Hereford America


The Largest Privately Owned Hereford Newspaper in North America

Bill Schmele

Paul “Bill” William Schmele, age 91, passed away on July 4, 2024. Born on October 31, 1932, in Rapid City, SD, to Paul William and Sophia Anna (Karinen) Schmele, Bill attended Horse Creek Elementary School and Newell High School.

Bill married Alice Blackburn on June 8, 1961, and they were blessed with six children: Nadine (Dwight) Sandoz of St. Paul, NE, Carol (Klemen) Vidic of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Mary (Nathan) Johnson of Grand Forks, ND, Joanne (Brian) Wise of Orange City, Iowa, James “Jimmy” Paul  Schmele, and Donna Phillips of Grand Forks, ND.

A dedicated and passionate cattle rancher, Bill was renowned for raising registered Hereford bulls and cultivating a distinguished bloodline of Hereford cattle traced back to England. His exceptional knowledge and intuition about cattle earned him national recognition. Bill sold bulls for 75 years and was known for performing much of his own veterinary work, a testament to his deep understanding and care for his animals.

Bill had a profound interest in nature. He enjoyed capturing its beauty through photography and had a special affinity for animals. He loved picking fruit and collecting rocks and was an avid reader until the end of his life. His striking blue eyes reflected his compassion for those in need and positivity throughout life. Bill’s extraordinary talent for whistling, complete with vibrato, provided joy for many, and he found great pleasure in riding horses. Rarely seen without his hat, always worn at a slightly tilted angle, his signature look brought smiles to those around him.

Bill is survived by his beloved sister, June Schmele; his five cherished daughters, nineteen grandchildren, and twenty-nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert Koskela, son, Jimmy, and great-grandson, Bridger Johnson.

A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at 10 a.m. at Dakota Life Christian Center (321 Fisk Avenue) in Newell, SD.