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William P. Schany 1922-2012

August 2, 2012
Emmetsburg News

A Mass of Christian Burial for William P. Schany was Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Sacred heart Catholic Church in Ayrshire. Concelebrants were the Rev. Clem Currans, the Rev. Peter Nguyen and the Rev. Tom Geelan

Burial was in St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Emmetsburg. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg was in charge of arrangements.

William Paul Schany was born Feb. 9, 1922, on the family farm near Graettinger, to Leo and Loretta (Higgins) Schany. Bill was the eldest of 15 children. He attended rural school and graduated from Graettinger High School in 1939.

Bill served in the United States Navy Air Corp during World War II. Following his honorable discharge, Bill worked for Anderson Construction Company creating many of the present roads driven on today. He was a certified heavy equipment operator and became an expert mechanic, a skill used throughout his farming career. He was a skilled welder capable of fabricating or repairing most of the farm equipment needs.

Bill married Monica Josephine Mahan at St. Thomas Church on June 6, 1949, in Emmetsburg. They moved to a farm on the Graettinger "River Road" to begin their married lives. In March of 1954 the family moved to a farm near West Bend. Bill and Monica later divorced and he moved to his present farm in Great Oak township. On Nov. 25, 1995, Bill married Mary Whitney.

Bill loved farming and feeding cattle. Bill began his farming career using a team of horses and ended his farming days driving a GPS equipped tractor. He enjoyed many hours watching his cattle from the dining room table while drinking coffee. Bill was named Palo Alto County Cattleman of the year in February, 2004. He was an expert at approximating the weights of live cattle.

A master of the lost art of conversation, Bill never met a stranger and engaged all with his quick Irish humor and unique "Schanynisms". A direct descendant of Palo Alto County original settler Paddy Jackman, Bill's ability to recall and share historical facts and legends will be greatly missed.

Bill was a member of the Palo Alto Cattlemen Association, the St. Pat's Association and a faithful member of the Ayrshire Sacred Heart Parish.

Bill died July 29, 2012, at the Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg, from complications of a stroke.

He is survived by his wife Mary, his children; Anne Marie (Dick) Nelson, Emmetsburg, Chuck (Therese), Spencer, Colleen (Jim) Stanley, Golden, CO, Gary (Kristy) Curlew, Geralyn (Rich) Lannon, Braintree, MA, and Gerene (Brett) Thom, DePere, WI. He is survived by daughter-in-law, Patty Schany and his 24 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Surviving siblings are Bob, Richard, Gene (Janice) and Dan (Eloise) Schany, Mary Nitchals, Ruth Johnson, Helen Schany, Pauline Christensen and Irene (Bart) Braunger.

He was preceded in death by sons William and John Schany and daughter Mary; grandson, Matthew Schany; his siblings Mickey, Tom, Joan and Alice Schany and infant brother.

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