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William P. Schimmel

January 25, 1936 June 5, 2012
William P. Schimmel
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Obituary for William P. Schimmel

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. (Winston Churchhill)

William P. Schimmel, age 76 and a long time resident of Milford, died on June 5, 2012 after a long battle with cancer.

Bill was born in Detroit, Michigan as the second of three children born to Calvin and Verble Schimmel. He attended Michigan Tech University where he graduated with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and as a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society. At Michigan Tech Bill enjoyed singing in the Glee Club, diving with the Scuba Diving Club and the great outdoors of the Upper Peninnsula.

Bill's career spanned fifty years in automotive, rockets, and jet engines. He first worked for Chrysler Engineering but left to be on the leading edge of technology in the new space age to work at Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California. It was while at Rocketdyne that Bill contributed to the landing of the Apollo 11 Space Mission when man first walked on the moon. Bill and Nancy later moved back to Michigan and Bill worked at Williams International, where he retired after 31 years as Director of Materials and Engineering. He was especially fond of his friends and co-workers. He also has technical publications and patents to his credit.

Bill met his wife Nancy at Chrysler Engineering. They married on May 6, 1961 and had their four children in California. The Schimmels later moved to Milford, Michigan to raise their family. Many happy memories include backyard parties and bonfires, canoe trips and hikes, get togethers at the family cottage, Saturday mornings at Eastern Market and enjoying their six grandchildren, and laughter.

Bill was a history buff and was an active member of the Milford Historical Society. He was also interested in Native American history culminating in a book to be published this year on the life of Jacob Tipsico, a local member of the Chippewa Indian Tribe. His interest in researching and writing the book started by his discovering Lake Tipsico while on a quest for a cut your own Christmas tree. The book dovetails into the history of the end of the era of land ownership by Native Americans and the war of 1812.

After retirement Bill was active in consulting as well as tutoring and teaching, ranging from Mr. Schimmel's Science Hour at Kurtz and Johnson Elementaries to tutoring through Milford's Community Sharing and St. Anne de Detroit Parish as well as teaching principles of Metallurgy at Baker College.

Bill's other hobbies included reading books on History, Politics, Science and Native Americans. He developed and gave talks on the Space Age and Native Americans to local historical societies. He loved animals, nature and the outdoors, including flower gardens and planting trees on the 10 acres that he and Nancy had their home in Milford. Bill was also a member of the Milford Garden Club. He enjoyed the challenge and strategies of Texas Hold Em poker, playing and enjoying success and camaraderie at the Windsor Casino. He and Nancy were also members of local Euchre, Pinochle and domino groups.

His family gives thanks for his life and remembers him as a man of generosity, integrity and truth. He believed in the unlimited potential of all.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy; children, Mary, John (Sandy), Anne (Greg) Beck, and Charlie Schimmel; grandchildren, Rose, Nicholas, Grace, Hailey, Maria and Sophia; brother, Larry (Irene) Schimmel; sister, Joanne (Tom) Ryan; brothers-in-law, David, Chuck, and John Anderson and much extended family and dear friends.

A Funeral Liturgy will be held at St. Mary Our Lady of the Snows, 1955 E. Commerce, Milford, on Friday, June 8, at 11am with the Rev. Fr. Ron Anderson officiating. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, on Thursday, June 7, 1-8PM, with a Vigil Service at 7PM. Charitable contributions may be made in his name to St. Jude Children's Hospital. For further information please phone 248-684-6645.


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