Schillings are chilling

Kate Najacht
For Martha and Bob Schilling, it’s all over. Their careers at Lynn’s Dakotamart spanning a combined total of more than 25 years have ended, and from here on out, it’s seven-day weekends for the couple.
Bob is anxious to fish.
“Oh, our retirement party?” he said. “That’s three hours I could be fishing.”
Martha said he might have to wait a bit before he gets out there, as he’s not an ice fisherman. In the meantime, he has some other projects to keep him occupied.
Bob, as retired military, spends three days a week at Ellsworth Air Force Base and the South Dakota Air and Space Museum taking folks on tours of the “air park,” as he referred to it. In short, he gets to take everyone out to see the airplanes and talk about history.
“Mostly I plan on keeping out of Martha’s way,” he said. “I’ll also get out in my garage and maybe get my ’56 Chevy back on the road. Whatever time I have left will be for ‘honey-dos’.”
When Martha applied for her job at Lynn’s she was told by the manager, “Oh, I’ve been waiting for you!” He promptly placed her in “public relations” as a cashier. He wanted her at the front of the store where, over the last 14 years, she has greeted countless customers, always with the same cheery disposition and sweet smile.
“You become a part of each other’s lives,” she said. “You know when things are going well, when things aren’t, and you care enough to add each other to your prayers.”
When a position as liquor and wine manager opened up, Martha came home and told Bob about it. He applied and the manager hired him on the spot. Though he had the opportunity to progress to other positions throughout his 11 years with Lynn’s, he chose to stay where he was because he was comfortable.
Bob has been mayor, councilman and much more for Custer and says he’ll miss being busy.
Martha is no slouch either. Four days a week, she heads up the after-school program through Custer Community Church.
“It’s Bible study, games, songs, silliness, seriousness ... a little bit of everything,” she said. And on Tuesdays, Martha and the group head to the Custer nursing home to spend time with the residents there.
“It’s wonderful to see the kids interact with the residents,” she said.
Martha and the group — anywhere from four to 12 kids on any given day — always take an activity to the nursing home. Whether it be bird feeders, supplies to make holiday cards, songs to sing or much more, they come prepared. And if they take treats to the nursing home, it’s something she and the kids have baked. 
Speaking of baking, Martha loves it. In her 14 years at Lynn’s, she missed maybe two days of taking treats to coworkers.
“I started when Bob was working miles away from any place he could get a snack or a treat,” she said. “And I figured if I was going to bake to send muffins or some kind of treat to work with him, I might as well do it for my own coworkers too.”
She did just that and will, now that she has even more time, continue to bake for others, like the group of veterans who meet at Ellsworth to share stories of their experiences.
Martha and Bob have three children, nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild and a new rescue dog, so they will remain active.
“But we will miss the people,” Martha said.
Bob’s last day at Lynn’s was February 8 and Martha’s was Feb. 28. They celebrated their retirement with cake and coffee at Lynn’s March 12.

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