at Cedar Point. He and his brother worked to afford the family's first phone.

Dick attended St. Mary's High School in Sandusky, where he played football and acquired the nickname, Bull Schell. A few years after high school, he was drafted to fight in the Korean Conflict. Stationed in Puerto Rico, he spent his 21st birthday in the army. After 18 months in the service Dick started college at the University of Dayton and finished with his Associate's from the University of Toledo.

While on a blind date, Dick met Mary Baensch. Not long after, Dick proposed on the Sandusky Bay Bridge.

Dick then took a job with Sunoco in their real estate department, traveling I-94 acquiring service station sites. It was this job that brought him to the Kalamazoo area. In 1971 he left the comfort of corporate America and went out on his own. His first endeavor was Stadium Cleaners. He went on to develop over 40 commercial properties throughout his career. Dick made strong and lasting relationships with his tenants and partners. Dick loved every aspect of his job and enjoyed being at the office. Even after he retired, he liked to show up and keep an eye on things.

Dick and Mary eventually welcomed four children to their family: Sue, Pattie, Jennifer, and Rick. Though Dick was dedicated to his work, he made it his priority to attend all of the kids' events and taught them by example how to be successful. He especially enjoyed family time at the cottage on Selkirk Lake in Shelbyville, Michigan where all of the kids learned to waterski.

Dick and Mary made traditions of taking a family trip and a couple’s trip each year. One year, the kids wanted a camper so badly that he finally rented one and traveled with them through Ohio. The kids arrived home, never wanting a camper again. Dick and Mary promised that if each of the kids graduated college in four years they would take a family vacation to Hawaii. This long awaited trip turned out to be the best one yet.

Dick liked staying busy and working with his hands. With a unique vision for his home, he renovated the basement on his own. Additionally, much of the family cottage was designed, detailed and finished by him. He also built model boats and made one for each of his grandsons.

Dick was blessed with eleven grandchildren who he loved spending time with and sharing his words of wisdom. He endearingly had a nickname for each of his grandkids. Many fun memories were made at the cottage and in Florida as well as on several family vacations.

Dick also enjoyed an active social life. Without fail he and three close friends (Jerry, Tim and Ken) never missed a tee time or a lunch. They were so close these outings lasted for over 50 years. On June 28, 1994, he was delighted to shoot a hole-in-one at Oakland Hills, the day his first grandson was born.

Dick and Mary also loved being snowbirds and spending winters in Sarasota, Florida at their condo. They enjoyed their time together there soaking up the sunshine. They were very active with many friends and spent time playing golf and socializing at the club. They also loved hosting all the family and friends who were eager to visit them.

A devout Catholic, Dick was dedicated to attending church every Sunday. Even while on vacation, the family would attend the local Catholic church, which meant sometimes hearing mass in a different language. Dick truly enjoyed conversations about faith and served his home parish of Saint Catherines as an usher, lector, CCD instructor, and a parish council member.

There's no doubt that anyone who heard his voicemail greeting will never forget it, "We got the Schell outta here. If you want our wit and wisdom, leave a message." For those who knew him best, he modeled how to achieve goals, provide for loved ones, and serve those in need.

Richard Schell Sr., of Kalamazoo, Michigan, age 90, died on March 6, 2023. Dick was born February 28, 1933, in Sandusky, Ohio, to Norman and Anna (Brown) Schell, who preceded him in death along with his brother, Carl Schell. Surviving are his wife, Mary; children: Sue (Steve) Schroder, Pattie (Dave) Jaqua, Jennifer Wesner, Rick (Tracie) Schell Jr.; grandchildren: Mitch, Haley, and Evan Schroder, Bethany (Kyle) Siebold, Derek, Abby, and Maddy Jaqua, Maggie and Sam Wesner, and Jane and Kate Schell; and 5 nieces and nephews.

Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Sunday (MAR 12) from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Guests are then invited to continue sharing stories from 7-9 PM at Bilbo’s on Stadium Drive. A visitation will be held at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church at 10 AM Monday (MAR 13) with a Funeral Mass to follow at 11 AM along with a luncheon in Marion Hall. Burial at South Portage Cemetery. Visit Dick's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Father Ben’s Orphans and Lepers. Make checks payable to Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church with memo of Support orphans and lepers in Vietnam.