Gerald “Gary” Scholl
September 12, 1936-October 5, 2023
Gerald “Gary” Henry Scholl passed away peacefully on October 5, 2023, with his family by his side. Gary was born on September 12, 1936, in Elgin, Nebraska, where he lived most of his life. His parents immigrated from Germany in the early 1930s and settled in Boone County, Nebraska alongside other German families whose skills were needed to farm the land and build the surrounding communities. When Gary was four, his father died in a farming accident, leaving behind his wife and five young children. It was a challenging time, but also one that would shape the man Gary would become —determined, hardworking, creative, and loyal. Gary began his first job while in grade school and was proud to do his part to support his family.
He worked at the Blue Goose Café where he was in charge of restocking the pop coolers. He held many part-time jobs while growing up, including a successful sign painting company he and his older brother started as teenagers.
Gary attended Elgin High School, where he excelled in multiple areas. He was a star athlete who played football, baseball, and basketball, earned many awards, and held a few state records. Gary served on the Student Council and was elected Vice President his senior year. He was a member of the Glee Club, Acting Club, and Chess Club. His favorite extracurricular activity was riding his motorcycle on the long country roads under the open skies of Nebraska, and he belonged to the Motorcycle Riding Club in the neighboring town of Oakdale for many years.
After graduation, Gary enlisted in the United States Navy and completed his basic training at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, CA, where he earned his Navy Bluejacket. In 1956, he was stationed at the Litchfield Park Navy base in Arizona and served on active duty at Midway Island in Hawaii the following year.
After completing his Navy service, Gary returned to Elgin, NE., where he met his future wife, Marlene. They married in 1960 and had three children. He worked for Elgin Lumber and Schmitt Construction until 1974 when he founded Scholl Construction. In 1989, he and Marlene purchased the Village Craftsmen Cabinet Shop in downtown Elgin, which they operated for 25 years.
Gary was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department and the Elgin Chamber of Commerce for 22 years and served in many leadership roles on behalf of his community, including building an award-winning town sign in 2000. After 40 years as a successful business owner, Gary began to wind down, but he would never fully retire, as he enjoyed being busy. He continued to work part-time well into his 80s, doing small construction jobs around town and maintaining the exercise equipment at the Boone County Fitness Center, where he loved to work out and swim each week.
In his free time, Gary was an avid gardener, famous for the homemade horseradish that he generously prepared and shared yearly with his many fans. Another favorite tradition was harvesting pumpkins each Fall with his grandson, Jack. Grandpa’s pumpkin patch will always be considered the best!
When he wasn’t in his garden, you could usually find him tinkering around in his ‘shop,’ playing his favorite music or listening to a Nebraska football game with the volume turned up so he could hear the announcers over the hum of his table saw. When you walked in, he’d give you that big smile he was known for and ask,” How’s it going?” His kind and gentle demeanor always put people at ease and lifted their spirits.
Thank you, Gary, for teaching us to find joy in simple things, showing us how to work with our hands, and making us laugh with your endless “grandpa jokes.” You made the world shine a little brighter; we shall miss that most. Godspeed, Gary, we love you.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Ignatius and Leona; brother, Maynard; sisters, Alice and Doris; and beloved wife, Marlene. He is survived by his brother, Donald; children, David Scholl, Brian (Kathryn) Scholl, and Tracy Scholl; grandchildren, Jack Scholl; step-grandchildren, Kaitlyn (Jesse) Varpness, and Claire Sapone.
INTERMENT: A service will be held on Monday, November 27, 2023, 11 a.m., for Gary and his wife, Marlene, who passed away on October 10, 2022. They will be joined together in their final resting place at Omaha National Cemetery, 14250 Schram Road, Omaha, NE. To view a live broadcast of the Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.