David Walter Schimmel, 84, of Columbus WI passed away on October 20, 2022 after a hard battle with cancer. He lived a full, admirable life and will be dearly missed.
David was born on January 13, 1938, to Walter and Rowena (Smith) Schimmel in Chicago, IL. He is survived by his sister, Anne McDonald (GA); his children: Alisa and Mike Hallberg (WI)- he always thought of Mike as a son, Julie Schimmel (MT), and Kristin Bryer (VA); grandchildren: Hannah, Nathan, Rebecca, Addison and Emma (all of WI), Rick (MT), and Danielle (VA); and great-grandchildren: Jaiden (WI), Aidden, Bentley and Quinn (MT); nieces: Kathe (IL) and Rachel (GA); and very best friends Mick Harris (IN) and John Gregg (IN). He is preceded in death by his daughter: April; parents, Walter and Rowena Schimmel; brothers: Douglas (and wife Priscilla) and John; niece Erika; and dear friend Sue Harris.
David grew up in Arlington Heights, IL. After graduating HS, he studied Civil Engineering at Colorado University in Boulder, where he also enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with a BS in Civil Engineering. He also received a regular Army Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineer, with additional training through the US Army Airborne School. He was particularly proud of earning his ‘Jump Wings’. David’s military career was filled with valuable experiences that he carried throughout his life. He was initially stationed in Germany, where he received specialized training in chemical, biological and radiological warfare, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and led Special Forces exercises. While in Germany, he bought a 1962 Porsche, which he loved to drive on the Autobahn, and eventually brought back to the States. Due to the Vietnam war, he was moved to the US Army Infantry School in GA, where he taught combat readiness and support courses to Officer Candidates in preparation for their assignments in Vietnam. He earned the rank of Captain. He was then assigned to Vietnam, providing a variety of jobs, including helping to build roads and bridges and procuring supplies. He was then transferred to KS, where he was a Company Commander. He was finally transferred to VA, where he left the Army. He scored nearly 100% on the Federal Service Entrance Exam, and began his civilian career with the Department of Defense and Defense Logistics Agency. He eventually retired in 2002 after over 30 years and many awards.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed being out in nature and playing sports like softball, handball, and bowling. He also enjoyed playing games like chess, cribbage, and backgammon, visiting museums, attending concerts, camping, and traveling. After retiring, he relocated to Wisconsin to be closer to family, where he felt at home. He enjoyed time with family and friends, attending his grandchildren’s many activities, and enjoying his beautiful home and yard. He was also a big ‘foodie’, enjoying many restaurants throughout the state, eating some of his favorites like Chicago dogs, ruebens, and almost anything German. He was a huge Badger fan, and also enjoyed cheering on the Packers and Redskins. Learning was always very important to him, and he encouraged and supported a college education. He had many interests and shared his passions with family and friends. He loved music and art and could play several musical instruments. He always had the need for speed, and finally ditched the family station wagon for a Miata. He loved to put the top down, no matter how chilly it was, and took road trips to MT and around Wisconsin. He also loved going to the car races in Elkhart Lake, nature, and spending time outdoors. He donated to causes that he loved, including PBS and Camp Manito-wish. Ancestry and family were also very important to him, and he spent a lot of time tracing his family roots. Researching, documenting, sharing, and preserving the Schimmel family legacy was of utmost importance to him. Spending time with family meant everything to him.
He struggled with cancer and a bone marrow disorder for many years. His team of doctors, nurses and medical office workers at the SSM Health Cancer Care clinic in Columbus became like a second family. That amazing team included Dr Frontiera, Dr Poser, Jen, Amy, Tina, Marilyn, Karen, Birgit, Jess, and many others. He often joked that he ‘was home’ when he went to the office. They were a blessing in his life and he and his family were so very thankful to have them.
David will be greatly missed. He will be honored at a memorial service with friends and family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to PBS and/or giving blood in his name.