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C. George Schilling, Jr., passed away on May 4, 2023, peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He was a life-long resident of the South Bend/Granger, Indiana area, and was born on June 10, 1931, the first child of Charles G. and Nina (Russell) Schilling, who both preceded him in death.
George attended the former St. Patrick’s grade school, and the former South Bend Central High School. During that time, he was active in Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a degree in Business Administration. Following graduation, he served his country in the United States Army, stationed in both the United States and Germany. After being honorably discharged and returning to civilian life, he entered the family business, “Schilling’s Sales Company” in downtown South Bend. The business was started by his grandfather, Nicholas Schilling in 1905, as a drug store.
George grew up in the business and often assisted his grandfather in the store as a young boy, learning the trade, and developing a lifelong interest in photography. George often recounted a visit to the store by Mr. George Eastman of Eastman Kodak which resulted in the store becoming one of the first Kodak dealers in Indiana. Over the years, many changes were made in the business to meet changing times. What began as a pharmacy, and then a printing company and religious goods store, eventually became a major photographic supply firm serving the needs of amateur, professional, and industrial users across the Michiana area. George always felt that he was blessed to be working independently in his privately owned company in a business he very much enjoyed. When George retired in 1995, the store was closed after serving the community for 90 years.
On October 22, 1955, at Holy Cross Church, he married another South Bend native, the former Mary Brennan, whom he had always known due to a long-time friendship between their parents. While they were students at Notre Dame and St. Mary’s respectively, they began to date and soon realized their love for each other.
As much as George loved his work and the many friendships he developed there, he found retirement much to his liking. He and Mary made many trips abroad, always with camera in hand.
George and Mary had four daughters and three sons. They and their seventeen grandchildren are:
David (Ilse) of Katy, TX, and their children, Nicholas (Kristie), Dr. Matthew (Michelle), Christopher, and Katrina.
Thomas of San Juan Island, WA
Ann (Jack) Gaido, of Naperville, IL and their children, Mary, Laura (Chris) Grimes, Mark, Captain, USMC, and Peter.
Theresa (Jim) Doyle of Danbury, CT.
Martha (Dr. Michael) Fabian, of Ormond Beach, FL, and their children Ann Marie, Stephanie, Captain, USAF, and Dr. Michael.
Nicholas (Susan) of Granger, IN, and their children Katherine (Christian) Clark, Patrick (Ali), Nicholas (Ellen) and Megan (Robert) Klingenberger, and Christopher.
Laura (Rusty) Nereng of Woodbury, MN, and their daughter Maria.
George has eleven great grandsons and three great granddaughters: Andrew, Theodore, Levi, James, Luke, William, Benjamin, Morgan, Henry, Thomas, Caroline, Emily, Ford and Miller.
Great sources of joy to George were the successes, accomplishments, and character of his children and grandchildren. Six of his children are Notre Dame Graduates and one is a Marquette University graduate.
George is predeceased by his loving wife of 66 years, Mary; his sister Martha (S. Fred) Kravetz of Cedar City, UT; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Kathleen and Mitch Mikula of Austin, TX; and sister-in-law Shirley Brennan of Kerrville, TX. He is survived by two brothers-in-law, S. Fred Kravetz of Cedar City UT and Daniel Brennan of Kerrville, TX
George was an avid reader with interests in history, business, government, and world affairs, and he loved to share what he read with whoever would listen. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of geography, historical events, battles waged, wars fought, and had a great concern for the future of the country. Through his photography and many family trips to Lake Michigan, he instilled in his children a love of nature, the beauty in the world, and the capturing of family memories. Through his business acumen, he taught them to work hard, do their best, think for themselves and be responsible. He was a faith filled man who led his family and his business with integrity and quiet confidence.
George was a long-time member of St. Joseph parish in South Bend, where his children attended grade school. He was a member of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joe Valley, a former member of the Kiwanis Club, and several professional photographic organizations. He and his wife were full time foster parents for Catholic Services for twenty years. He was conscientious and trustworthy in his business dealings, good to his employees, made friends with his customers, was faithful to his chosen vocation of marriage and parenthood, and steadfast in his faith.
The family will receive friends at the Kaniewski funeral home on Bendix Drive on Monday, May 8 from 4:00 to 6:00PM including a prayer service at 5:00 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Joseph Church in South Bend on Tuesday, May 9 at 11:00 AM, followed by burial in Highland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Congregation of the Holy Cross, U.S. Province, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556; to St. Joseph Parish, 226 N. Hill St., South Bend, IN 46617; or The Hospice Foundation, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545.