Funeral services for Clarence Schell, 84, of Baker were held May 22, 2015 at the American Lutheran Church in Baker with Pastors Bruce and Reba Kolasch officiating. Burial with military honors was in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Plevna.
Clarence passed away May 17, 2015, at his home in Baker.
Clarence Schell was born to Jacob Schell and Louella (Ehret) Schell in Plevna, Nov. 11, 1930. He was the second of nine children: Vernon, Clarence, Lloyd, Lillian, Alice, Raymond, Florence, Mary Ann, and Larry. When he was very young, his family moved to a farm four miles northeast of Ismay. Clarence attended his first two years of school in Plevna. He could only speak German when he started school. He started school in Ismay in the third or fourth grade when Lloyd started school. A few years later the family moved into Ismay, buying a house just south of the Presbyterian Church.
Clarence used to pump the big organ at the church for 25 cents a Sunday. Clarence’s next job was unloading carloads of cement one sack at a time for Midland Lumber. It was a really hard job, but he did it. Clarence graduated from Ismay High School in 1948 with five other seniors.
After high school, he worked for Karl Hepperle as a mechanic helper and on the Drange Ranch as a ranch hand in 1948. He also did electrical and plumbing for Kenneth Cole in 1949-50 and during the time he worked at Hepperle’s and for Kenneth Cole. He went with Cliff Schell to a schoolhouse dance north of Plevna where he met Dolores Ann! In 1950 he joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1950 to 1954 as radar operator on the USS Harveson.
After returning from the service, Clarence got a job at Bud’s Super Valu for Bud Bowen. He was staying at his Grandma Quenzer’s in Plevna and had a passenger to Baker every day. You guessed it – it was Dolores. She was working for the Fallon County Times. They had quite a courtship from 1949-1955 when he finally persuaded her to marry him. They had an early spring wedding on March 20, 1955.
Life was great together. In 1958, after being worried they weren’t going to have children, Clarence and Dolores had their firstborn, Kenneth Jacob. In 1959 along came Julie Ann, Angela Rene followed in 1961. Their fourth child, Rick Allen, completed their family in 1963. That same year they bought a locker and meat processing plant and called it Schell Meat Service.
In 1964 the family built a new home, pink house with white brick. In 1968 Reynolds Corporation approached Clarence on becoming their manager and around 1975 Clarence and Dolores bought the shopping center.
Clarence was the family go-getter and manager and created a family business in the Reynolds Grocery. He also made investments in real estate. He was a progressive man, and worked to build an impressive career. He was always friendly and accommodating to the public and tried to serve his customers in every way. He built up a small mall in Baker and contributed much to its economy. Dolores worked with him and was a real asset, doing the bookwork, billing and collecting. Clarence retired from Reynolds in 1996 after spending 41 years in the grocery and meat business. Clarence enjoyed gardening and working in the soil. He seemed to be able to get anything to grow beautifully. He was an avid collector of antique wagons, cars, machinery, and later eagles and clocks. Everything he did was for the benefit of his family.
Clarence was involved with many organizations and served on: ALC Church Council, ALC Church treasurer, City Council, Cub Scout leader in 1965, American Legion since 1964, Baker National Bank Director in the 1980s, Montana Food Distributors Director in the 1980s, was named Grocery Man of the Year for Montana in 1986, Baker Chamber of Commerce President in 1974, Baker Volunteer Fire Department from 1968-1988, and Economic Development Group 1995.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Louella Schell; brothers Vernon and Raymond; a sister Lillian; and a wonderful grandson Lucas Meschke.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dolores Ann; children: Kenneth (Connie) Schell, Julie (Steve) Stanhope, Angie (Thomas) Rodriguez, and Rick (Keri) Schell, all of Baker; grandchildren: Chris (Trisha) Schell, Kim (Josh) Cuppy, Jacob (BreeAnn) Schell, Lauren (Josh) Celander, Lisa Stanhope, Alexis Stanhope, Reed Meschke, Whitney Meschke (Shane), Cole Meschke, Isaiah Schell, Alissa Schell, Ericka Schell, Jonah Schell; eight great-grandchildren, soon to be nine; brothers, Lloyd (Marge) Schell of Billings, Larry (Janice ) Schell of Baker; and sisters, Alice Turner and Florence Haga, both of Baker, and Mary Ann Lecoe of Marmarth, N.D.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lucas Meschke Broken Club Memorial Scholarship Fund, Box 515, Baker, MT 59313.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.