Loraine Schnirring was the first child born to Gladys (Gregg) and Homer Schnirring on May 5, 1924, in Sac City. Growing up, her family lived in a two-bedroom house on Audubon Street near the Sac County shed, Sac City Produce, and the Chicago Northwest Railroad depot.
Loraine was baptized in the old Christian Church in Sac City where she joined on Easter Sunday, 1936. What a young evangelist Loraine must have been with a strong faith then and an even firmer faith that grew through the years. After being baptized, she said they missed very few Sundays.
In 1942, both Loraine and Darwin D. Carlton graduated from Sac City High School. Loraine went to school with him but really didn't "recognize" him until later. The two paid little attention to each other until the last year of high school. Darwin then enlisted in the Merchant Marines under the jurisdiction of the United States Navy. Following graduation, Loraine worked as a telephone operator in the old Central Telephone office building near the Post Office in Sac City. Eight months later, she went to work for the Iowa State Selective Service registering 18-year-olds and sending them for physicals before military induction and preparation to fight in World War II.
On one of Darwin's trips home, he gave Loraine a diamond while they were in a little club in Carroll. Later, they were married in the Sac City Christian Church on January 6, 1946. That same wedding day, Darwin transferred his membership from the First Presbyterian Church to the First Christian Church. After the wedding, they went to Sioux City, and then eastward to Kenton, Ohio where his mom, sister, and other relatives lived. It was soon time for Darwin to go back to his ship and for Loraine to go to work at the Selective Service.
Loraine continued working until the birth of her first child and then stayed at home until all seven children were in school. She worked for a cannery, Citizens Savings Bank in Sac City, as well as Loring Hospital.
Even though she thought she wanted 12 children, Loraine discovered 7 was enough! They later were foster parents to a child named Brandon and Loraine often babysat with many other children. There was never a dull moment with Church and Sunday School, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, band programs and piano lessons as well as sports.
Loraine sure knew how to cook and how to stretch food. Sundays were always family days with fried chicken, fresh baked pies and breads which were really scrumptious.
Leaving Sac City, Loraine and Darwin moved to a Storm Lake apartment complex in 1995 to make their home and many new friends. Following Darwin's death on 2008, Loraine continued helping others. She was active in donating time and items by baking goodies for the complex's garage sales and making quilts in their "Hands" program for those in need. Yet she found time to play cards, Scrabble, and Bingo.
Later Loraine moved to Wel-Life in Alta, an assisted living complex where she made her home. She was adored and loved by both residents and staff. In Alta, Loraine attended and became a member of the Church of Christ which meant so much to her. Loraine will be remembered by her words, "I'll be going to church tomorrow so you'll have to wait and call later." And she did attend while her health allowed.
Although Loraine didn't think she was doing anything special over the years, her kids knew better. She was very special to all of them. She provided them with all that they needed, but most importantly, she gave them all the love she could muster.
Those left to cherish her memory include her children: Robert (Karen) Carlton of Waukon; Sherry (Terry) Evans of Sacramento, Calif.; Darwin Jr. (Judy) Carlton of Raymore, Mo.; G. Scott Carlton of Springfield, Mo.; Margo (Larry) Leveranz of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Doug (Judy) Carlton of Newell; Penny (Jeff) Schrader of Sioux Falls, S.D.; foster child, Brandon Ellingson of Cedar Falls; 15 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren with twin grandbabies to arrive soon; extended family and friends.
Loraine was preceded in death by her parents, Homer and Gladys Schnirring; brother, Wilbur Dean; and husband, Darwin Carlton.
Loraine Carlton, our Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma and Aunt will surely be missed by many, but never so much as by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephew.