And then I wrote...

The following are tributes submitted in honor of former editor and editor emeritus Dick Schilling following his November 27 passing. Those wishing to submit their own tributes may do so by email at or by mail to The Standard, P.O. Box 286, Waukon, IA 52172.

It was with a sense of loss when I read on the Martin Funeral Home website that Dick Schilling had passed away. I am old enough to remember when the Hulls had the Waukon newspaper and remember when Dick started working for the Waukon newspapers (back in the day when there were two issues - one the Republican and the other the Democrat).

Over the years he wore many hats, but what I remember the most and will miss the most will be his weekly column “And then I wrote...”. The Waukon Standard will be hard pressed to find a writer like Mr. Schilling. Sometimes his words were thought provoking, sometimes political, sometimes musing about the changing times, and sometimes reminiscent of days gone by when he was a student at the University of Iowa, or serving our country.

His perspectives and common sense words were directed to a community of readers who he truly honored and respected, whether they were political or non-political, friend or stranger. He loved Waukon and was proud to call it home. His faith in God guided him in life.

I know that Mr. Schilling would not want any fanfare or accolades written about him but I wanted to let you, his Newspaper Family know, that you have my deepest sympathy in your loss of a very special person and I share in your sadness.

Connie (Kelly) Ellis

Our community lost a tremendous asset and person a couple weeks ago with the passing of former Waukon Standard editor Richard “Dick” Schilling. We were so blessed to have him as a news editor in a community our size!

Dick was a wealth of knowledge when it came to the history of Waukon and I wish he would have authored a book before his passing. We lost so much. Anyone who knew Dick, knew what an intelligent man he was. He was the person you called when you have one lifeline on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire!!”

I was fortunate enough to work with Dick at Waukon Newspapers many years ago as a 20-year-old sports writer and I shared the same experiences that Jeremy Troendle mentioned in the December 5 issue of The Standard. Mr. Troendle did an excellent job of describing what it was like to work with Dick, so I won’t be redundant with details. But I can’t put into words how much he taught me in my profession and life in general.

A couple things I could add. I never once witnessed someone come into the newspaper office asking for a donation to their charity without Dick getting out his billfold. He always thought you should encourage children representing Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts or a school activity or any good cause, and he would donate to any charity such as Veterans or the local fire department or community related. You don’t think about it, you just give was the example he set.

I also remember on several occasions someone coming into the newspaper office and having a relaxed, jovial, totally enjoyable conversation with Dick. They would walk out the door and Dick would tell me in general that person disagreed with everything he wrote. It’s not top secret that Dick was a good Republican! But disagreeing with someone didn’t mean you couldn’t get along with that person or enjoy each other’s company. It was OK to disagree! I find it quite sad that as a society we have lost that idea of still being friends with someone who doesn’t totally share our viewpoint.

I remember telling Dick once that The Beatles were amazing and “actually created music”. And he said, “Created it? They ruined it!!”. And we laughed. We disagreed. And we moved on. He taught me so many lessons!

Dick was never a husband or a father but he would have won a Pulitzer Prize at both. He was a tremendous news editor, mentor and good friend. I will miss our conversations at his mailbox. And for that I say Thank You. Dick Schilling... I am forever grateful... you will be missed.

Perry Hesse


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