Oppenheim – Donald “Cook” J. Schell, Sr., 64, of Oppenheim, New York, passed away unexpectedly on Monday evening, May 8, 2023, at his home.
He was born on December 16, 1958, in Umatilla, Oregon and was the son of the late, Edward and Edna (Rose) Schell, Sr. Cook moved to central New York when he was 14 years old and attended Richfield Central School.
A neighborhood game of baseball began his relationship with Debra K. West. Several years later, they were united in marriage on July 14, 1978, at her parent’s home in Richfield Springs, New York. This July they would have celebrated 45 years of marriage, in which they raised their son, daughter and grandchildren in a loving home.
Cook was the owner and operator of D & D Enterprises in Oppenheim, New York, which began in 1985 to the present. His son, D.J. worked alongside his Dad starting at the age of 12. Cook was very proud that his son would carry on his legacy and continue to work hard for the business. He was a self-made man and was extremely proud of the business he had built throughout the last 38 years.
Cook was a hard worker with many friends. He enjoyed helping his friends and neighbors with their projects. There was not a piece of equipment that he could not fix including working on his cranes. In the very little spare time he had, Cook enjoyed fishing and spending time with his pets in which he loved his three dogs but truly loved his cat, Bingo. If you ever talked to him, you know Cook loved to talk about politics and he was Trump’s #1 supporter. We hope that Fox News can reach Heaven.
His most precious time was spent in the company of his wife, children and six grandchildren. He especially loved to see their report cards and compensate them for their good grades. A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and a hard-working selfless man, Cook will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Debra K. Schell at home; his loving children, Donald “D.J.” J. Schell, Jr. and his wife, Emily and Jennifer L. Wood and her husband, Torrey; his six cherished grandchildren, Alexis Wood, Madisyn Schell, Baylee Wood, Sydney Schell, Lauren Wood, and Devin Schell, all of Oppenheim, NY; siblings, Donna M. Ackerson of Zephyrhills, FL; Edward C. Schell and his wife, Judith of Herkimer, NY; and Michael E. Schell and his wife, Maureen of East Herkimer, NY; a brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Charlie West of Richfield Springs, NY and Teresa and Larry Suhocki of Richfield Springs, NY; long-time best friends, Wayne Ward and his wife, Cathy of Richfield Springs, NY and Alvin Flanders of Oppenheim, NY; many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Cook is predeceased by his parents, in-laws, step-mother, Roberta Schell and three brothers-in-law, Theodore Ackerson, George West and Dale Noble.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023, starting at 1 p.m. at Donald and Debra’s house at 6692 St. Hwy. 29, St. Johnsville, New York 13452. (Town of Oppenheim) At 2 p.m., relatives and friends will share memories, thoughts and words to honor Don’s life. If anyone would like to share a memory or tell a story of Cook, you may do so during this time. All are welcome to attend.
The family is being cared for by Miller-Plonka Funeral Home, 30 Wolf Street, Dolgeville, New York.
Please consider memorial contributions for the Oppenheim Volunteer Fire Department, 6786 St. Hwy. 29, St. Johnsville, NY 13452 and please note in the check memo, “In Memory of Donald J. Schell, Sr.” for the donation to be properly acknowledged.
To leave a message of sympathy for the Schell Family, please visit www.millerplonkafuneralhome.com and sign the tribute wall or share a photo or memory for his memory book.