Michael J. “Mike” Schiller, age 68 of St. Francis, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, December 19, 2021, in St. Francis, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 28 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in St. Francis near Freeport, Minnesota with Rev. David Grundman officiating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday and from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Parish prayers will be at 4 p.m. followed by the Knights of Columbus at 7 p.m. Monday evening.
Michael John Schiller was born May 22, 1953, in Sauk Centre, Minnesota to Harlin and Rita (Harren) Schiller. He graduated in 1971 from Holdingford High School and on November 15, 1975, he married the love of his life, Karen M. Roering. They began their adventure in dairy farming on the 3rd generation Schiller home farm, eventually purchasing it in 1980. In May 1995 they expanded their farming operation by purchasing the Lange farm. They were blessed with four children and raised their family on the farm.
Mike was a dairy enthusiast and discovered a passion for breeding good, registered Holsteins, purchasing his first registered animal in 1981. They took pride in developing the prefix Schillview Holsteins. While the research-intensive process can take years and generations to get right, they had an outstanding herd of 90 registered cows by the time they were inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame in 2007. In addition to breeding his own cows, Mike had an extensive breeding bull and cow merchandising program, selling embryos throughout the nation and the world. He also took pride in planting and harvesting high-quality forage. Youngest son Charlie became a partner in the dairy operation in 2014.
Mike had a passion for meeting people and giving back to the dairy industry throughout his career. He was a member of county, state and national Holstein Associations, and served on the Associated Milk Producers Inc (AMPI) corporate board. He was a member of Holdingford Jaycees and Knights of Columbus, as well as a member of St. Francis of Assisi Church.
Outside of the dairy operation, Mike looked forward to annual fishing trips and watching the races with friends, as well as traveling the country to various dairy functions: cattle shows, sales, conventions and trade shows. In recent years, he most enjoyed spending time with his grandkids and watching the next generation become interested in the dairy industry.
Mike was a one-of-a-kind dairy producer, caring, honest, funny man who could always make you smile and fill the room with laughter.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Karen Schiller of St. Francis; children, Michelle “Shelly” (Dave) Albers of Dundas, Brian Schiller of Isanti, Dennis Schiller of St. Francis, and Charles “Charlie” Schiller of St. Francis; grandchildren, Molly, Isaac, and Macy Albers, Andrew and Emma Schiller, and Caitlin Jansen; mother, Rita Schiller of Albany; sister and brothers, Judy (Jim) Douvier of Avon, Roger (LaVerne) Schiller of Aitkin, Kenny (Shannon) Schiller of The Villages, Florida, and Steve (Patty) Schiller of St. Cloud.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Harlin Schiller in March of 2000.
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