Bertram C. "Bert" Schaller
West Des Moines - After 94 years of bestowing onto his community an endearing charisma, a devotion to family, and contagious positivity, Bert Schaller passed away peacefully April 3, 2021. A visitation and celebration of life will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 7th at Iles Dunn's Chapel. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 8th at Dunn's Chapel and live-streamed from Bert's obituary page at IlesCares.com
. Interment will follow at Chapel Hill Gardens Cemetery on Merle Hay Road.
Bert was born August 29, 1926 in Earlville, IA to Gerald and Frances Schaller. Along with his 4 siblings, Clyde, Marion, Edgar, and Dorothy, he had an idyllic childhood on the family dairy farm.
At the age of 14, the Schaller family moved to Des Moines, where Bert enrolled and graduated from Roosevelt High School. A talented athlete, he then attended Drake University on a basketball scholarship. His pride in Drake University never waned, and he was one of the university's biggest fans and boosters. In 1981, Bert was honored to receive the Double D award from Drake which is presented to former athletes, recognizing their achievements in their professions and dedication to community service.
Bert enlisted in the United States Navy at a very young age, and he served his country proudly in World War II aboard the USS Foss. In later years, he enjoyed reunions with his shipmates from around the country. In 2009, Bert was privileged to be a part of the Honor Flight, where he visited Washington D.C. with other World War II veterans.
While home from leave, Bert met his wife and forever dance partner, Dee Foster, at the Tromar Ballroom in Des Moines. They were wed July 6, 1946 and were married 68 wonderful years. Bert and Dee raised two daughters, Linda and Cindy, who were Bert's pride and joy.
After his military service, he purchased a service station located at 28th Street and Grand Avenue, which he owned and operated until his retirement in 1991. Bert built "Schaller's" into THE neighborhood shop with an unmatched work ethic, integrity, and passion. At Schaller's, Bert serviced many governors' vehicles, multiple generations of Des Moines families, and long-term clients. Included among them was Frank Miller, who made Schaller's the focal point of many of his cartoons which were published regularly in the Des Moines Register.
Bert was more than optimistic or charismatic. "Super!" "Great!" and "Wonderful!" were always a part of his daily vocabulary. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren struggle to remember him ever having a bad day. Bert had a passion for life and family and did his best to bring a bit of joy to anyone he encountered. Of the dozens of positive characteristics that comprised Bert's personality, his zeal and charm will be remembered most.
Bert was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and beloved wife. He is survived by his daughters, Linda (Bill) Weidmaier of Clive and Cindy Spann of Van Meter; grandchildren, Todd (Teresa) Weidmaier, Keri Weidmaier (Jake Cummings), Colby (Abby) Spann, Chelsea (Rob) West, Jared (Shawna) Spann; and great grandchildren, Lauren and Parker Ellingboe, Will Weidmaier, Walker West, and Addison Spann; and many nieces and nephews. They are tasked with ensuring Bert's legacy lives on within each of them, by sharing stories, honoring his commitment to family, and spreading joy to those they encounter.
The family extends its heartfelt thanks to the staff at Edgewater for their care and dedication.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to AHeinz 57 or Drake Athletic Department in Bert's memory.