Arthur Louis Schell of Rimbey, Alberta was born on April 21, 1931, in Maryhill, Ontario and passed away peacefully at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre – Long Term Care on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at the age of 91 years.
Art will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his children and their spouses Linda Fundytus (Brad Armstrong) of Cochrane; Susan Stout of Breton; Bill (Alma) Schell of Rimbey; Kathy (Gary) Curtis of Campbell River, BC; Joan (David) Coambs of Rimbey; and Mike Schell (Debbie Rogers) of Olds. He will also be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his sister Eileen Pietraszko of London, Ontario; in addition to many nieces, nephews, and close friends. Art was predeceased by his wife Jean; parents Leonard and Caroline; two brothers Edwin and Leo; two sisters Marie and Madeline; his sons-in-law John McKinnon and Brad Stout; and a grandson Peter Stout.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, Rimbey on Friday, February 10, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., with the Reverend Father Les Drewicki, Celebrant. Interment will follow at 2:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Bluffton. If friends desire, memorial tributes in Art’s memory may be made directly to the Rimbey Historical Society, Box 813, Rimbey, Alberta T0C 2J0. Thoughts and messages to the family may be shared through the condolence area located at the bottom of this page.
Service and Burial Arrangements for the Late Arthur Louis Schell entrusted to the care of
The Life of Art Schell
Art was born in Maryhill, Ontario and grew up on the family farm milking cows, doing chores, and working with and riding horses. He had five siblings that he played, worked, had fun, and fought with. Art attended Maryhill Separate School until age 14, after which he went back to help his dad on the farm.
When he was 18 years old, Art and his cousin Gerry Kurtz decided to go west where they worked on farms and at the Blue Ridge Sawmill. They created memories that Art talked about right up until his passing. After a year they went back home to Maryhill, and Art helped his dad on the farm until he was called upon by his former employer to return to Alberta. When he came home again the following spring, Art met a young lady from Kitchener, Ontario by the name of Jean Metzloff. He chased her until she caught him! Two years later, in 1953, they got married and moved to Alberta.
They worked on a farm near Calgary, but when Linda entered the world they moved to a farm near Rimbey, in search of one in the area to serve as a permanent home. They eventually settled on the location east of town. Art had no trouble befriending the neighbours, and they took turns trading labour and machinery. He spent many hours cleaning and repairing borrowed equipment. A few bad years left them destitute. Art was offered a personal loan from a wealthy individual, but with high odds of foreclosure he politely declined and went humbly into the bank and asked for help. The bank manager told him, "Don't you dare give up now", and saw him through the darkest times. They never saw a Christmas with no gifts.
The family eventually grew to six kids, and the house began to shrink! Jean already had a floor plan ready, and in 1967 Art and Grampa built a new house - where Bill and Alma now reside. Art and Jean farmed another 33 years before moving into town. Once living in Rimbey, Art enjoyed volunteering at the local truck museum, and he was very proud of his service and membership in the Rimbey Knights of Columbus. For at least 30 years he also never missed an opportunity to donate blood, gaining special recognition from the Red Cross.
The life skills that dad taught us were well beyond the confines of formal education. He instilled morals, values, and integrity; a handshake was a sealed deal. He maintained that, "If a man's word is no good, he's no good", "No lie can make the truth go away", and "You'll never be perfect; just do your best and nobody can ask for anything more."
His wealth was his family. Dad despised laziness, deceit, greed, dishonesty, and arrogance, but he always took the high road when someone shafted him.
Although Dad got really cranky if you didn't hold the flashlight just right, or if the truck didn't get back to the combine before the hopper was full, he had no problem shutting down the whole operation to go donate his rare AB negative blood ... "Because somebody might need it!"
Dad would sacrifice anything for his family. The trust and good terms which he cultivated was exemplified when Kathy's husband passed away in BC. Dad dropped all of his harvesting to be a support to her, and the neighbours finished his harvesting for him in his absence.
He was very fond of most animals, although he had to rename of his cows after five-year-old Linda recited their names in Show and Tell!
Dad delighted in problem solving, inventing, and creating things; whether it be something for Mom, new contraptions to make farming easier - such as a wagon to stack round bales before such a thing was available - or something for his kids. He would pull a few pieces of wood or steel out of the scrap pile and disappear into the shop. As I say this I can still hear the hacksaw, welder, grinder, and his homemade drill press. He would emerge a few hours later with a new doll house, toy barn, bird feeder - complete with stand, or a perfectly-fitted bicycle hitch and trailer for his kids to collect bottles. He made those guys on Junkyard Wars look pretty lame. He loved tractors, reading, dancing, debating political issues, and A&W onion rings.
At one point, a large portion of pasture and a quarter mile of fence became submerged in water due to an enormous beaver dam. As a well-taught problem solver, Bill procured some dynamite and blew the dam halfway to Mars, draining the small lake in a matter of minutes. The next day we learned how to own a mistake, as Dad went straight to the neighbour to clear the air over a flooded hay crop.
The farm was his career, passion, his hobbies, and his life. Dad was elated when Bill chose to take up the traces on the family farm, and he loved to hear how things were going out there, never hesitating to offer his opinion on how things should be done.
A couple of years ago, Linda's husband Brad gave Dad a ride all around the farm in his helicopter. Dad would still be talking about that if he didn't have to leave us ...
Here's to our good ol' Dad,
Who always gave it all he had.
Many years of selfless toil,
Nurturing that rich Alberta soil.
Good ol' Dad was always there,
To show us what's right, and what is fair.
You're never stuck, he would proclaim,
That giving up was pretty lame.
There's always a way, and he'd show us how,
To fix what's broken, or catch a cow.
He made sure we could help ourselves,
To navigate problems, or build some shelves.
Perfect he never claimed to be,
But Dad cheating others, we'd never see.
Dad has certainly done his part,
Each one of his kids, is a work of Art.