Daniel Roger Schnetter, 65, a longtime resident of Libby, passed away on Dec. 5, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
He started his earthly journey in Bend, Oregon on Aug. 5, 1952 with his parents Hank and Phyllis Schnetter. Most of Dan’s childhood was spent in Eastern Montana where his dad worked in the missile fields.
When the Libby Dam project was approved it wasn’t long before he and his family were on their way to the northwest, where Dan said he felt like he had died and went to heaven. He loved the fresh mountain air, clean crisp water, the abundance of wildlife and the warmth of small town Libby.
Right away he made new friends at Libby Senior High School. When he was a sophomore he and some friends started a rock band called “Cherry Brandy.” Alan Larson played the bass, Kenn Peterson lead guitar and Dan the drums. They started playing at the Moose Hall on the weekends and at the Memorial Center for Libby Logger Days. As popularity grew the band relocated to Spokane, where they entertained at colleges in Washington and Idaho. He graduated high school during his time in Spokane.
On his 18th birthday he met his bride-to-be when his lifelong friend Tony Rebo introduced him to Della Maynard. On Oct. 29, 1971, Dan and Della exchanged vows of commitment at a quaint Methodist church in Bonners’ Ferry, Idaho.
The two of them began their life together in Libby. They welcomed their first son Benjamin. Shortly after Robert joined their happy group. Life was good but they wanted one more child and Jessica was born. Dan was employed at W.R. Grace when they purchased property along the Kootenai River and enjoyed raising their family for many years. They attended the Libby Assembly of God where he made many friends and worshipped his God.
He developed his woodcarving career in a little cabin located on their property. Dan worked for Champion International until his health started affecting him.
He and Della wanted to keep their family in Libby so they ventured into business forming Montana Pines. Dan had a great talent turning cottonwood bark and other forms of wood into beautiful works of art. For many years he traveled to Western Art shows and received many honors for his talent. He enjoyed sharing with others teaching woodcarving at Libby Nordicfest for several years. With their business they were able to ship Dan’s fine art and reproductions all over the world. As Dan’s health got worse they closed their business.
They moved to Billings in 2011 where they continue to make their home. He loved taking his grandchildren to the desert where they would find Montana agate. He and the grandchildren cut and polished the beautiful stones to make jewelry.
Dan always loved Libby and would take the grandchildren on camping trips to the Chain of Lakes as often as possible. Dan loved life and was an avid fisherman, hunter, rockhound, devoted father and grandfather. There were never strangers in his life, just unmet friends. He loved his Lord Jesus most of all.
Dan is survived by his wife of 46 years, Della, their three children Ben (Jada), Bob (Kristy) and Jessica Schnetter; grandchildren Hailey and Garrett Holcomb of Kalispell; Aspyn, Danyel, Hayden and Grayson Schnetter of Billings; Gage Tallmadge of Troy; Jadon Tallmadge of Couer d’Alene; and Wylee Schnetter of Laurel; two brothers, Steve (Debbie) of Libby and Jim (Diane) of Columbia Falls; two sisters, Sandy Mitchell (Terry) of Libby and Patty Moe (Ron) also of Libby; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family members whom he loved dearly.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Hank and Phyllis Schnetter; brother Gary (age 2); and granddaughter Destiny Tallmadge.
The family will host a memorial for Dan Dec. 16 at their Billings home. In the summer of 2018, the family will hold a Celebration of Life for Dan in Libby to be announced in The Western News at a later date. Smith Funeral Chapels of Billings is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be shared at smithfuneralchapels.com.