Richard Langley Schall
1929 - 2015
Richard Langley Schall, greatly loved and respected husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle died April 18, 2015, from complications due to pancreatic cancer.
Several months before he died, Dick was asked what he thought might happen to him after death. He replied in characteristic Dick Schall fashion: he was absolutely, positively sure of one thing: he didn’t know.
Dick was one-of-a-kind: extremely admired and driven businessman; acutely prescient investor; avid collector of antique clocks and fancy cars; unparalleled practical joker; competitive tennis, golf, and bridge player; and collector of watches that were “genuine fakes.” He was an expert advice-giver (even when you didn’t know you were looking for it.) His advice had a profound impact on many, particularly his children and grandchildren: “When you first meet someone, give them a firm handshake and look them straight in the eye;” “If you have something important to say, say it, even if it may not be popular;” “Moderation is the key.” “Drive defensively.” “You make your money on the buy.” “To thine own self be true.” He was a much-esteemed man of many strengths, with one characteristic that overshadowed all others: he was magnificently in love with his wife of 64 years, Maryan Strathy Schall. His love for Maryan was so deeply felt that he professed it many times a day . . . to her . . . and to anyone else within earshot. “You are so wonderful;” “Look at that beautiful lady;” “Mom takes such good care of me;” “I love you so much.” He never missed a chance to declare his love for her, no matter how public the occasion.
Dick credited Maryan as his rock as he worked his way up the corporate ladder. He began his career as a grain buyer at General Mills in 1952. When he left General Mills in 1969, he was the VP of Finance & Development. He then joined MGM Motion Pictures as Executive Vice President and Board Director. From there he went to Wall Street, as Vice President-Finance of Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette. He returned to Minneapolis in 1971 as Chairman, CEO & Director of Josten’s. His final corporate post: Chief Administrative Officer and Vice Chairman of the Dayton Hudson Corporation (now known as Target).
Dick “retired” in 1985 at the age of 55—retired being a bit of a misnomer -- he was as involved in and passionate about life as a retiree as he was while a corporate leader. He was vitally interested in corporate governance and was a valued board member of numerous corporations, including Medtronic, Ecolab, Meritex/Space Center, US Bancorp, First Trust, Viacom, Parker Bros., Tonka Toys, and CTL Credit. Dick was one of the first four inductees into the Minnesota Corporate Board of Directors Hall of Fame. He also served on numerous non-profit boards, such as Macalester College (two terms as Chair), University of Minnesota School of Management (Chair), Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Hazen Foundation, Elings Park, See International, Channel City Club, Santa Barbara Foundation Finance Committee, and Direct Relief’s Board of Governors. He was honored for Meritorious and Distinguished Service by Macalester College in 2012. Dick and Maryan were greatly respected philanthropists, in both Minneapolis and Santa Barbara, and had the distinct honor of being awarded Santa Barbara’s “Philanthropists of the Year” in 2003. Perhaps Dick’s greatest philanthropic gift to Santa Barbara was his recent partnership role in restoring the Courthouse tower clock.
Dick Schall brought great gusto and a competitive spirit to everything with which he was involved. He was a man of commitment, and his four children are deeply grateful for all that his passion taught them.
In addition to his loving wife, Maryan, Dick is survived by his son David (Patty); and daughters Caryn (Jeff), Janny (Geoff), and Dawn (Doug); eight grandchildren who love him dearly: Becca, Meg, David, Molly, Andy, Nick, Eric, and Tucker; and his sister Lois (Ted.) They will all miss his energy, wit, and wise counsel more than words can express. He set the bar high and was a role model for many. Rest in peace, Dear Dick, Darling, Dad, Buppa, Grampa. And thank you. For everything.
An informal celebration of Dick’s life will be held in Santa Barbara on Sunday, April 26, 4:00 at Birnam Wood Golf Club, and in Minneapolis on Monday, June 8, 4:00 at the Minikahda Club. Memorial gifts may be made to Sansum Clinic, Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, and Casa Dorinda Medical Center.
Arrangements by McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.