Obit: ‘He never met a rule he couldn’t break”

One of the neat things about writing NewsCut is right around the time you think, “I haven’t read a really good obituary lately,” a reader sends one to you.

You can’t go wrong with an obituary that includes fisticuffs with a nun.

(h/t: Heather Koshiol)

Tim Schrandt, age 63, of Spillville, IA died on Friday, March 29, 2019 at Gundersen Health System in LaCrosse, WI after a short battle with cancer.

Tim Schrandt (Lynyrd) made his last inappropriate comment on March 29, 2019. If you are wondering if you may have ever met him, you didn’t -because you WOULD remember. For those of you that did meet him, we apologize, as we’re sure he probably offended you. He was world renowned for not holding back and telling it like it is.

Tim was born to William (Bill) Schrandt and Mary (Schrandt) Manning on June 11,1955 – 100 years too late. Given Tim’s demeanor he would have been the perfect weathered cowboy in the old west or rough and tough pioneer, or maybe he just should have been Amish.

Tim was the 4th of 8 kids, the bottom rung of the top tier (the big kids). Instead of taking his place on that rung, listening to the older kids and doing as he was told by his older siblings, he decided to anoint himself “king” of the 4 little kids. Tim spent his childhood and early adulthood ordering them around and in general, tormenting them. He was a great orator, (not like Shakespeare, but more like Yogi Berra), as he always had something to say, and always had to get in the last word.

His position as “king” and orator was challenged by the nuns at St. Wenceslaus school in Spillville. He may have met his match. We’re not saying the nuns won, but they put up a good fight, we mean literally – he got into a fist-a-cuff with a nun. In fairness, she probably started it. You didn’t take a swing at Tim and not expect one back. Tim’s fondness for authority (his own – not others) followed him to South Winneshiek High School in Calmar and later into the Army. This provided for many interesting episodes and stories, detentions and demotions, and a few “run ins” with the law, not just locally, but globally.

Tim worked at Camcar/Stanley Black and Decker in Decorah as a tool and die maker for 30 plus years. Tim worked with many friends and “a bunch of morons”. His words, not ours. Well not exactly his words because that would have included a bunch of swear words.

Tim leaves behind a hell of a lot of stuff that his family doesn’t know what to do with. So, if you are looking for a Virgin Mary in a bathtub shrine (you Catholics know what we’re talking about) you should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch with them.

Tomorrow would be fine.

In addition to his stuff he leaves behind two great boys who he was extremely proud of, Cody (Jenny) Schrandt and Josh (Lydia) Schrandt were the product of his marriage to Crystal Hilmer. He will be missed by his two granddaughters that he adored and taught to cuss, Peyton and MacKenna. Also left to keep the stories alive (but damn, there won”t be any new material) are his mother Mary Manning and siblings Mike (Rita Dixon) Schrandt, Marty (Clint) Berg, Becky Schrandt-Miles, Bill (Grease) Schrandt, Pam (Rick) Barnes, Peter (Sandra) Schrandt and many nieces, nephews and cousins that wanted to hang out near him, because you just knew he was going to say or do something good. It’s not that he was such a great storyteller, it’s that he WAS the story!

To his siblings amazement he was actually able to snag a good woman, Cheryl Murray, and hold on to her for the past 13 years, and as far as we know restraints were not used. Tim also created great memories and stories for Cheryl’s kids Alex (Christina) Murray and Samantha (Evan) Luedking and grandkids Tatum and Grace.

He will be having a reunion with his infant daughter Ashley, his brother Duke, his dad Bill Schrandt, many aunts and uncles and a handful of cousins that passed before him. Tim was in charge of getting the beer and ice for our family reunions, so they will be happy to see him.

A common line in obituaries is “He never met a stranger”, in Tim’s case he never met a rule he couldn’t break, a boundary he couldn’t push, a line he couldn’t cross and a story he couldn’t stretch. Another common obituary phrase is “He’d give the shirt off his back”, well Tim was prepared to do that, and he could do it quickly, because he always wore his shirts unbuttoned ¾ the way down. Tim was anything but common!

Despite his crusty exterior, cutting remarks and stubbornness, there is actual evidence that he was a loving, giving and caring person. That evidence is the deep sorrow and pain in our hearts that his family feels from his passing.

Tim led a good life and had a peaceful death – but the transition was a bitch. And for the record, he did not lose his battle with cancer. When he died, the cancer died, so technically it was a tie! He was ready to meet his Maker, we’re just not sure “The Maker” is ready to meet Tim.

Good luck, God!

We are considering establishing a Go-Fund-Me account for G. Heileman Brewing Co., the brewers of Old Style beer, as we anticipate they are about to experience significant hardship as a result of the loss of Tim”s business. Keep them in your thoughts.

Archive: Motorcycles, scrambled eggs, and the ways we live forever (NewsCut)

  • Gary F

    He’d be a good guy to sit on pickup truck tailgate, have a beer or two, and solve the worlds problems.

  • kevins

    Great obit!

  • X.A. Smith

    That’s a fun read!

  • Al

    He actually sounds kind of… scary.

    • BJ

      And loved

  • Joseph

    Wish I had met him — sounds like quite the character!

  • Laurie K.

    Best. Obit. Ever.

  • Jack

    Love the last paragraph.

  • Jay Sieling

    This is the kind of post I’m going to miss when Bob retires

    • Jeff C.

      Someone should start working on an obit for Newscut that would make Bob proud.

  • Jeff C.

    Wow, I really needed that today. Thanks, Bob!

  • Debby

    Thanks, Bob. Many smiles from that one.

  • LDCornell

    Hi, Heather Koshiol 🙂 Good job!

  • Mark Peterson

    Tim and I shared a birthday for 63 years

  • merry_rose

    Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when he had the fist-a-cuff with the nun! He sounds like quite the character. I expect the funeral eulogies were pretty funny.
    “ I remember the time when Dad/Uncle Tim/my brother…”

  • Hermann

    That was a great! He may have been ornery at times, but obviously loved and was loved by his family. What a wonderful tribute by his family! Thanks for sharing this story.

  • mnboy67

    Spectacular! Not many obituaries can hold a candle to this one.