Dale Joseph Schott, DVM, 85 passed away on September 30, 2023. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Belt Community Church, 423 Belt Creek Rd, Belt, MT 59412. Editha McKay will be officiating. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Schnider Funeral Home.
Dale was born in Great Falls, Montana on June 28, 1938. He grew up on the family ranch, Valley View Ranch near Stockett, MT with his 3 brothers and sister. As a child, Dale would tell stories about going with his dad and brothers, taking cream from the ranch to the creamery in Great Falls. For payment, Dale’s father, Floren, would buy the kids ice cream. (Dale loved ice cream until his final day!) Prior to electricity on the ranch, Floren had a 48-volt electrical system, with batteries in the basement, charged by a windmill for their home. Dale told of the process of servicing and rebuilding the batteries when he was a young boy. Dale’s memory was incredible!
He attended Selstrom School until 8th grade. He would often tell of the tribulations of going to the small schoolhouse, heated by coal, in inclement winter weather. Dale Schott was the toughest man we knew, and experiences like this forged him into the resilient man that we loved so dearly. Dale’s father Floren was one of the first in the area to have a Neapco converted four-wheel drive Chevrolet pickup. Dale said it would go almost anywhere, and this may have started Dale’s love, and fierce loyalty to General Motors products!
After graduating from Centerville High School, he attended College of Great Falls for two years. He was then admitted to Washington State School of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, WA. He graduated with top honors in 1964. He obtained his Montana Veterinary License in 1964 and opened Belt Valley Animal Hospital in Belt, Montana. He proudly served Belt and surrounding communities for 58 years.
He met Sherry Kay Cooley in 1963 while attending Washington State University while he was in Vet School. They were married on August 31 in Pullman, WA in 1963; they were married 55 years. Dale was a rancher, farmer, avid hunter, snowmobile, and boating enthusiast. His passion was first and foremost his Veterinary practice. He took vet medicine to the highest level of excellence he could. At one point in the 70’s there was a product that was legal in Canada for treatment of calf scours, but it wasn’t legal in the US yet. What would Dale do? Well, he just went on into Canada, bought the product (in glass jars), sweat the labels off, put on labels of his liking, and hauled it back home.
This started Dale’s reputation of having the best custom “Kool-Aid for cows”. Some of his concoctions were given orally, and for the severe cases, he had a custom I.V. mixture. He had the best reputation in the area for saving a scour calf, unless, as he would say, “well they brought him in ¾ dead!” He could be depended upon rain or shine or blizzard, day or dead of night. He served the people and animals of Belt with unswerving loyalty.
Following close behind his Vet practice was his love for his cows. Dale could be seen petting, scratching, and leaning on his “pets”. His sense of humor could be witnessed when he answered the Clinic phone “Murph’s Mule Parlor” or when he played with his cats and dogs. He was all about doing the job right, whether or not it included many choice words. Dale was damn good at whatever he set his mind to, whether it be a carpenter, welder, mechanic, plumber, electrician etc. etc.... Fortunately, Dale got a chance to mentor many young men that worked for him. These guys are so grateful and thankful for the opportunity to work beside him!
He is survived by daughter Dawn (Michael) Gilmore; son Allen (Darlene), grandchildren Patrick Gilmore, Lauren Gilmore, Wynter Schott, and River Schott, brother Robert (Carlee) and sister Sharon (Crisp) and close friends, John and Becky Romenesko. His wife Sherry, parents Helen and Floren, and brothers James and Donald preceded him in death.
Dr. Schott’s family would like to thank his caretakers for the last year who helped him out and kept him safe at home: April Hansen, Becky Romenesko, Jana McCoy, and Lisa Watson. Please share a Dr. Pepper, Dale’s favorite drink, with a friend in remembrance of Dale.