Auction for Schilling estate this Saturday will hold unique and far-reaching meaning

Dick Schilling ...
Dick Schilling ...

The auction being conducted by Sweeney Auction Service this Saturday, April 27 has a very generous component that really has never been experienced by the long-time family auction company and will have a lasting impact on a Waukon community school. The auction taking place at the Sweeney Auction Center in Waukon at 9 a.m. is for the estate of lifelong Waukon resident Richard “Dick” Schilling, as well as for the estate of Jeff Kovacevich from the Decorah area. What makes this auction so unique is the fact that Dick Schilling chose to leave the proceeds from the auction of his estate items to St. Patrick School in Waukon.

“We’ve had auctions for individuals who have donated a portion of the proceeds or particular aspects to individual or multiple causes, but we can’t recall any individual’s estate we’ve dealt with where the proceeds have all been donated to one cause, like Dick had chosen to do with St. Patrick School,” Sweeney Auction Service shared. “His car, his home and all its contents are being auctioned off with the proceeds being donated to St. Patrick School. To us, it’s an extremely generous gesture that we think is so incredible. We hope that many will appreciate that generosity and attend the auction if they’d like to support the cause.”

Richard “Dick” Schilling grew up attending St. Patrick School, graduating from St. Patrick High School in 1952. He was a member of the school’s debate teams from 1948-1952, played basketball and was also editor of the school newspaper. He would later become editor of the newspaper in Waukon, a position he held for 36 years before retiring in 1998.

He continued to write his weekly column “And Then I Wrote...” after his retirement, penning that column for a total of more than 50 years until he passed away November 27 of last year. In it he would share his thoughts and life experiences, often referencing the St. Patrick School that provided the educational foundation he valued so much in his life.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous donation Dick has chosen to leave St. Patrick School,” St. Patrick School Principal Katie Fahey shared. “Dick valued his education and time spent at St. Patrick School, and that is made even more evident by his generous donation. Just like Dick, we know St. Patrick School holds a very special place in so many people’s hearts within this community and we are so grateful for the support that we receive.”

Principal Fahey says the funds donated from the auction will initially be used to help purchase 50 laptop computers for use within the school, along with the renovation of a student/staff work room located adjacent to the school gym. Any remaining funds will be put toward future physical plant and equipment needs for the school.

A sale bill with auction items and further details can be found in the Sweeney Auction Service advertisement located on Page 4B in this week’s edition of The Standard.

In honor of Schilling’s generosity and what St. Patrick School meant to him and his family, the school staff and students will be celebrating a “Dick Schilling Day” Friday, May 24. A variety of activities and themes referencing Dick Schilling’s life will be featured throughout the day within the school, at a Friday Mass and even within the school lunch that day. Further details of the event will be made known as they continue to develop.

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