Schmeichel, Norman E.
Norman E. Schmeichel, age 96, (eight days shy of age 97) passed away Thursday morning, October 3, 2013. He was currently residing at Northland Lodge in Two Rivers, where he had lived for the past 5 years.
Norman was born October 11, 1916 in Hayward, WI, the only son of the late Ewald and Helen (Madson) Schmeichel. Norman's family moved to Two Rivers when he was a small child as his father accepted a teaching position in the Two Rivers area. He attended Two Rivers Grade School and graduated from Washington High School in 1934. Norman graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1939 with a degree in Agriculture and Soil Science. He received a Commission from the Officers Candidate School in 1942. Norman served in the Army Air Corp as a Chemical Warfare Officer the 4th Air Force where he attained the rank of Captain in the Air Force during World War II. He remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #165 of Two Rivers.
Norman was united in marriage with Elda Heller of Two Rivers on April 2, 1943 at St. Paulus Lutheran Church in San Francisco, CA while serving in the military. Elda preceded him in death on February 15, 1999. After his active duty in the military, Norman and Elda resided in Vandalia, IL after which they moved back to Wisconsin in 1948 residing in Fond du Lac and then making their final home in Two Rivers in 1949. Norman and Elda felt fortunate to reestablish their home in Two Rivers and raise their two children, Robert, born in 1946 and Jane, born in 1950. Jane also preceded Norman in death in 2003.
Norman worked for the US Soil Conservation Service for 41 years, retiring in 1981. He held the office of District Conservationist for the US Soil Conservation Service of Manitowoc County. Norman was instrumental in working a cooperative agreement between Manitowoc County and the US Soil Conservation Service for the completion of a new soil survey in the county. He was active in the development of the Manitowoc River Watershed program, and very active with the county and DNR Forestry Restoration Programs. He was inducted into the Manitowoc County Conservation Hall of Fame in 1993. He enjoyed being involved with the Manitowoc County Fish & Game Assoc. and was a lifetime member of the Two Rivers Fish & Game Club. He was also a lifetime member of the Izaak Walton League and was awarded the Rahr Diamond Award for his activities and promotion of conservation. Norman was involved with the annual Arbor Day Tree planting with many local schools in the Two Rivers area. Norman was a member of the Two Rivers Senior Center and for a number of years volunteered each summer at the Point Beach Forest Nature Center as a historian and naturalist. Norman studied under Professor Aldo Leopold at UW Madison and carried his motto forward of "You take care of your land and water, and your land and water will take care of you".
Norman was a longtime member of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in Two Rivers, where he served a number of years on the church council including a term as council president. He was also involved in the Lutheran Men's Club, many years in the senior church choir, and enjoyed being a volunteer at St. John's Christian School - helping the children in the reading program. Norman loved his Lord. His favorite thought every day was: "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it", and he shared that thought with many he met.
Norman enjoyed the outdoors and spent many enjoyable hours developing and nurturing Cedar Ridge, his own nature and tree farm in the Town of Mishicot. Hunting there with his son Robert, grandsons and close friends was one of his passions. It was always his ambition and joy to leave this nature area as a legacy to his family. He loved watching the Badgers and even enjoyed attending a game every now and then. He was an ardent Badger fan and proudly wore his Badger gear. He also enjoyed watching many other sports activities including the Packers.
Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Susan Schmeichel of Neenah; three grandchildren and four great grandsons: Ryan and Sarah Schmeichel, and their sons: Peyton and Nolan; Brent and Andrea Schmeichel, and their sons: Bailey and Zander; and Dr. Brooke Schmeichel; four step grandchildren & nine step great grand children: Rob and Debi Vande Zande, and their children, Ryan & Austin; Heidi and Doug Soodsma, and their children, Levi & Lydia; Pastor Mark and Kim Vande Zande, and their children, Kayla, Emily & Amber; April and Steve Steffen, and their children, Ella & Andrew. He is further survived by his cousin, Jean (nee Drybrough) Herschleb of Colorado. Jean was raised by Norman's parents, and was always more like a sister than a cousin and was referred to as his loving sister by family and friends; other relatives and dear friends also survive. In addition to his parents, wife, and daughter, he was also preceded in death by an infant sister; and recently a step great grandson, Rob Vande Zande, Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 7, 2013 at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, 17th & East Park Street, Two Rivers. Rev. David Arndt will officiate at the service, with burial to follow in Pioneer Rest Cemetery, Two Rivers. Military graveside rites will be accorded by members of the VFW Post #1248 and American Legion Post #165 of Two Rivers.
The family will greet relatives and friends at St. John's Lutheran Church, Monday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. There will be no Sunday evening visitation.
Memorials in Norman's name may be made to the donor's choice.
Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 18th St. Two Rivers is assisting the Schmeichel family with funeral arrangements.
The Schmeichel family sincerely thanks the entire staff at Northland Lodge, and all the caregivers at Southern Care Hospice and Hospice Advantage. Norman loved his home at Northland Lodge and all of his "sweetheart caretakers" who so diligently took care of his needs. Words cannot express our gratitude to all of you for the love and care you gave our father.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6, 2013
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