Jim Schnell

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Jim Schnell, formerly of Beloit, Kan., died following a lengthy illness at the age of 91, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007, in Powell, Wyo.

He was preceded in death by an infant brother, a sister, Mary Jo Schnell, and his wife, Paula Schnell.

He is survived by two sons, Chris Schnell of Cape Girardeau, Mike Schnell of Cody, Wyo.; a daughter, Deborah Schnell of San Jose, N.M.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Jim was born March 8, 1915, to Joseph and Mary Schnell in Vesper, Kan. The family moved to Salina, Kan., where Jim graduated from Sacred Heart High School. A devout Catholic, Jim attended St. Benedicts College (now Benedictine Academy) in Atchison, Kan.

World War II interrupted and Jim was drafted into the U.S. Army. Later he lived in Wichita, Kan., where he worked the assembly line at Boeing Aircraft.

The late 1940s found Jim traveling the state of Kansas selling Firestone tires. Firestone brought Jim and his family to Beloit in 1948, after which he became proficient selling and servicing General Electric appliances for Shea and Carper. In 1965 he bought the store and took in a partner, Gene Pestinger. The store became Schnell and Pestinger and remains so today.

Jim retired in 1980, lived in Sedona, Ariz., six years and then returned with Paula to Beloit until she died in 2001. He moved to Cody in 2002.

During the depression of the 1930s, Jim was very proud of his Eagle Scout badge and later served as a scoutmaster. Never one to extoll his talents (which were considerable) he won a number of tournaments as a "Master Duplicate Bridge Player," became an excellent golfer who won the Beloit Country Club Championship and later shot a "hole in one" during his 70s.

Above all, Jim was a kind and loving father and husband who took excellent care of his entire family -- wife, children and grandchildren.

He was a man of deep and abiding faith in God, a devoted member of St. John the Baptist Church and avidly supported all its schools and organizations.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him -- friends and family.

A memorial service will occur in Beloit at a later date with burial in St. John's Cemetery.

Ballard Funeral Home in Cody is in charge of arrangements.