William Alexander Schewee Jr.
December 16, 1943 – August 13, 2019
William Alexander Schewee Jr., age 75 of Lewisville, Texas passed away on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at his residence in Lewisville.
"Bill" was born on December 16, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan, a son of his father: William Alexander Schewee Sr., and his mother: Mary Darling.
Bill married Cheryl Webb on September 28, 1974 in Dallas, Texas.
He is survived by his wife: Cheryl Schewee of Lewisville, Texas.
Bill is also survived by one son: Billy Schewee (wife Joey) of Richardson, Texas.
Two grandsons: Will and Sam.
Three sisters: Sandy Pieper of Clinton Township, Michigan, Bonnie (husband Bill) Crabtree of White Lake, Michigan, and Robin (husband Rob) Welch of Clarkston, Michigan.
Bill is preceded in death by his mother and father, two sisters: Martha Weathers and Carol Gibson, one brother in infancy: Roger Schewee, and three brothers-in-law: Bernie Pieper, Lee Gibson, and Sandy Weathers.
Bill is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members and relatives.
Bill Schewee, affectionately known as “Wild Bill” to all who knew and loved him, grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He was the oldest child and only surviving son of Mary and Bill Schewee and had five sisters. He loved to tell stories about growing up in Detroit and his later adventures in the suburbs after the family relocated.
Bill is best described as a free spirit. He was exceptionally intelligent with a quick wit and a memory for the smallest of details in his life. He was a walking history book, stating that without knowing our history we just keep repeating our mistakes.
He had an insatiable curiosity about how things operate in the world, which may have prompted him to join the Air Force in 1960 at the age of 17. Other people have suggested he joined the Air Force because he had five younger sisters! It was there that he developed his love of airplanes and flying. He was a navigator in the Air Force and in 1962 was aboard the refueling plane headed to Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. Thankfully, that crisis ended peacefully and he made it back safely. He spent a total of 8 years in the Air Force and returned to Detroit in 1968.
However, he joined the United States Marine Corps almost immediately upon his return home. When asked why he chose to reenlist in the military, he used to say, “I couldn’t stand seeing all those civilians running around out there with no one in charge.” He worked as an avionics and airframe technician and served three tours of duty in Vietnam. He was serving aboard the USS Coral Sea in the Indian Ocean during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. It is notable that, unbeknownst to his wife, he also used to fly back seat on the jets off that very same carrier. Upon his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1981 he was serving as Avionics Chief and NCOIC of Com/Nav and Electric shop. He twice received the Navy Achievement Medal for superior performance of duty and aircraft system reliability and received Letter of Commendation for performance of duty and superior leadership during NATO Exercises, 1976. He loved to travel and explore new places, so his military career served him well in satisfying that wanderlust. It was difficult to name a place he had not traveled to or at least traveled through. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps, he returned to Texas with his wife, Cheryl, and son, Billy, to make their home in Grand Prairie, Texas. That was a good choice for him because he had the heart and soul of a true Texan.
He began working at Thyssen Krupp Elevator Company (formerly Dover Elevator) in 1981 and worked as a construction adjuster there until his retirement in 2010. You would be hard pressed to find a high rise elevator in Dallas that Bill has not worked on. We used to tell him that he needed name plates that said, “Adjusted by Bill Schewee.” He always said that elevators were just vertical airplanes. After his retirement from the elevator industry, he worked part time as a bus driver at John Paul II High School. He enjoyed all that energy that comes from being around young people.
As much as he loved the military, all things mechanical - planes, trains (he always wanted to drive a train), and automobiles (he loved vintage automobiles), nothing could compete with the love he had for his family and friends. Though not a demonstrative man, he had his own way of letting you know that he loved you.
He loved being a father and grandfather and took great pride in the accomplishments of Billy, Joey, Will and Sam. While he was always up for attending any and all sports and school activities, he just loved being with them and was ready at a moment’s notice if they needed him. Billy, Will, and Sam knew that his attendance at any of their sporting events would result in an after game critique. He always did so, not to criticize, but to encourage them to do their very best. He wanted to instill his own strong work ethic in each of them and help them understand the value of commitment.
Trips back home to Michigan were some of the best times in his life. He loved the busyness of a visit home and how much the family had grown. Though he has been known for making disparaging remarks about growing up with five sisters, he had a soft spot in his heart for each and every one of them. He was, however, grateful when they started bringing brothers-in-law into the family and was thrilled when all of the nieces and nephews started arriving.
He always thought of his friends not just as friends but as extended family. He was fun to be around and could see humor in most things. One friend once told Cheryl, “If I was married to Bill, I would be laughing all the time.” Fortunately, she knew him long enough to know that was not true! He loved baseball, old country music, Miller Lite, hot dogs, and Lay’s potato chips. But most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother and a friend for all time. We will miss you, Wild Bill!
A funeral service and celebration of life for Bill be held on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Ted Dickey West Funeral Home, located at 7990 George Bush Turnpike, Dallas, Texas 75252.
Following the service, a reception will be held in the reception area at Ted Dickey West.
A burial service with full Marine Corps honors will follow on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 2:15 PM at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery, located at 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests the Wounded Warrior Project or The Boot Campaign as charities.
Ted Dickey West Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas has charge of arrangements.
- Funeral Service & Celebration of Life Friday, August 23, 2019
- Commital Service Friday, August 23, 2019
William Alexander Schewee Jr.
August 18, 2019
It is sad to lose one of our chapter's charter members. Our sympathy to his loving wife and family. His service to his country was most commendable. Thank you, Bill, for being part of us. We will miss you, Brother.
Vietnam Veterans of America
Grand Prairie Chapter #1013