Joan (Jo) Catherine Schmalz, 84, Freedom, passed away very peacefully Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at home surrounded by her loving family. Joan was born Oct. 8, 1929 in Little Chute, WI, daughter of the late John & Martina (Wildenberg) Evers. She was united in marriage to Darwin L. Schmalz on May, 29, 1948, at St. John Catholic Church, Little Chute. Along with her husband Darwin, they owned and operated D.L. Schmalz Lawn & Nursery for 36 years, until retiring in 1991. The business was a dream for self-sufficiency that required hours of dedicated, selfless work and commitment on the part of both Joan & Darwin.
Jo was a gentle, quiet-spirited woman, who was known to family and friends as a peace maker. Her kindness and unassuming nature was a mark of her personality. Jo was also a determined, hard-worker, who had a stubborn streak that helped her achieve amazing things with a small amount of resources. Jo was a homemaker in the truest sense of the word. Her greatest pursuit in life was being dedicated to building a family. Not just raising her 7 children, but providing a loving environment for them to grow and learn in. She loved playing with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her home was a welcoming place that the grandchildren loved to come to for simple treats, homemade games and lots of "grandma lap time".
Joan and Darwin were charter members of F.V.C.F. and faithfully attended and supported the church for 18 years. Many meaningful friendships were forged through this fellowship.
Jo is survived by her husband, Darwin, one week short of 66 years; her seven children who held her heart; Mark (Sue) Schmalz, Debbie (Dave) Maier, Cheri (Glen) Sprangers, Paula (Dave) Mayer, Pastor Michael (Penny) Schmalz, Scott (Carla) Schmalz, Julie Jo Schmalz; 16 grandchildren: Sara (Rich) Hariman, Eric Schmalz, Jen (Tony) Burhans, Jesse (special friend Megan) Maier, Mandi (Jeremy) Koskey, Melissa (Bubba) Sandry, Becki (Mike) DeCoster, Ryan (special friend Stacy) Sprangers, Isaac & Alexis Mayer, Levi (Abby) Schmalz, Luke (Crystal) Schmalz, Brooke (Fritz) Croy, Sam, Lexi, Chelsea Schmalz; and 8 great-grandchildren; Devin, Lucas, Cooper, Jadyn, Charlie, Ariah, Penelope, and new baby.
In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her son, Michael, brothers Frank, Clete, & Marvin, sisters Eileen Parmenter & Marge Fuzzard, brother-in-law Gene Schmalz & sister-in-law Lynn Braun.
A funeral service for Joan will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 23, 2014, at Fox Valley Christian Fellowship, 1200 West Kimberly Ave., Kimberly. Visitation for Joan will be held from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the church. Joan will be laid to rest at Highland Memorial Park.
Joan's family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Ministry Home Care, especially to Ellen, for her gentle care of Joan.
In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in the name of Joan Schmalz for the homeless and hungry people in the area. Envelopes will be available at the church.
In the endearing words of Darwin, to his lifelong love: "She was a DANDY!"
Boettcher Family Funeral Home
2401 Fieldcrest Drive Kaukauna, WI 54130
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on May 22, 2014