MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are investigating the death of a couple from Paynesville.
Their grandson, 33-year-old Gregory Scheel, has been arrested on two counts of intentional second degree murder.
Eighty-year-old Gloria and 93-year-old Wilbert Scheel were reported missing Wednesday.
Then, Thursday around 5 p.m., authorities found their bodies inside their car on a rural road in Kandiyohi County.
A year ago, WCCO’s John Lauritsen spent a day with Willie and Gloria as part of a story about Willie’s ping pong skills. Tonight, he revisited his time spent with the Scheels.
“They tell me when you get old you are supposed to exercise. Don’t sit around and mope,” said Willie.
A day spent with Willie Scheel was a day on your feet and with a ping pong paddle in your hand.
We learned that when we visited with Willie and his wife of 60 years, Gloria.
“He’s done so much in his life. You can’t comprehend how much work and things he’s done,” said Gloria.
Over the years, Willie owned a supper club, coffee shop, motel, gas station, and a game room around Paynesville. He was known for his sense of humor. And he was proud of being a Navy veteran — and of the old pictures that highlighted his younger days.
“That’s me. My first bike,” said Willie with a laugh while pointing at a vintage photo.
He told us that one of his passions was driving classic cars, but he never got a speeding ticket. And as of last year, Willie and Gloria had made more than 16,000 deliveries for Meals on Wheels.
“He’s got an infectious smile. You look at him and he smiles at you and you just can’t help but be happy,” said friend Sandy Clawson.
It showed on the ping pong table too. To stay active at the age of 92, Willie put a sign up at the community center looking for opponents. We watched as he and his 70-year-old paddle beat players more than half his age. Amazing for a man who had also beaten cancer seven different times in his life.
“I like to play. Win or lose. If I lose, I don’t mind. It’s still fun,” said Willie.
After the story aired, Willie kept in touch with John through email. Often sending him funny jokes and thoughts on life.