Wayne Norman Schilling, 87, passed away peacefully at Mercy Hallmar on Friday, May 19, 2023.
Wayne was born November 22, 1935, in Jefferson, Iowa, the son of John and Helen Schilling. He enjoyed his childhood on the family farm but knew farming wasn’t for him, so upon graduation, Wayne enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Brinkley Bass Destroyer from 1954-1957.
Wayne met the love of his life, Darlene Lesle, on a blind date, and on August 16, 1959, the couple were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Auburn, Iowa.
Des Moines was home for the couple before Wayne accepted a maintenance position at Lindale Plaza in 1967. His career at Lindale would span thirty-three years and include seeing the mall become enclosed, helping with countless mall attractions and utilizing his Navy training to maintain the boiler and chiller units. Wayne and his bike were a fixture on Collins Road as he biked to and from work most every day. At Lindale, Wayne was given the nickname the Silver Fox by mall merchants, a tribute to his gray hair and slender physique. He took great pride in maintaining his Navy weight throughout much of his lifetime.
Faith was introduced to Wayne through Darlene, and Bethany Lutheran Church was his home since the 60’s. Wayne served as deacon, usher and counter at Bethany and most recently enjoyed the monthly senior worships with Pastor Erickson and Nurse Ronda Anderson.
Growing up on the farm, Wayne had chores to do and was not able to participate in sports. Good thing he had active kids who introduced him to baseball, softball, and most recently volleyball (in his 60s). Wayne spent a lot of time at the Noelridge Park diamonds playing catch, hitting fly balls to the boys and looking to join any slow pitch team needing a player. His best softball moments came playing on the Bethany church team and joining son-in-law Joe on various 14-in teams. Although Wayne was not “The Natural” and occasionally too hard on himself for bone-headed plays, he greatly enjoyed playing all the sports he was not able to do as a kid.
Wayne enjoyed the array of animals his kids insisted on bringing home. Cats were a constant, and his outstretched legs were always fair game for a snoozing cat. His big saying was always, “If you bring home one more cat, I’m leaving,” a threat he never ever intended to keep.
Wayne was a left-hander in a right-handed world and swore that tools were only made for right-handed people. He enjoyed playing cribbage and Reader’s Digest magazine. Occasionally, he’d have to vent and off would go a Letter to the Editor about some random topic that, at the moment, was getting the best of him. Salted nut rolls were always bedside, and Mogen David wine on tap. If he wasn’t biking, he was driving his ‘91 Mazda pickup. Wayne enjoyed the military group that met at Scott’s Restaurant on Wednesday mornings. He was a proud Veteran who became quite emotional on Veteran’s Day, especially when small children were singing patriotic songs.
Retirement consisted of ignoring honey-do projects and instead helping his kids with remodeling projects which was a dream for the wanna-be electrician. Brinkley Bass reunions throughout the country were well attended, and he and Darlene never missed a school, sporting or music event his grandkids were involved with. His kids and his grandkids were his life. Summer camps hosted by Grandpa and Grandma for many summers were the best.
Wayne’s retirement was cut short due to a massive stroke ten years ago which changed his life forever. Wayne’s will, determination and good spirits allowed him the best possible life, post-stroke. Amazing caregivers flowed throughout the house and allowed both Wayne and Darlene to remain at home longer than most.
Wayne is survived by his three children: David (Carol) Schilling of Tennessee; Keith (Tracey) Schilling of Shueyville and Linda (Joe) Skvor of Cedar Rapids. Grandchildren: Michael (Jess Stuczynski) Schilling of Florida; Anna (Derek) Holman of Tennessee; Karleigh (fiancé Ben Turnley) Schilling of Oklahoma; Kaden Schilling of Shueyville; Jake Skvor of Marion; Samuel (Allison) Skvor of New Jersey and Shane Skvor of Cherokee. His four cats will miss him, but no doubt Wayne will miss them even more.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 61 years, Darlene; his brothers, Robert and Donald; sister Mary Jeanne Tedrow; and grandson, Josh Skvor.
The family would like to say a special thank you to friends, Ron Prescott and Chuck Martinec; caregivers Scout Kasik, Greg Sloan and Tammy Castillo; Dr. Erica Craw; Nurse Julie Lawrence; St. Luke’s Palliative (Brook, Renee); and the entire staff at Mercy Hallmar/Hospice. Please know your compassion and love for Dad did not go unnoticed.
Visitation will be at Bethany Lutheran Church, 2202 Forest Drive SE, Cedar Rapids from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 25, 2023, and a memorial service will be held at Bethany on Friday, May 26 at 11:00 am. with a luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Bethany Lutheran Church or your favorite charity, in memory of The Best Dad Ever.
Please share a memory of Wayne at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.