November 29, 2007

(6/10/1909 – 11/24/2007)

Paul S. Schenk, 98, of rural Memphis, MO, died November 24, 2007, at the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, MO.

He was born June 10, 1909 in rural Scotland County, Vest Township near Crawford, the son of David Jr. and Anna Katherine Schafer Schenk.

Paul was united in marriage to Ruby Lou Sturgeon on August 24, 1933 in Montgomery City, MO. Their honeymoon trip to the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair they stopped at Davenport, IA to say “Hello” to the young farm radio announcer who was on his first on-air job, Ronald Reagan. Both Reagan and Schenk had just received diplomas from a correspondence school in Chicago. Reagan in Communications and Paul in Electronics. Paul graduated from Memphis High School in Memphis, MO with the class of 1927, and was the longest surviving member of that graduating class; Last attending a high school reunion in 2005, Paul was the only one there from his class.

He was a life long farmer, residing on the same farm four miles NW of Memphis for over 75 years. He was the first farmer to own an Allis-Chalmers combine sold west of the Mississippi and the second rubber-tired tractor. He also pioneered in the county with a bulldozer, opening up and clearing his farm with waterways, and later did conservation contracting.

Paul obtained his private pilots license in the late 40’s, the first to get his license from Glen Wiley, and owned and operated his own private single engine air plane for most of 30 years. He and Ruby flew their own plane with a caravan of other Flying Farmers to Alaska and back in 1963. He enjoyed giving rides to family, friends and the public at the various local fly-ins he attended, and enjoyed assisting family, friends, and neighbors with their personal travel needs as he could. He was a charter member of the Missouri Pilots Association and was also a member of the Missouri and International Flying Farmers for 25 plus years. He successfully completed the Dale Camegie course in 1958.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Memphis, MO.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Lou, daughter Joanna Patterson Turner Russell of Lakewood, CO, his parents, and one sister, Esther Schenk Burr of Upland, CA.

He is survived by one sister, Rosemary Phillips of De Land, FL; one son, John (Laura) Schenk of Memphis, MO; two daughters, Mary Jean Schenk of San Francisco, CA and Esther Webber of East Peoria, IL; grandchildren, Phillip (Amy) Patterson of Marble Hill, MO, Caroline (Roy) Morrison of Lakewood, CO, Curtis (Laurie) Webber of Greenwood, IN and Austin, TX, Alison (Joseph) Closser of Memphis, MO and Joshua Schenk of Lincoln, NE. He is also survived by a niece, Gretchen Phillips (Milt) Tyrrell of Elkhart, IN, and by two nephews, Wendell (Grace) Phillips of Sanford, FL and Carroll David (Judy) Phillips of Sumatra, Indonesia. Also surviving are five great-grandchildren, Brianna and Megan Webber, Jesika and Jordan Morrison, Caroline Patterson and three step-great-grandchildren, Kyle and Emma Legate, and Ryan Patterson.

Memorials are suggested to The First Presbyterian Church or the Scotland County Nutrition Site and may be left at or mailed to the Payne Funeral Chapel, 202 E. Madison, Memphis, MO 63555.

Visitation will be on Friday, November 30th from noon until 8:00 p.m. at Payne Funeral Chapel, with the family receiving friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 1, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Memphis, MO, with Pam Glasgow officiating. Organist will be Vera Monroe. Pallbearers will be Phillip Patterson, Joshua Schenk, Curtis Webber, Joseph Closser, Ralph Small, and Henry Blessing. Interment will be in the Memphis Cemetery, Memphis, MO. Arrangement are under the direction of the Payne Funeral Chapel of Memphis.

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