Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Al Schock, producer and cottage cheese king, died of complications from cancer

Published on 19 January 2010

Al Schock found happiness believing in other people, telling jokes and selling pancake tickets.

Born in 1920, he was the middle of nine children in a German-speaking farm family in McPherson County. He was one of the game-changers in the Sioux Falls economy.



He and his brother, Ozzie, who died in 2002, built up Terrace Park Dairy. They bought the dairy in 1952 and spun that into a second business, Nordica International, to focus on cottage cheese. “He taught people how to make cottage cheese with a special formula he developed when he was in grad school at the University of Wisconsin,” Bernie Schock, one of his sons, said.

Nathan Schock said his grandfather would put some of his 10 grandchildren to work in his garden.

“First he’d take us out to breakfast. Then he’d hire us to pick vegetables. Then he’d take us out to lunch. Then he’d drop us off at home and give us the vegetables he paid us to pick.”

Schock was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army who led troops into Normandy in a wave that followed the D-Day invasion in 1944.

“He lost nearly half his men the first day,” Bernie said.


Schock also was wounded and carried shrapnel embedded near his spine the rest of his life. He earned a Purple Heart for his wounds and a Bronze Star for bravery.

Schock, 89, died December 27, 2009 of complications from cancer. Schock leaves behind Phyllis, his wife of 66 years, and five children: Bobbie, Bernie, Barbara, Paul and Steve.

—From obituary