Richard William Schricker, always known as Bill, was born to Henry and Henrietta Schricker on Nov. 1, 1923, in Grand Island, Neb., where he grew up and finished school. As the youngest of six children and coming of age during the Depression, he learned early that life was filled with both challenges and opportunities to triumph. Knowing this, he modeled resilience and creativity when faced with obstacles and built a life in which he found great satisfaction.
After meeting the love of his life, Joan Wiese (Jo), they married on Oct. 15, 1950, and eventually became a family of six, with daughters Coleen, Nan and Kate and son David. As a young man, Bill found a relationship with his Heavenly Father through Jesus and found it so wonderful that he wanted to share this experience with others. He moved his young family to Fremont, Neb., to attend seminary, eventually pastoring churches in Hooper, Neb., and later in Kansas City, Kan.
However, Bill was a builder and entrepreneur at heart. In the summer of 1959 the family took a Minnesota vacation in the pop-up camper Bill had built in the parsonage basement, and he and Jo conceived an idea to build a private campground that would have everything vacationers would need in one place. In the early autumn he drove off with a load of furniture and some borrowed money to look for land in northern Minnesota where they could build their dream. He returned, having purchased Moonlight Bay Lodge, a property with a lovely house, three cottages, a barn he could convert into an office/shower house, and plenty of park-like land for campsites. And so, they set to work!
The resort yielded great creative satisfaction and rich relationships, but not enough income, so Bill spent the winters doing tax work in Minneapolis for Ernst & Ernst, where he was dubbed an honorary “CPA” — Campground operator, Preacher and Accountant. He dedicated much of his energy to improving his little slice of the north woods and expanded the resort by designing and building a short nine-hole golf course, at which point he took up golfing. After selling the resort, he designed and built a family house just down the road from the dream he made a reality. Yet that was not the end of his entrepreneurial endeavors, and he later developed home sites on the additional property creating the Wedgewood Estates.
Upon retirement, Bill and Jo spent several winters travelling the United States in an RV, before eventually finding a permanent seasonal home in Harlingen, Texas, where they could golf and play bridge while Minnesota was blanketed in snow. Summers were spent in Walker, again golfing and playing bridge. Travel to Israel and China (where Nan was teaching English) added to their travel adventures. These 20 years were a delight, and of course family members were enthusiastic to head south to visit them. After many happy years as snowbirds, their children convinced them to move back closer to family where they settled in the Twin Cities near two of their daughters.
Bill excitedly anticipated celebrating the 70th anniversary of his marriage to Jo, which the family commemorated with an intimate dinner, in Walker on Oct. 17. He was proud to have lived to this rare milestone. In the midst of the festivities Bill fell ill (he was COVID-19 negative) and was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee. He met his Heavenly Father on Oct. 21, 2020, as his daughter Kate was praying the benediction over him.
Bill was preceded in death his parents, Henry and Henrietta, sisters Evelyn and Lois, brothers Ralph, Orville, and Art, infant son John William, and granddaughter Annamarie.
Survivors include his loving wife Jo; daughters Coleen (John) Towner, Nan Schricker, Kate (Bruce) Blythe; son David (Melinda) Schricker; grandchildren David, Meg, Charlotte, Garrett, Grant, Andrew, Abigail, Jonathan and Bree.
Bill and Jo’s family will be forever grateful to them for the example they set of embracing life with zest and faith.
Funeral services for Bill will begin at 1 p.m. Oct. 26 with visitation starting at 12:15 p.m., all held at the Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Walker and with Pastors Loren Fritze and John Dainsberg officiating. Pallbearers for Bill will be David Schricker, David Towner, Grant Schricker, Garrett Blythe, Andrew Blythe and Jonathan Blythe. Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery at Walker immediately following the service.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com
Bill’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, Minn.