Francis Joseph Schilling
June 6, 1931 – December 30, 2020
Francis Joseph Schilling of Naples, Florida and Milwaukee, Wisconsin was born in 1931 in Newark, Ohio during the Great Depression. The sixth of eight children, he graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree. Schilling served as a Second Lieutenant in the Korean War. Returning from the war, he attended graduate school of business at Ohio State University. He was first in his class as he earned a Master of Business Administration degree. It was at Ohio State that he met his future wife, Helen Izzi who was earning a Master of Science degree.
After their wedding in Rhode Island 64 years ago, Frank and his wife lived all over the country for Frank’s job at General Electric Company, as well as traveled the world. He entered GE as a trainee, completed 16 programs, of which two were held at Dartmouth and Harvard. Frank eventually earned the title of Vice President where during his career he was responsible for GE products including aircraft engines, locomotive engines and CT scanners. His work frequently took him to Singapore which he loved.
During Frank’s retirement from his life long career at GE, he founded and directed a successful nuclear cardiology company that produced heart scanning equipment.
Frank was a man of truly extraordinary intelligence and coupled that with a strong work ethic. He was known for his calm demeanor, integrity, humility and a strong Catholic faith which gave him a sound moral compass.
Frank Schilling was known to say, “One must make sacrifices now for a better life later.” This described the way that they lived their lives, and in 2011 gave a multimillion dollar gift his wife’s alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, which was at that time the largest gift by an individual in University history. He made gifts to many other charities as well.
His wife, Helen, preceded him in death by only seven months in May 2020. Frank’s passing in Houston, TX during the 2020 Christmas holidays was announced by his daughter, Helen M. Schilling, M.D.
He is survived by his son, Paul Schilling M.D, of Florida, his daughter, Helen M. Schilling M.D., her son Evan D. Pfeffer of Houston, TX, his loving sister Patty Schilling McKenna and husband Regis McKenna ( his best friend from high school), his dearly loved sisters in law and their families: Rita Izzi Santilli, Eileen Izzi Bryan and Maria H. Izzi of Rhode Island. He is survived my many nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Hodges Funeral Home in Naples, Florida on Wednesday, Jan 20 at 11:45 am and Funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church on Jan 20 at 1 pm. The funeral will be live streamed at https://saintjohntheevangelist.com/events/online-funeral-mass on Jan 20 at 1 pm EST.
Francis Joseph Schilling
January 11, 2021
Dear Helen and Paul:
Your father was a man of integrity, intelligence and generosity. I am so sorry for your loss and my loss as well. I shall miss them both as they came to my home in Florida many times for dinner and for the holidays. I am so thankful for the laughter we shared. My friend Sylvia always graciously offered to drive them to my home as to not place them in jeopardy by driving in the evening. We always had fun at those dinners, reminiscing, laughing and watching movies together. He was such a devout Catholic I know he is in Heaven. My prayers are with you both.