William “Bill” Shillingstad was born June 10, 1938 in Mobridge, S D and passed away February 11, 2016 after a long battle with COPD.
Bill was raised in Western South Dakota and he loved going back to “ranch days” and riding a tractor whenever he got the chance. He graduated from Lemmon High School in 1956 and attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana before joining the Jewel T and later Osco Drug companies.
In 1973 Bill bought his own first drugstore, Mills Drug, in Rapid City, South Dakota and followed it with Southtown Mills, Baken Park, Eastside, Mills Liquors, Norstad’s and other drug and liquor locations. He was first in the State of South Dakota to test the anti-advertising liquor laws there with Governor Janklow and that opened the market for him in Rapid City. He loved to tell everyone that he was in the “drug” business.
In 1981 Bill and his wife, Linda, purchased the Best Western Inn in Junction City , Kansas and operated it through 1986 when they sold it and moved to Las Vegas. Though they traveled a lot, there was never a way to get to other states without first going through Vegas so this became his natural retirement location.
While here for the past thirty years, Bill continued to operate a number of retail businesses in North Dakota and loved traveling through Pocatello, Idaho to see his sister, Karen (McGee), then through West Yellowstone, Montana and on to North Dakota. He and Linda did lots of “roadies”and loved stopping at little antique shops or country stores along the way. They also visited England,the Netherlands, China, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France and Mexico—but “Bottomline Bill” loved Hawaii most of all and traveled there often.
Bill had a very unusual sense of humor and loved having lots of people around all the time—his Wheatstone neighbors knew the door was always open and the coffee pot was hot. Of all the homes he owned throughout his life, he said repeatedly that he’d never found a group of neighbors like his cul- de- sac on Wheatstone Court here in Las Vegas. He wanted his house to be the “clubhouse” always.
Bill is survived by his wife, Linda; his sister, Karen ( and brother-in-law Dr. K. C. McGee) of Pocatello, Idaho; his brother, Bob, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; daughters Shelley Erdmann of Boise, Idaho; Tana (Steve Cory) of Boise, Idaho; and step-daughter Lara McLaughlin of Las Vegas; son Paul, of Rapid City, South Dakota; and step-son Robert McLaughlin of Sioux Falls, S D; four grandchildren whom he loved dearly and one great grandson, Jax.