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Published: Monday, 4/25/2005

Love of fishing, boating led to Lake Erie charter service

Bernard "Dick" Schaller, 95, a former estimator for Dunbar Mechanical Contractors who later ran a charter fishing boat on Lake Erie, died Thursday at St. Luke's Hospital in Maumee after a short illness. The family did not know the cause of death.

Before working for many years for Dunbar Mechanical Contractors, he spent 35 years at Kaighin and Hughes as a field superintendent. Though he liked his job, he loved fishing and after retiring in 1987, he started a charter boat business that he ran for 15 years.

"He had a boat all his life and he was an avid fisherman. He took all his grandchildren and children fishing, too; that was such a big part of his life," said his daughter, Rebecca Johnson. "He knew the lake so well. He knew just where to go to find fish."

Another big part of Mr. Schaller's life was his involvement in scouting. He started Boy Scout Troop No. 252 at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns and was a scout leader for many years, according to another daughter, Emily Galambos.

His Catholic faith was so important to him that Mrs. Johnson remembers that "he never passed a church without tipping his hat to God."

He helped build St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Catholic Church and was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help church for 67 years.

Mrs. Galambos said her father loved gardening, especially flowers, and would spend much of his time outdoors tending to his plants. He also loved to learn new things and read three books a week; he mastered the computer at age 90.

He was married to his wife, Margaret, for 71 years, and the family celebrated the couple's 70th wedding anniversary with a boat trip on Lake Erie.

Surviving are his wife; daughters, Rebecca, Emily, and Joan Schaller; sons, Bernard and Harry; 19 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren, and a sister, Helen Schwimmer.

Services will begin at 9:15 a.m. today at the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home in Maumee, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery.

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