Ralph E. Schellinger, 56

Ralph E. Schellinger, 56, of Hartford, went to be with the Lord unexpectedly Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in Park Falls.

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” — John Wayne

Ralph Schellinger was more than a sum of his actions; he was a man of True Grit. He was a loving and amazing husband of 33 years, a loving father who sacrificed the world to make things possible and always let me know how proud he was of the man I had grown to be. He was a loving son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin and Godson. He was a true family man. He was a loving lifelong friend to many and was able to put a smile on your face regardless of the type of mood you were in. No matter whom he met in his life, he always left as friends.

Over the course of Ralph’s life, he touched many lives, and always had time to talk whether his schedule permitted it or not. He was a man of God, and was a member of the St. Kilian Building and Grounds Committee; he would help with any Church projects whenever he was asked. He was actively involved as both a leader/committee chairman for St. Kilian Boy Scout Troop 741. While in the Troop, he committed his time, resources and his shop to help forge a future for scout youth — and was able to be a mentor to many individuals who reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award of the order. He provided cheerful service and always showed that “many hands make the task light.” He owned and operated Ralph Schellinger Construction Inc. for 25 years, which was a family all its own, serving customers and businesses throughout the state of Wisconsin and over her borders. The building industry has lost one its best, and he is sorely missed by all who he was able to help over the years. He was an active participant in the Hartford Lions Club, which he was able to help with various calendar fundraisers, and the annual pancake breakfast. His smile will be missed when handing out breakfast in the morning at the event, and his spirit will be missed listening to him over the phone.

During Ralph’s free time he enjoyed riding his white Harley-Davidson motorcycle with his wife, Mary. Whether he was driving for work or for pleasure, he enjoyed the freedom of the wind in his hair and the sun at his back. Many who knew of his snowmobile travels also knew of his time in Canada with his dear friends, Frank and Tom, our neighbors of the north. He loved spending time at his family’s cabin in the north woods. My father also enjoyed his time watching NASCAR and cheering on now-retired Terry LaBonte in the No. 5 Corn Flakes racecar. My Father and I shared a rivalry between the No. 3 Dale “The Intimidator” Earnhardt Sr. and the No. 5 Terry “The Iron Man” LaBonte every race. We were rivals with our drivers, but we were brothers at home, we were a father and son enjoying time together watching what we had a passion for and challenging each other every race. Even after that rivalry ended and we switched up our respective driver lineups, he always was known to provide the chant “WINNER!” to both myself and family and friends in the pool we enjoyed together.

He always lived a life that was simple and humble, carrying his passion for John Wayne with him each and every day. Regardless of what the day presented him, whether it was a challenge for the day or the ability to revel in the success of a plan coming together; he was always steadfast in his decisionmaking and strong and sure in his advice. He was the “Duke,” and we were all his “cowboys.” He was passionate in his beliefs holding true that a “handshake meant more than pen and paper.” He encouraged us all to dream and aspire and succeed in our own rights, and was always there to lend his heart, his words of encouragement and his smile.

Always remember to: work hard, be honest, say “Thank you,” “I love you,” “great job” and forgive each other, each and every day. In the end, some of the best things are free and we can never forget to appreciate all the little things Ralph (my husband/my father/my friend) has shown us. He provided our life with a stay-positive attitude, and never let us forget how much he loved my mother and I. His life lessons, his firm handshake, his laugh and his love will forever be etched into our hearts.

May we never forget his “Bear”-like hugs, his smile that would light up a building, his love for life and, plain and simple, the man who would always say before leaving our hearts for the day, “We’re burning daylight!”

In memoriam, we ask you to never let Ralph’s Legacy die, may you always know and never forget how much you all meant to him, and we kindly ask that you share your stories to keep his memory alive!

Love Always, Mary, Joseph, Megan and all his Family! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Ralph was born to Bernard and Charlene “Chip” (nee Lechner) Schellinger on Aug. 31, 1960, in West Bend. He was united in marriage to Mary Ladd, “The Love of His Life,” on Oct. 15, 1983, at St. Kilian Catholic Church in Hartford.

Ralph was the loving and devoted husband to Mary Schellinger for 33 years; loving father to Joseph (Megan) Schellinger; son of Bernard Schellinger and Lucy Szmanda; brother to Peter (Monica) Schellinger, Stephen (Jacqueline) Schellinger, Donna (Gary) Voigt, Anne Schellinger (David) Zuern, Jane (David) Fude, Paul (Kelly) Schellinger and Julie (Dennis) Regan; brother-in-law of Danielle Ladd; and uncle to Jaevyn Moore, Adam (Hillary) Schellinger, Lauren, Claire, Amanda (Rob Land) Schellinger, Jared Schellinger, Matthew (Lindsey) Voigt, Johnny, Remington, Joshua (Becky) Voigt, Porter, Lane, Ava, Maggie (Ross) Braun, Duke, Ella, Benjamin (Jamie) Schellinger, Ronni, Knox, Jessica (Brian) Keith, Hayes, Kelsey (Ben) Stoffel, Jonathan, Daniel Fude, Michael, Mitchell, and Madalynn. He is further survived by many other dear relatives and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his mother Charlene, his brother Ronald Schellinger and infant brother Joseph Schellinger.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Ralph will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at St. Kilian Catholic Church, (264 W State St., Hartford, WI) with the Rev. David LaPlante officiating. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Additional visitation will be at the church Wednesday from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass.

Interment will be in St. Kilian Cemetery, Hartford.

Memorial contributions to a charity of your choice in Ralph’s name are appreciated.

The Shimon Funeral Home is assisting the family: 262-673-9500 or www.shimonfuneralhome.com.