Richard Daniel Schiff, 61, finished a courageous battle against cancer at home on his beloved farm looking out the window at the barn his family and he built together. He fought with the heart of a marine and the spirit of a warrior. He was born July 24, 1952 in Minot ND, the eldest son of Robert and Eleanor Schiff.
The family moved to Lakeside WI in 1957. Rick thought the world of his parents; he loved, honored, and respected them. His relationship with his father was a beautiful example of a father\son relationship. They were friends, farming partners, and fishing\hunting companions.
He was a 1970 graduate of Northwestern H. S. where he played football and baseball and was an officer in FFA where he began his love of farming. While in high school he helped support the family by fishing, trapping, and logging.
In July of 1971, his draft number was 4, so instead Rick enlisted in the Marine Corps and proudly served from 1971-76 working on helicopter hydraulics. He received the Meritorious Service Award for saving a drowning man. He was an expert marksman. He was promoted to Sgt., being selected 1 out of 2,000 men. Ya gotta love a Marine whose favorite movie was the “The Sound of Music”.
In 1977, Rick bought a dairy farm on Hwy 13 in Douglas County. He was an excellent dairyman receiving many awards for farming and his dairy cows and was one of the first to use AI breeding, total mixed rations, and intensive rotational grazing. He loved his cows and they milked their hearts out for him.
He was a good steward of his land and cattle. He was a 1st generation farmer who paid off his farm. He dairy farmed for 23 years, working 16 hour days, 7 days a week and said he never thought of it as work because he loved it so much. His most relaxing moments were after a long day of work on the farm listening to a Twins game while milking his cows.
In 2000, he lost his dairy barn to a devastating fire. Over the years he rebuilt the barn with his family in hopes of one day milking cows again; it’s a beautiful legacy of his handiwork. After the fire he continued to farm with a beef herd and harvesting hay until his death. Last year in the Super bowl commercial “God Created the Farmer” we immediately thought of Rick.
He was a loyal John Deere man for his entire farming career and could easily be recognized by his big smile while driving his tractor down 22 Road.
Rick was a proud Union man having worked for the Boilermakers Union 647 and 117.
When Rick wasn’t farming he could be found fishing on Lake Superior in boats, such as the Hope She Floats, BlueGoose, and Lucky Loon. He was proud to win the Captains Division of the Jaws Tournament with partner Wes Johnson. They were known for staying out on the lake for 16 hours. If the fish were biting, they were fishing, no matter the waves or the weather. If Rick hollered “Fish on”, you better get out of the way. Rick loved to take people fishing and was an even better fish fry cook. Deer hunting was looked forward to each year with family and friends. He taught all of his children to be expert shots. Rick harvested many big bucks over the years.
In all of his six children he instilled a love and passion for fishing, hunting, and farming. He loved watching his sons playing football and baseball in youth and high school sports. He loved taking animals to the county fair with his daughter Casey and encouraging her in FFA.
He was forever faithful and loyal to his family and farm. He will be deeply missed and the farm on the corner of the 22nd & Hwy 13 will be forever know as Rick Schiff’s place.
He was confirmed in the Catholic Church and was a member of Cathedral Christ the King. Throughout his illness he had faith that God would take care of him either way. Rick was a good man, respectful, helpful to everyone, hardworking, and never said a bad word about anyone. He enjoyed and longed for simpler times.
He is survived by his wife Jamie of 24 years, sons Jake, Sam, Ricky and daughter Casey all at home and son Shane (Jenny) and grandchildren Deuce and Ducati in Lewiston, Idaho.
He joins all those he missed so much including parents, Robert and Eleanor, brothers Bob and Roy, a premature son Stuart, and a beloved daughter, Danielle, who died tragically in 2010 in a helicopter crash in Idaho. She worked for Idaho Fish and Game having learned all about fishing and hunting from her father. She was her father’s daughter. Also survived by brothers and sisters, Ron (Dorothy), Rod, Roxy(Clint), Roma(Scott), Rolanda. A special thank you to Rochele Sislo, a special niece (Roy’s daughter) who was so caring, loving, and thoughtful. Rick loved her and was so proud of her. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, life-long friends, and neighbors.
Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, December 27, 2013 with a Prayer Service at 6:30 PM with Pastor Chuck Els of Lakeside Baptist Church, in the Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home. Visitation will be 10:00 AM and continue until the 11:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at the Cathedral of Christ the King Catholic Church with Rev. Fr. Andrew Ricci, as celebrant.
To send a condolence or sign the on-line guest book, visit our website at www.lenroot-maetzold.com.