The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Robert "Bob" Walter Schoessler

Nov. 16, 1942 – Sept. 2, 2022


Last updated 9/19/2022 at 2:10pm

Robert “Bob” Walter Schoessler passed away peacefully at the Hospice House of Spokane on Sept. 2, 2022 at the age of 79 after a long and difficult road with Alzheimer’s.

Bob was born on Nov. 16, 1942 in Ritzville, Wash. to Walter and Ann Schoessler joining older sister Marva. He grew up on the family’s wheat farm north of Ritzville, but he developed a passion for animals and being a cowboy. At an early age, he was riding horses and learning to rope. Bob and his friend Gary Templin would pack up their horses and ride to Sprague Lake or towards the Wenatchee area to go camping. At one point, they used a Shetland pony as a pack horse that was too heavily laden and the pony sat down and refused to go any farther after a few miles.

He played football and basketball during high school. He had a yellow convertible car that he drove which was rumored to have been used for many a good time. Bob graduated from Ritzville High School in 1961. He attended Kinman Business School in Spokane. He ended up joining the Army in anticipation of being drafted for the Vietnam War. He served from 1964 to 1967, a portion of that time overseas. He was accepted into Cal Poly after his service, but he was always more interested in becoming a cattle rancher and elected not to attend college. He started working for Lynn Langenheder, a local cattle rancher and feeder, to learn the cattle business. His parents purchased five registered Angus heifers to help him pursue his ambition for a working cattle ranch. From there Bob expanded his herd while working part time for Lynn and running commercial cows in addition to his registered Angus herd.

Bob was one of the original 13 men that started the Ritzville Rodeo Association in 1970. He was an avid team roper, mostly a header, and spent many weekends going to small town rodeos and jackpot team roping events with his friends, including Duke Deking. Later in life, thanks to Don Hutsell, Bob bred a few Angus cows to some of the best bucking bulls in the industry. He enjoyed this hobby and one bull, Rapid Reloader, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in the 90s.

During the 1980’s, Bob developed an interest in registered Paint horses and purchased a stud horse and several Quarter horse broodmares with his long-time friend Don Hutsell. Eventually Bob sold off the horses and commercial cows to focus only on the registered Angus business. He worked hard at the registered Angus genetics and focused on cattle with a good disposition, calving ease, and carcass quality. Many ranchers from Wyoming to Washington improved their herds with his genetics.

Bob’s passion for animals could be seen by the menagerie of dogs and cats that surrounded him. Bob always had at least one dog riding along with him in his pickup, but usually there were several. He was a collector of strays and liked to help those down on their luck. He would give hitchhikers rides as long as the dog riding shotgun approved of them. He was a gifted self-learner and could generally build or fix anything he set his mind to figure out. He loved a good laugh and a cold beer. Bob was a great storyteller and had a creative side. Bob started writing cowboy poetry in the 1990s after a disappointing placement in a Junior Angus Show. “Last in Class” was the first of many poems to come describing funny events or the common-sense side of things.

He was honored in 2018 with the Wheatland Communities’ Fair Lifetime Service Award. He was a member of the American Angus Association, Washington Angus Association, Ritzville Rodeo Association and the Zion Congregational Church. He was active in his community and always willing to help his neighbors.

Bob is survived by his wife Marge, son Bo (Janna) Gingrich, daughter Keri Gingrich (Scott Steinmetz), and daughter Traci Schoessler (Josh Reidt). He is also survived by his grandchildren: Katheran Gingrich, Tanner and Jarod Marecz, Margaret Reidt, and Jack Reidt; and his sister Marva Schoessler. All currently live in Ritzville, Wash.

The family would like to say a special thanks to the Ritzville community for all their support and assistance to keep Bob home and in town as long as possible. They would also like to say a special thank you to the caregivers at Purity’s Calico Cottage who treated him with the utmost kindness, respect, and dignity over the past two years.

A memorial service will be held at the Zion-Philadelphia Church in Ritzville on Saturday, Oct. 1st at 11:00 a.m. Following the service, a celebration of life will be held at the Ritzville Rodeo Grounds in the Marcellus Grange Building. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in honor of Bob to the Wheatland Communities’ Fair Association or the Ritzville Rodeo Association.


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