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Murdered Paynesville man inducted into Minnesota senior sports hall of fame

He was a champion ping-pong player and downhill skier.

Willie Scheel, the 93-year-old Paynesville man who was murdered in March, has been inducted into the 2018 Class of the Minnesota Senior Sports Association Hall of Fame.

The association honored Scheel, known as an inspiration in the Paynesville community, for a lifetime of prowess as a ping-pong player and downhill skier, while making note that he delivered food to younger people through Meals on Wheels. 

Among his athletic achievements: 

  • 93-year-old champion ping-pong player, playing four nights a week. 
  • Downhill skier until the age of 83, including trips to the French Alps and Canada.

The organization notes that Scheel, who defeated cancer seven times, believed the key to a long life was staying active and having fun. 

He also helped his community by delivering Meals on Wheels to younger people.

Scheel and his wife, Gloria, 80, were found dead in their vehicle in Kandiyohi County in late March one day after being reported missing. The accused killer is their grandson, Gregory Scheel.  

A grand jury indicted the 33 Scheel on four counts of 1st degree murder and two counts of intentional 2nd degree murder. If guilty, he'll spend the rest of his life in prison. 

WCCO reports that Scheel often defeated ping-pong players 70 years younge than he was, and was scheduled to be inducted to the hall of fame prior to his death. 

The Minnesota Senior Sports Association prides itself in making it easy for senior athletes to find their sports, encouraging people to stay active as they age. 

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