Fred Scheller 1936 - 2020
1936 — 2020
After bravely weathering a lengthy illness, Walter Fred Scheller died Friday, May 22, 2020, at his home near Tonganoxie. He was 84. A private service will be held at a later date.
He was born January 31, 1936, in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of Edna Marie Scheiner Hoffman Scheller and Walter Scheller. He grew up on his family’s farm northeast of Tonganoxie, and he lived in an eight¬mile radius throughout his life. He attended the Timber Ridge Grade School, a one¬room school west of Basehor, and he graduated from Basehor High School in 1952.
He married Dollie Hart Heisman in 1971 in Leavenworth; she predeceased him in 1989. He married Lisa Stevens in 2000 at his home in Tonganoxie. She survives of the home.
He started carpentry in 1955, a vocation he continued throughout his life. He built custom homes in southern Leavenworth County and had a cabinet shop for 10 years. Through his work, he established enduring friendships, and even built multiple houses in different locations for the same customers. He was known as an honest, loyal and steadfast man, and he built a solid reputation as a carpenter on whom you could depend. He went about his work each day with a positive attitude and a grin on his face. To the end of his life, he continued working. If not able to do the work physically, he still oversaw construction from his armchair.
“What I loved about my work was all the great people that I worked for,” he said.
His advice for future generations was uncomplicated: “Work hard, use common sense to its extreme, seek positive people and stay away from the negative. Live well, love well. After a chance meeting at Bitler’s restaurant in Tonganoxie, I spent my last 20 years with the most beautiful, loving person on earth. I’ve been the luckiest guy ever.”
His strength carried over to everyone who knew him. Those close to Fred Scheller became stronger for having known him.
Other survivors include daughter, Carrie Jo Barth, (David) Lenexa; stepsons, John J. Fatzer (Brittany), Lawrence; Theodore S. Fatzer (Anna May), Tonganoxie; and Harold R. Fatzer (Stephanie), Lawrence; five grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his first wife; a stepdaughter, Debra Heisman Nelson; and a sister, Mary Scheller Lorance.
Memorials are suggested to the Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Pantry in Tonganoxie, where he volunteered for several months prior to his final illness; or to the Tonganoxie Historic Society.