Funeral Arrangements

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Richard W. "Dick" Schmitt

Jan. 28, 1928 - Sept. 7, 2005

Richard W. "Dick" Schmitt, age 77, of Storm Lake, died Sept. 7, at his home.

Memorial Services were held Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, with Reverend Duane Queen officiating. Burial was in the E & R Cemetery in rural Schaller. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake was in charge of the arrangements.

Friends called at the Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake for an evening visitation on Friday, Sept. 9, where the family was present. Friends who wish to send online condolences may do so via the Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home website:

Dick was born Jan. 28 1928 on a farm near Alta to Frank L. and Ann Catherine Schmitt. He attended rural country school at Maple Valley Numbers 6 and 7, grade school at Storm Lake St. Mary's, spent his freshman year at Fairview, and graduated from St. Mary's High School in Storm Lake in 1946. He worked on the family farm for one and one-half years, and during the winters of 1946, 1947 and 1948 on the loading dock of Hygrade (now Tyson Foods). In 1949 and 1950, he worked in construction for Stedwell and Anderson of Storm Lake.

On April 14, 1951, Dick was united in marriage to Kathleen J. Stille. Their marriage was blessed with three daughters: Stephanie, Stacy, and Sandra.

In March of 1951, Dick began working for Iowa Public Service Company (now Midwest Energy), as a laborer paid at $1.04 per hour. He worked in Cherokee as a truck driver for three months and then as a serviceman in Storm Lake for five months. He became a service lineman on the city truck, then lineman, crew foreman, and finally crew supervisor. He retired in June of 1990.

Dick was a devoted husband and father, and he had a strong sense of community. On Jan. 1, 1961, he began his service on the Storm Lake City Council, which ended 24 years later. He served on the Planning and Zoning Board, and on the Harold Rowley Recycling Center Board as a representative of the city, a position he still held. Dick was a volunteer fireman for 13 years, starting as engineer and retiring in 1963 as assistant chief. He was a member of the Kiwanis Beavers. Dick was a faithful member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, serving on various boards, as usher and Elder.

He enjoyed his woodworking shop, repairing and building many items, among them furniture and toys. He will be remembered as one who gave freely of his time and energy for the good of his community. His family will treasure his memory and miss him dearly.

Survivors include his wife of more than 54 years, Kathleen, of Storm Lake; daughters: Dr. Stephanie Schmitt and husband Dr. Olu Sobowale of Lakeland, Florida; Stacy Blee of Waseca, Minnesota; and Sandra Schmitt of Storm Lake. His memory will also be cherished by his granddaughters, Alyssa and Alanna Blee, and Femi Sobowale; as well as two grandsons, Funso and Funmi Sobowale.

He is further survived by his sisters: Veronica (Mrs. Merritt Lutter) of Des Moines, Iowa; Mary Norris of Lacey, Washington; and Dorothy (Mrs. Fran Waldo) of Canyon Lake, Texas; brothers: Donald and wife Betty Schmitt of Storm Lake; James and wife Phyllis Schmitt of Alta; Charles Schmitt of California and Joseph Schmitt of Petaluma, California; sisters-in-law: Ellen (Mrs. Henry) Stille of Decorah, Iowa and Karen (Mrs. Gordon) Johannesen of Alta; brother-in-law Gerald and his wife Carolyn Stille of Schaller, Iowa; as well as many extended family members and a host of friends.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents.