Andrew Peter Schile Jr. (Drew), 72, of Great Falls, passed away on Friday, November 8, 2019 of natural causes. Cremation has been entrusted to Croxford Funeral Home. His ashes will later be spread at a private family ceremony.
Drew was born on December 18, 1946 in Great Falls, MT to parents Andrew P. Sr. and Lucille McArdle Schile. He attended schools in Great Falls and found a passion for swimming. While at CM Russell High School he won several state championships in the butterfly event and worked as a swim instructor and lifeguard.
After graduating high school in 1967, Drew enlisted with the United States Navy where he proudly served as a Boatswain’s Mate during the Vietnam War. During that time, he received the National Defense Service medal and the Vietnam Service medal. He was honorably discharged in 1971 and returned home to Montana.
Drew married Carole Anne Lakey on February 3, 1973 and together their lives were blessed with the addition of three sons. After 17 years of marriage, they divorced in 1990.
Drew was employed by the Anaconda Smelter plant in Black Eagle when he first returned from the Navy and then worked for the United States Post Office as a Letter Carrier for 34 years until retirement. He then returned to his love of the water, working as a lifeguard at the Peak Fitness Center. He also worked part time as a security/maintenance man at Wells Fargo Bank. With his free time, Drew was an avid skier and scuba diver, and active member of the Electric City Dive Club. Certified as a diver in 1965, he was one of the earliest divers in Montana to be certified. He was also involved with Habitat for Humanity; helping to build homes for Veterans. He traveled extensively throughout his life, visiting 30 countries.
He spent most of his free time in the summer at Flathead Lake or Glacier National Park with the winters spent at Showdown Ski Area. Drew loved his family, the outdoors, traveling and watching things grow (especially his grandchildren).
Drew is survived by his sons, Scott Richard (Marisela Garcia Nava) Schile 39 of Tijuana, Baja California, MX, Jeffrey Andrew (Kara Schile) Schile 41 of Fort Benton, MT, Eric Paul (Heidi Bostrom) 43 of Missoula, MT; sisters Ann Schile of Helena, MT, Jane Nelson (Bob Nelson) of Big Sandy, MT; Grandchildren, Angel Nava Garcia, Ricardo Nava Garcia, Esmeralda Nava Garcia, Miles Andrew Schile, Cora Kai Schile and great-grandchildren, Jaden Scott Nava Garcia and Alice Schile.
He was preceded in passing by his parents, Andrew and Lucille Schile.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to DAN (Divers Alert Network), a national organization which conducts medical research and provides support to divers. DAN memorials can be sent to the Electric City Dive Club, 2900 8th Ave. South, Great Falls, MT 59405.
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