Janos (John) Schell, 78, of Rockdale, beloved husband, daddy and papa died at home Sunday, March 15, 2020.
A graveside service is planned for 2 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Forest G rove Cemetery in the Forest Grove Community.
Janos was born in a small Hungarian village, Paszto, on July 9, 1941. He grew up in Budapest, Hungary.
He escaped Soviet-controlled Hungary at age 15 in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, with his brother and cousin. After living in an Austrian refugee school, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 18.
He joined the United States Army and shortly thereafter, met the love of his life, Patricia Collins, and married her three weeks later, on Oct. 9, 1963. Janos and Patricia were stationed in France, and later moved back to the United States. Janos took a job as a machinist for Alcoa in Rockdale, where he worked for 32 years until his retirement in 1998. While working, he attended Texas A&M University, majoring in political science with a minor in German.
Janos was enthusiastically active in community theater, performing in numerous local productions.
He was an avid photographer, both professionally and recreationally, with a keen eye for the types of things most people overlook, and an intuitive and gifted artistic understanding, and was almost never without a camera.
Janos had an unfailingly generous disposition and never hesitated to help anyone who needed it. He loved people, and they loved him back.
He was a soft-hearted animal lover as well. He loved to have his dogs by his side and his cats curled in his lap, and never let his many bird feeders go empty.
Most of all, Janos loved his family. He was a playful, affectionate, funny, and involved father, a devoted, loving husband, and as a papa he was, as his granddaughter Kayla put it, “magical.”
Janos is survived by his wife, Patricia Schell; son David (Lesli) Schell of Austin; daughter Jennifer (Greg) Mireles of Taylor; daughter Amanda (Will) White of Taylor; daughter Ilona (Victor) DeLeon of Belton; as well as grandchildren Kristen, Isaiah, Brooke, Kayla, Arabella, Benjamin, Tristan, Aubrey, Eva, Grayson and Jack; several nieces and nephews; and his loving sister, Ilona Kurdi Tiborne.
He is preceded in death by his granddaughter Alise, sisters Eva and Ibolya, brother Sandor, and his parents, Janos and Ilona.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Samaritan’s Purse, through which Janos loved sending Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to children around the world every Christmas: Samaritanspurse.org
Arrangements by Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home, P.O. Drawer 1417, Rockdale, TX 76567, 512-446-5454.