Joe Emery Schell

Joe Emery Schell, born on May 15, 1944 to John T. and Clara L. (Dickinson) Schell in Tonasket, Wash., died March 29, 2024.

Joe Emery Schell, born on May 15, 1944 to John T. and Clara L. (Dickinson) Schell in Tonasket, Washington, passed away on March 29, 2024, at home surrounded by his loving family after bravely battling Parkinson’s Disease. Joe attended school in Molson, graduating in 1963.

He spent his adult life driving trucks, both in logging and long-haul. However, growing up he spent his summers working for his dad. Logging and farming with horses on his parent’s ranch at Knob Hill. There he honed his skills as a teamster, skidding logs, mowing, and hauling hay with a team of horses.

Joe was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. Always the big-hearted joker with a mischievous grin, he loved to strum his guitar and belt out a tune, whether it was a made-up ditty or a classic country song. A talented musician, Joe frequently performed at dances and lounges throughout the valley with various bands.

Alongside his love for music, Joe had a deep passion for his trucks, especially his numerous logging trucks. He meticulously restored his classic Diamond T, which is now proudly displayed at the Curlew Museum. Joe was perhaps best known for his ambition. Since childhood, he always held a job and strived for perfection. His trucks were consistently well-maintained, ensuring the wood made it to the mill without fail. Even with his busy schedule, he always made time for a beer and a good conversation with friends and family.

Joe was also good at playing and in retirement, he and Judy loved their winters in Arizona making friends and exploring on their side by side.

Joe married Carol Fry on December 31, 1967. With this union, he was gifted with his three girls, raising them as his own children. Joe and Carol divorced in 1985. Joe married Judy Bear, June 28, 1997, at the family ranch on Knob Hill and gained three bonus children.

Joe is survived by his wife, Judy; daughters, Nita (Doug) Corum, Terrie (Paul) Shepler, Paulla (Mike) Minuto; bonus children, Brett (Theresa) Bear, Sandy (Sean) Sieveke and Jamie Bear-Gavin; grandchildren, Ryan (Bethany) Weeks, Joel (Katrina) Weeks, Michelle (Jared) Harms, Melissa (Joey) McCollum, Katie Williams, Joey Woods, Brittany, Holly and Kylie Bear, Payton, Ethan and Ashton Sieveke, Sydnee and Kynadee Gavin, 19 great-grandchildren with two on the way. And, his brother, Wynn Schell; nieces, Naomi (Kris) Clark, Saraya (Wade) Pierce and Lacey (Brian) Chamberlin; nephew, John (Sheena) Schell; six great-nephews and four great nieces; cousins, Dallas (Mike McQuary) Dickinson, Lois (Ray) VanKat and Jennie Dickinson.

Joe was preceded in death by both parents, John and Clara Schell; Uncle Joe Zink, Uncle Ben and Aunt Susan Dickinson and cousins, Zena and Bill Broughton.

Honorary pallbearers: Tom Acord, Ryan Stucker, Bill Moore, Duane Gardner, Terry Rampley, Ted Hallowell, Virgil Newton and Jim Detro.

A celebration of life will be held June 8, 2024, at 1 p.m. at the Tonasket Eagles. Meal to follow.

Bergh Funeral Services in charge of arrangements.