Lee Roy Adolph Philipp Schilling, 92, passed away peacefully on November 11, 2022, in Cedar Park, Texas. He was born in Winedale, Texas, on September 21, 1930, to Adolph and Olga (Makowsky) Schilling and baptized on January 25, 1931, in Winedale Lutheran Church with Rev. H. Brunotte officiating. He grew up in the Greenvine area helping his father as a tenant farmer planting cotton and corn. Lee Roy attended Greenvine School and attended Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Greenvine. He was confirmed there on November 12, 1944, with Rev. Roy Grote officiating. Lee Roy then went on to attend Burton High School until he had to quit school to help his father full time on the farm. Lee Roy did not always spend his time working. Lee Roy loved life and also found time to have fun. He learned to play several instruments – bass fiddle, fiddle and when necessary drums in a local Brenham dance band – the Brenham Playboys- Glady Krinke (lead guitar), Lee Roy (bass fiddle, fiddle, drums), Warren Tassen, Ed Brending, Johnnie Naumann (guitar, harmonica), and Ed Tegeler. They performed in dance halls all around Brenham and Washington County as well as live on Sunday afternoons on KWHI radio Brenham in 1953 and 1954.
Lee Roy worked on the farm until he was drafted into the United States Army and began basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He was assigned to the Quarter Master Unit to learn about sewing machines and how to tailor the uniforms for the officers and troops. This training was done at Fort Lee, Virginia. On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1954, he landed in Inchon, Korea and was stationed near Seoul, Korea, until his discharge in March 1956. He attained the rank of Specialist 3rd Class (similar to a corporal). While in Korea, Lee Roy attended night classes to acquire his GED. His father proudly went to Burton High School to pick up Lee Roy’s graduation diploma. After being discharged from the Army, Lee Roy returned to Greenvine with dreams of owning land to farm. Unfortunately, those years were afflicted with a terrible drought and the Boll Weevil destroyed cotton production in his area. He then tried his hand at working for a road construction company in Brenham. With the money he had saved while serving in the Army and with the help of his father, Lee Roy was able to acquire his first automobile which allowed him to look at further options for employment. That is when he decided to go to Austin.
With his experience in the army dealing with sewing machines and tailoring, he decided to apply for a job with the Singer Sewing Machine Company on Guadalupe Street. He was immediately hired and had to quickly return to Greenvine for his belongings and find a place to stay in Austin starting his new job the very next day. Lee Roy worked hard and learned the sewing machine trade quickly. As Lee Roy was out knocking on doors, he asked (as he often did) if anyone else in the boarding house would be interested in a sewing machine. He was told to talk to the lady upstairs. It was then that Lee Roy met his future wife. Lee Roy married Nevilee Nelda Fuchs on February 15, 1958, in Carmine, Texas, with Rev. A.M. Hannemann officiating. They were married 26 years and blessed with two daughters, Lee Ann and Mary Renee. Lee Roy worked for the Singer Company for 30 years serving as a salesman on Guadalupe Street, store manager on Congress Avenue, in Capital Plaza and in Highland Mall and as district manager in central and south Texas. In 1982, Lee Roy received a dealership and opened his own sewing machine store, Northwest Sewing Center, on Burnet Road. Lee Roy, affectionately known as the Singer Man, was a great salesman, store manager, and service manager. His customers valued his workmanship and he was trusted and admired by everyone. He always had a smile on his face and never met a stranger. Because of his skills, talents and winning personality, Lee Roy was able to earn numerous trips through the Singer Company – Hawaii, London, Miami, Alaska, Brazil, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Acapulco, Portugal, Las Vegas, Rome, Greece, Turkey, and Mexico.
Lee Roy loved people – telling stories, visiting, playing dominos, dancing, and listening to music – especially polkas and waltzes, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. He enjoyed attending baseball and football games, especially the Texas Longhorns and the Houston Astros. On Sunday afternoons, Lee Roy enjoyed spending time with his in-laws, gardening, planting trees and maintaining his farm near Carmine. Later in life, Lee Roy enjoyed dancing and going to parties at Sängerrunde and the Hermann Sons. Above all, Lee Roy was a kind, gentle soul with a generous heart who loved his family above all else and had the most beautiful blue twinkling eyes, the warmest smile, and gave the best hugs.
The family would like to thank his special caregivers: Sonja Taylor, Renee Duchane, Grace Avila, Rhonda Swist, Nancy Fenimore, and Gloria Sandling; as well as Starwood Manor, Cedar Park and Gentiva Hospice Care staff for their compassionate and loving care for our father and grandfather. Special thanks also goes to Drive-a Senior volunteers of Austin, Bert Klein, Karin Crumbling and Lorraine; and all the volunteers and staff at Mike’s Place; and Deaconess Sharon Teague and the volunteers and church members of the SAIL program at Hope Lutheran Church.
Lee Roy is survived by his daughters, Lee Ann (Weldon) Hartmann and Mary (Bruce) Freudenberg; grandchildren, Megan, Kayla (Allison), Chris (Kaitlin), and Kyle (Kylie Jo); and great grandchildren, Elias and Lukas Hartmann Lehrmann and Hazel Mae Freudenberg; his brother and sister-in-law, Melvin and Dorothy Schilling, and his sister, Vernell Mertz; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Nevilee and second wife, Pauline Kroll; his brother and sister-in-law, Delphine and Gladys Schilling and brother-in-law, Willie Mertz; his parents, Adolph and Olga Schilling; and parents-in-law, Walter and Nelda Fuchs.
Visitation with the family will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2022, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 5416 Parkcrest Dr, Austin, TX 78731. Funeral services will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, 6414 N Hampton Dr., Austin, TX 78723, on Monday, November 21, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation with family will be held again on Monday, November 21, 2022, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W. Main St., Brenham, TX 77833. Funeral services will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Greenvine, 6700 Wickel Road, Burton TX 77835, on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. with burial following in La Bahia Cemetery in Burton, TX.
Pallbearers will be Megan Freudenberg, Chris Freudenberg, Kayla Hartmann, Kyle Hartmann, Glen Schilling, Dale Mertz, Johnny Dobecka, and Brent Winkler. Honorary pallbearers are Jason Pieper, Marcus Gaskamp, Billy Nelson, Steve Weyer, Michael Weyer, Cory Winkler, Jeffery Dobecka, James Dobecka, Rick Cano, Michael Cano and Eric Cano.
Memorials may be given to Hope Lutheran Church playground project at 6414 N. Hampton Dr., Austin, Texas 78723; Lutherhill Ministries P.O. Box 99, 3782 Lutherhill Road, La Grange, Texas 78945; or a charity of your choice.