Willard A. “Willy” Schell, 45, of Lititz, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2013 from injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident. Born in Williamsport, PA, he was the son of Patricia and Richard Leed and Andrew and Carolyn Schell.
Willy will be terribly missed by his two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Schell; his wife Mary Gattis; brother Doug (Deb) Schell; his beloved grandmother, Jane Taxis; half brothers and sisters, Gary (Cindy), Julie, Darlene and Jeff (Christine) Crouse; step-sister Jocelyn Adair (Chad) Douglas; great aunt and uncle Helen and David Penman; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
After graduating from Manheim Township in 1986, he began his trade as a skilled mason, where he spent 25 years as a devoted employee of B & D Masonry. He began pursuing his college degree at HACC several years ago, where he excelled in his studies while working full time and caring for his family.
Willy was an active hunter and outdoor enthusiast. He particularly enjoyed his time camping in the Adirondack Mountains, where he first discovered a passion for collecting wild mushrooms. In 2002 he joined his father as a member of the Beech Ridge Hunting Club (Lycoming County), which was founded in 1948 by his great uncle and grandfather Willard “Chick” Schell. Willy lovingly raised hot peppers from seed each year. He enjoyed eating them and expected everyone else to do the same. Few enjoyed them as much as he!
Anyone who knew Willy knew that physical fitness was important to him. He lifted weights and ran regularly, even after a long day of lifting block at work. He excelled in several sports including boxing, where as a student of Barry Stumpf, he took 1st place in the 1992 Carlisle Golden Glove competition. In 2012 he began pursuing his dream of becoming a professional motorcycle racer. Having recently advanced into the Intermediate class of riders with Team ProMotion, Willy was looking forward to his next day on the race track. He was thrilled to begin riding dirt bikes with Hannah and was an avid supporter of Lizzy’s rugby team, the Hempfield Knightmares.
Willy was a kind and generous person, always willing to give his time to help others whether he knew them or not. When he was sixteen, he and his brother were recognized by the International Optimist Club for rescuing a woman from a purse snatcher.
He will be remembered as one of the most devoted participants in the service work of Narcotics Anonymous. Willy spent countless hours counseling individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, sponsoring many and taking the message of hope into institutions, including Manos House which held a special place in his heart.
He was a longtime member of Grace Baptist Church, where he was adored by many, especially the children he taught in the 3-4 year-old Sunday school class.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Celebration of Life Service at Grace Baptist Church, 1899 Marietta Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm with Pastor Marvin Reich officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 10:00 am until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to an education fund for his daughters, Hannah and Elizabeth Schell. Checks can be made payable to Hannah and Elizabeth Schell, and sent to: Sovereign Bank, 1677 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601 or they can be sent in Willy Schell’s memory to Manos House DARS, Inc., 1290 Prospect Rd., Columbia, PA 17512.