Paul Kehne Schilling

Paul (Buzz) Kehne Schilling, longtime resident of Carefree, Ariz., and formerly of St. Paul, Minn., passed away Nov. 20, 2012. Buzz was an entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist.


Born Dec. 20, 1922, in St. Paul, Minn., the eldest son of Paul A. and Ruth Marie Kehne Schilling, he attended Saint Paul Academy (1941) and MIT.


He served his country during World War II as an Army staff sergeant in the Pacific theater and in occupied Japan. He received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart before being honorably discharged in 1945.


In 1947 he married his bride of 65 years, Mary Lewis, graduated from MIT with a bachelor’s degree in business and engineering, and also received his first of many patents. After MIT, Buzz joined the Keyes Fiber Co. in Waterville, Maine.


In 1955 he returned to Minnesota to join Plastics Inc. and quickly rose to vice president after introducing several innovative plastic products including plastic globes for street lamps and disposable plastic glassware for the airline and hospital service industries. He became chairman of the board of Plastics Inc. in 1972 after successfully merging the company with Anchor Hocking Corporation (now Newell Rubbermaid), where he also was a member of the board of directors.


He retired from the firm in 1974 so he could become more involved in civic activities and to pursue new entrepreneurial opportunities. He was generous of both time and talent whether on the board of a company such as 1st Trust Co. St. Paul (now US Bank) or helping a young entrepreneur's start-up business.


He loved people and thrived on being able to make his community a better place to live. He volunteered with the United Way of St. Paul for 16 years and was a trustee of Children's Hospital, United Hospital of St. Paul and United Theological Seminary. In Carefree, he was one of the founding members and president for 15 years, of the Foothills Community Foundation, receiving the Quail award in 2007, one of many awards he received for his contributions to civic life. He was active in both the Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale and Macalester Plymouth Presbyterian Church in St. Paul.


Buzz and Mary moved to Carefree in the early 1970s, and he became instrumental in the development of Carefree and Desert Mountain. Eventually he and Mary sold their home in Minnesota and moved to Arizona full-time, where he continued to be involved in civic organizations such as Kiwanis, the Desert Foothills Library, the Heard Museum and as a founding member of the Cave Creek YMCA.


Buzz was a member of the Society of Plastic Industries and Engineers, Young Presidents Association and World Business Council.


In St. Paul he belonged to The Minnesota Club and Somerset Country Club and in Arizona he was a member at Desert Forest Club in Carefree, Desert Mountain in Scottsdale and Forest Highlands in Flagstaff.


Buzz was an avid sportsman who loved to hunt and fish. He took many memorable trips with his family and his wife Mary, making friends throughout the world. He was a great storyteller and he lived his life with seeming unending energy and enthusiasm.


He is survived by his wife, Mary Lewis Schilling, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; four children: Paul and Marcia Schilling of Anchorage, Alaska; Ruth Schilling Harwood and Lewis Harwood of Bethesda, Md.; Ann and Dr. Fergus McKiernan of Marshfield, Wis.; Lisa S. Greenman and Bruce Arlen of Cave Creek, Ariz.; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. His brother Hugh K Schilling of Fountain Hills also survives him. His sister, Jean Schilling Folberth Chockley Ricketts of Naples, Fla., preceded him in death. 



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