Don Schmidtz, 79

Donald “Don” Schmidtz, a resident of Lastrup, passed away Friday, July 27, 2012, at the St. Cloud VA Health Care Systems in St. Cloud.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, July 31, at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Lastrup, with Fr. David Maciej and Fr. Laurn Virnig Concelebrating. Interment with military honors by the Pierz American Legion was in the parish cemetery.

Don was born May 14, 1933, to Ferdinand and Josephine Schmidtz.  He attended grade school at District 127, graduating from eighth grade in 1947. He attended Little Falls High School briefly, then stayed home to help on the family farm. He answered his country’s call and entered the U.S. Army in August  1954. He served in Korea before being discharged in 1956. On returning home, he purchased his farm, also doing custom work for neighbors and driving school bus. He married Caroline Wruck Aug. 21, 1961, at St. Mathias Catholic Church in Fort Ripley.

They became the proud parents of Jerome (Roxanna) of Little Falls, Patricia Karnes (Lonnie) of Parkers Prairie, Robert of Pierz, Donna Girtz (Jeremy) of Freedhem, Barbara Specker (Ron Jr.) of Little Falls, Eileen Espelien (James) of Little Falls, Allen (Melissa) of Ham Lake, Dale (Diane) of Lastrup, Angela Wise (David) of Basehor, Kan., Loren of Lastrup, Stephanie Talberg (Dan) of Holdingford and Mark (fiancé Mandy) of Pierz; 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Eugene of Bellingham, Wash., Evelyn Sipper of Duluth, Doris Weiss of Lastrup, David of Little Falls, Edward of Minneapolis, Marvin of Fridley, Maryann Kororll of Little Falls, Carol Koroll of Little Falls, Bonita Van Ranst of St. Paul and Sheila Przybilla of Fridley; and many nieces and nephews.

Don was an active member of the Rich Prairie American Legion Post in Pierz, served many positions on the local and 6th District level and Morrison County Council, was a member of St. Isidore Council Knights of Columbus, being past Grand Knight and was a member of the 40 and 8 in Little Falls. He was also active in St. John Nepomuk Parish in Lastrup serving for many years as an usher and choir member.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ferdinand and Josephine, and brother-in-law, Robert Sipper. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home