Dr. Richard John (Dick) Schindler, 72, of Austin, Minnesota, died Saturday, October 18, 2014 from injuries received in a bicycle accident. He is survived by his wife, Belita of Austin, four children - Erik, Liesl, Isaac and Erin, nine grandchildren, two brothers, Dave and Jim, and one sister, Becky. Dick and Belita redefined what family means. Their family includes more than the traditional members because many they have befriended became part of the Schindler extended family.
Dick was born on February 23, 1942 in Fargo, ND to Edward and Angeline (Havel) Schindler. His mother took the train from Barnesville, Minnesota in a snow storm and he was born in the hallway at the hospital. He married Belita Softing in Fargo, North Dakota in July 1964. The family recently had a wonderful celebration of their 50 years of marriage. Dick completed his first two years of medical school at University of North Dakota and graduated from University of Iowa Medical School. He did his internship in Biloxi, Mississippi and completed his medical studies in the United States Air Force Academy hospital in Colorado. He joined the Austin Medical Clinic in 1972 and recently retired.
During his career as a family physician, he cared for generations of patients in the Austin and Adams area clinics. In fact, he delivered over 4000 babies in his career! Because of his passion for helping people, he participated in numerous medical-mission trips to Haiti. Dick was instrumental in starting the medical center’s educational program for providers and caregivers. He provided leadership for the Infection Prevention and Control and Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees, and was the medical director of the Anticoagulation Clinic. In addition, he was a member of the Ethics, Sports Medicine, Mayo Pharmaceutical Formulary, and Child and Maternal Health Committees. He was also a member of the regional Emergency Cardiac Care of the American Heart Association, member of the National Faculty of PALS (pediatric advanced life support), medical consultant and chair of the Mower Community Health Services Advisory Board, and member of the Minnesota Medical Association’s Continuing Medical Education. In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Schindler received the Minnesota Family Physician of the Year award in 1993 and was runner-up for the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1995.
Dick touched the lives of many through his commitment to the community. His many service roles included the YMCA Board of Directors, the Vision 2020 Trails and Rec Center committees and the Police Civil Service Committee. Since retirement, he focused his passion for bicycling into the newly formed Austin Cycle Team and the Southern Minnesota Cycling Club. We know that there are many more memories and ways that Dick touched the lives of others. We welcome you to jot these down at the celebration at the YMCA.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin with Father James Steffes officiating. Everyone is invited to attend a reception at the Austin YMCA following the Mass, to celebrate Dr. Schindler’s life. If you are unable to attend the service at the church, please feel welcome to join us at the YMCA. The Schindler family will greet friends from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 22 at the Worlein Funeral Home in Austin. Memorials can be directed to the YMCA of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.