William Charles Schiffer

BillWilliam Charles Schiffer was born on September 28, 1929, to Harold William Schiffer and Lila Mildred Welsh Schiffer, in South Bend, Indiana. The eldest of 3 siblings, he was raised in the middle of the depression. (His father often joked it was his birth that caused the Great Crash.) He lived with his two siblings, his mother, father and grandparents all under the same roof. He graduated from La Paz High school in 1947. He loved basketball, but was unable to play due to a heart murmur, so he became the only boy cheerleader in the school’s history. He did enjoy cheerleading with the girls. He was also on the track team. Outside of school Bill had a passion for dancing, especially to his favorite type of music, Jazz and Swing.

After graduation he joined the United States Air Force on October 7, 1947, just a few days over 18. The Air Force was in its infancy, starting on September 18, 1947. He was assigned to weather training, then on to aerial weather training where he earned his wings. He re-enlisted in 11/49 to have the opportunity to stay with his outfit, the 512th and go to Japan. The next month, home on Christmas leave, he asked for the hand of the woman he loved, and was engaged. In 1950 he was stationed in Japan when the Korean War broke out. His group was the first to fly weather missions, 22 of the 40 in the first 6 months, for that he received the Air Medal, and later the Oak Leaf Cluster. He was checked out in the B26, B29, and the B36. The army requested a ground weatherman from the air force, so Bill was transferred to Korea. He said his stay in Korea, was the coldest winter he had ever been in. He obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Home on leave in 1952 he married his fiancée, Iris Cleo Kischer. He was discharged in 1953 and attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He had an eye for journalism, became a technical writer in the aerospace business, culminating at Boeing. The job forced many moves across the country for his family. They lived in South Dakota, Iowa, California, Indiana, Illinois, Texas and finally in Washington.

He stopped smoking at the age of 50 and decided to run for the exercise. He was proud of the fact that he was able to finish 2 marathons.

Throughout the years Bill was active in the Lutheran Church, serving on councils, and various committees; his passions were: Outreach, The Covenant Committee, and Congregations for the Homeless. His other interests were the Studebaker Club where he put out a monthly newsletter, winning national awards, and the Democratic Party, where he once ran for public office.
Bill had a genuine and sincere interest in people of all ages and walks of life. This deep-seated respect for others endeared him to his family and friends.

Bill battled oral cancer for 25 years, and 5 iterations. He died on Friday, January 22, 2016, in Kirkland, Washington at 86 years of age.
Survivors include his wife, Iris; his children Kathy Schiffer; Karen (Neil) Erickson; Paul (Heidi) Schiffer; John (Bouavieng) Schiffer; five grandchildren, Rebecca and Joel Schiffer; Ben Miller; Payton and Olivia Schiffer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Sue McCombs and his brother Ronald Schiffer.

Memorial service to be held 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 13th at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue (411 156th Avenue NE).


3 Responses to “William Charles Schiffer”

  • Susie McAllister Nesmith says:

    Dear Schiffer Family,
    Please know that I am praying for you all, especially for Iris. Bill was a one in a million kind of person who truly cared for everyone he met. He always had a smile and an encouraging word. I treasure the years we shared as we grew up together in Duncanville.

  • Tom Noller says:

    Not only was Bill an authority on things Studebaker, more importantly, he was a wonderful man with a laugh you never forgot!
    He was such an encouragement to me, when Jannelle and I first joined the club and his advice was always golden.
    See you in Heaven, old friend!

  • Jannelle Noller says:

    I’ll always remember Bill’s friendliness and great smile. His accomplishments in life were numerous, and he will be missed by many. The Studebaker Club won’t be the same without you, Bill.

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