For 75 years, Mike Schott brought love, laughter, and kindness to those around him. A friend of many, Mike lived his life with integrity and honor, and was a man of his word. Ever giving and helpful to those around him, Mike worked hard, and with faith as his guide, he lived accordingly. Above all, his greatest joy was found in the family he adored. Though he was a man of few words, Mike's love for those entrusted to his care was endless. A special man in the hearts of those he leaves behind, he will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
By 1942, World War II had captured the hearts of many as news of the day included the perils of war and the sacrifices of battle. In the U.S., young men not in uniform were often found dancing the jitterbug with their saddle-shoed sweethearts, or taking in a picture show. Women began entering the work force in droves, and rationing was commonplace on the home front. It was during this time when William "Bill" LaClyde Jr. and Beatta Catherine (Speltz) Schott of Winona, Minnesota welcomed the birth of their son, Michael William Schott into their arms on June 21, 1942. As the oldest, he was later joined by three brothers, , Bernie, Tom, and Bruce, as well as his younger sister, Mary Kay. A young boy of his generation, Michael enjoyed numerous adventures with neighborhood friends.
Mike attended the local schools and during his teen years he often helped out at his father's business, Schott Distributing. Soon after graduating from Lewiston High School, Mike felt the call to duty and enlisted to serve in the U.S. Air Force in 1960. Throughout his Air Force career, he specialized as a jet aircraft mechanic technician having spent a good deal of time working on B-52s, and additionally cross-trained on RB-47s His various assignments took him to a variety of air bases including Chanute, Illinois and Forbes, Kansas; overseas to Hawaii, Wake Island, and Japan. In addition, his wing flew missions over Vietnam, Cuba, Russia, and China. Throughout his time in the service, Mike's mother faithfully wrote him letters every day.
Following his honorable discharge from the service in 1966, Mike returned home to Minnesota and began working full-time alongside his father at Schott Distributing. Along with his four siblings, Mike later became co-owner of the family business his father began in 1955. With his future pretty well set before him, Mike was more than ready to settle down. He met Mary Ellen Walker through a mutual friend, and on August 5, 1967,he married the love of his life at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Simpson, Minnesota. After the newlyweds began a life of their own, they soon began a family to call their own.
Becoming the father of four wonderful daughters was a big role for Mike to fulfill, but he did so exceptionally well. Always protective of his girls, he was strict, especially when the boys started coming around! He communicated in his own way with his girls, and was ever loving and compassionate. Mike was never much of a hugger but came around fast after getting acquainted with Mary Ellen's loving family. He loved his own mother dearly, and when she died quite young and unexpectedly, it was very difficult for him as they were very close. As a family they traveled over the years and attended many National and State Budweiser conventions. Memorable times were shared on family trips to Wisconsin Dells which always proved to be a fun time for all. His most recent memorable trip was to Luxemburg; however; his dream wish was to visit New Zealand and to learn more about his family heritage.
Everyone that knew Mike would agree just how passionate he was about following his girls' sports careers. To the last of his days, he kept a tag board in the garage with newspaper clippings and stats from the girls' high school and college games. Their number one supporter, Mike was always sitting in a gym watching his daughters play basketball and volleyball through the years. He was proud of his grandchildren too who were either involved or active on a court, hockey rink, dance stage, or a football or baseball field. Even as his daughters grew to have lives and families of their own, Mike was sure to keep tabs on them. He frequently called and visited them, and always made time to work on their "fix it" list although he'd suggest to them what projects to work on. In true "dad" form, he'd even call the next day to see if they had been completed.
A lot of laughs and fun was shared over the years and when his girls needed anything, Mike would be right there. Although when they were younger, Mike took measures into his own hands when it came to waking the girls up in the morning by blasting the National Anthem on the stereo or threatening to throw glasses of water on them. Lasting and treasured times were enjoyed and made in their home during the holidays and other special occasions. Mike and Mary Ellen thoroughly enjoyed their home and raising their daughters along with creating memories with family and friends in St. Charles where they eventually settled. One thing was certain - Mike and Mary Ellen taught their daughters to be faithful and devout to the Catholic faith for which they were properly raised. Even when they were in college, Mike would call them on Sunday mornings to make sure they were in church. By way of example, good moral and Christian values were taught as a mainstay in the Schott home.
Mike was a good, hardworking provider for his family. Through the years, he enjoyed the many trips to Kansas City picking up new semi's, taking care of the maintenance of the semis, trucks, and forklifts, working as a salesman, and of course being dubbed, "the Bud man". Mike retired in 2008 after 45 years and remained proud of his family business legacy that he helped build to the point of where it is today. In his heart, Mike always had the desire to be a farmer. In retirement he raised cattle at the Walker farm in Pleasant Grove which he truly loved. He found great enjoyment tending to his beautiful, Heritage breed Belted Galloway cattle.
Having enjoyed a variety of interests and hobbies, Mike was an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings and Twins. He was into NASCAR, deer hunting, fishing, camping, boating, bowling, and dancing in addition to a good card party. Mike also appreciated "nice cars" and shared many memories of the ones he owned. As a proud Veteran, Mike served on the VFW honor guard providing military rites for Veteran's funerals. He was a valued member of the U.S. Air Force 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing and Organizational Maintenance Squadron (OMS), and a faithful and dedicated member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. Mike belonged to the St. Charles Moose Lodge, St. Charles VFW and American Legion Posts, and the Belted Galloway Society, Inc.
Devoted to his God, family, friends and life's work, Mike Schott was a hardworking man. He enjoyed the friendships of many, and it was a pleasure to enjoy his company with his array of jokes. Mike counted the best days of his life as the days of his daughter's births, and the love of his life. He and Mary Ellen recently celebrated 50 years of abiding love on their wedding anniversary this past August. Although Mike was often a man of few words, his love of family was endless. When it came to his precious daughters, Mike may not have always had their hand, but he always had their back. And in true form, he always ended his phone calls with his girls with a "Love ya", and his love continues on.
Michael "Mike" William Schott (75) of St. Charles passed away from a brief illness on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at home surrounded by his family. Mike is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen; four beautiful daughters: Michele (Jim) Frome of Inver Grove Heights, Melanie (Brian) Munroe of Eyota, Melissa (Scott) Doughty of Plainview, and Mikalyn (Rodney) Kieffer of Farmington; 11 grandchildren: Matthew, Maria, and Lydia Frome, Brandon and Brady Munroe, Griffin, Alyx, and Logan Doughty, Caleb, Jacob, and Alyse Kieffer; his siblings: Bernie (Judy) Schott, Bruce (Kathy) Schott, and Mary Kay (Ken) Peshon. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Beatta, his brother, Tom, sister-in-law, Dana Schott, and by his father and mother-in-law, Harold (Mick) and Velma Walker.
Mike's family extends a special thanks to the Mayo Clinic physicians and nurses and Seasons Hospice.
Funeral services will be at 1:00 pm Saturday, December 2, 2017, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1900 E. 6th Street, St .Charles with Reverend Tim Biren officiating. Military honors will be conducted by the St. Charles V.F.W. Honor Guard and the American Legion Honor Guard following the Mass at the church. Visitation will be from 4-8 pm Friday, December 1 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and for one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Saturday. A private family burial will be at a later date. To share a favorite memory or photo of Mike, to sign his online guestbook and to view his video tribute when it becomes available, please visit www.hofffuneral.com.
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