Schmelter, Donald "Bud"
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Donald "Bud" Witt Schmelter, age 94, passed away at his home in Wisconsin Rapids on March 15, 2013. Bud was born September 16, 1918 in Marshfield, Wisconsin, to Arno and Clara (Witt) Schmelter. He proudly served in the United States Army during World War II. Bud was exempted numerous times by the Selective Service because he had sight in only one eye. His persistence finally won out and he was inducted on August 17, 1942. Originally he was stationed at Fort Myles Standish in Massachusetts, where he later transferred to the 519 Port Battalion and then sailed for England on March 24, 1944. There the 519th was attached to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade which left from Bridend Wales on June 2nd and arrived in Normandy (Utah Beach) on D-Day. After Antwerp, Belgium was liberated, Bud moved with the 519th to the Port of Antwerp where he served for the remainder of the war. For his service, Bud received several decorations and citations, but he was particularly proud of a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Burgemaster, City of Antwerp, for his work in the Port of Antwerp during 175 days of continuous enemy air and "V" weapon attacks.
Following his discharge, Bud joined his father in the Schmelter Sheet Metal Works in Marshfield. On April 17, 1947, he married Patricia Ann Birkholz in Wausau, Wisconsin. He and Pat had two children, Sandra and Roderick. In 1957 the family moved to Wisconsin Rapids where Bud worked for local heating contractors. Pat died there in May, 1968. Bud married Lorraine Hanneman Knuth on December 18, 1971 in Wisconsin Rapids. They later moved to Rhinelander where Bud was working on large construction projects. His second wife, Lorraine, died on December 26, 1976. Returning to Wisconsin Rapids in 1978, Bud built a new home and on January 24, 1981 he married Carol Johnson in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He continued to work in the heating and air conditioning business until his retirement in 1984.
Bud was a journeyman sheet metal worker and member of Local 18 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. He also had many other activities to fill his life. He served as a Wood County Deputy Sheriff, worked with the Boy Scouts, and served as an alderman in Marshfield. Bud raised and showed bantam chickens and fancy pigeons. He later became an avid fisherman and finally got his "Muskie". He also took up woodworking and baking. Following retirement, Bud and Carol volunteered at St. Joseph's Hospital and they baked bread, cakes, and cookies and delivered them to the Hospice Unit and House of the Dove. They also enjoyed travel including a return to Europe and places Bud had been during World War II.
Bud taught his children and extended family, by word and example, to honor God, their country and their families, just as he had during his life.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; daughter, Sandra (Richard) Cole; grandson, Matthew (Amy) Schmelter; great-granddaughter, Jocelyn Schmelter; sister, Carole Heideman; and daughter-in-law, Kay Wunrow. He is further survived by step-children: Debra (Michael) Alft, Donn (Barb) Knuth, Diane (Scott) Perron, David Knuth, Danita Dennee, Kirk (Debbie) Freeberg, Mark (Deb) Freeberg and his step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bud was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Patricia and Lorraine; son, Roderick; and sister, Marquerite Edmonson.
Services will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 21st at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Rev. Paul Tonn and Rev. Timothy Wenger will officiate. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery in Marshfield. Visitation will be from 4-7pm on Wednesday, March 20th at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Center and from 10:00 am until the time of the service on Thursday at the church.
Memorials may be designated to House of the Dove, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2013