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Denise (McCarty) Schmitz, a truly wonderful gift from God, died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 15, 2013. She was born August 16, 1957, in Aurora, IL, daughter to James and Naomi McCarty. Denise was united in marriage to Rev. Jim Schmitz on July 23, 1994.
Denise had a great zest for life and was passionate in the activities she pursued. For 33 years, Denise taught High School and Middle School students with Cognitive Disabilities, first in Milwaukee, and then from 1994 - 2012 at Shattuck Middle School in Neenah. She loved teaching, and she loved her students!
Denise was passionate about children. She was a talented Vacation Bible School Director for many years at Whiting Community Baptist Church, and continued assisting with VBS at St. Raphael's in Oshkosh. Her many church ministries included developing "Kingdom Kids", a puppet ministry, and FW Friends. Denise was very much a co-pastor as she assisted Jim in his ministry at Whiting Community Baptist Church in Neenah, and currently at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Neenah. Denise accepted Jesus into her heart at a young age, and never looked back, always striving to serve Him and His Church to the glory of God.
Denise, who was a life member of the Girl Scouts, having achieved their highest awards, was on staff at Camp Alice Chester for many summers. She currently was a co-leader of a Daisy Troop.
Denise's many other interests and ministries included clowning, volunteering at the St. Joe's Food Pantry, and volunteering at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. She also had many hobbies, which included: many types of crafts, traveling with Jim, biking and gardening.
Denise will be greatly missed by her loving husband, Jim; her parents, Jim and Naomi McCarty; and her sister, Renee (Frank) Gonzales. She is further survived by her mother-in-law, Barbara Schmitz; sisters-in-law: Jean (Dan) Marinello, Ruth (Mike) Zimmer, Margie (Ed) Lipinski, Kathy (Rick) Marinello; and nieces and nephews: Frank Gonzales, Alyssa Gonzales, Kim (Jeff) Young, Craig (Joyce) Stuesse, Kevin (Sherry) Stuesse, Keith (Vicki) Lipinski, Cheryl (Paul) Cmiel, Brian (Dawn) Marinello, Jason (Sarah) Marinello; and nine great nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 Church St., Neenah Rev. Art Wille and Rev. Sam Brink officiating. The visitation will be held AT THE CHURCH, on Friday, from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM and again on Saturday from 9:00 AM until the hour of service. In lieu of flowers a memorial is being established in her name.
Westgor Funeral Home
205 W. Doty Ave.
Denise loved, and was loved by God, by her family, her students, her co-teachers, and by her many friends. She was a gem, a precious jewel making a difference with her wonderful smile, her caring heart, her servant attitude, and her helping hands. Denise was a breast cancer survivor. She will be greatly missed.
A special thanks to the trauma team at Theda Clark Medical Center, and Chaplain John Krueger.
"Well done, good and faithful servant."
Neenah's Westgor Funeral Home - Neenah
205 W. Doty Avenue Neenah, WI 54956
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from June 18 to June 20, 2013