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Edna Bertha Schmidt

Edna Bertha (Tonn) Schmidt, age 85 of Lester Prairie, died Friday, March 24, 2006 at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted.

She was born April 12, 1920 in Glencoe, the daughter of Rudolph and Emma (Benkowski) Tonn. Edna was baptized April 25, 1920 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie by the Rev. Walter Baumhoefener; and confirmed into the faith at the same church March 25, 1934 by the Rev. J. A. Schert.

Edna attended country school in Bergen Township, and went on to attend St. Peter’s parochial school.

She was united in marriage with Carl Schmidt June 29, 1941 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie by the Rev. A. F. Vomhof. The couple moved to Glencoe and New Germany, before settling in rural Lester Prairie.

Edna was employed by Tonka Toys for over 20 years.

She was a lifelong member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.

Edna enjoyed baking, canning, quilting, making pillows, and admiring flowers.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; great-grandson Jack Sturges; nephew Rev. Milan Tonn; brother Walter Tonn (wife Vinnetta); and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Elsie Schmidt, Herman Schmidt, Walter Schmidt, Ernie and Dorothea Vollmer; Henry Schmidt Jr., Fred and Verna Schmidt; Earl “Pete” and Emily Bergmann, Ernie Stoeckman, and Donald Ulrich.

Edna is survived by her children: Jean Birkholz of St. Paul, Wesley Schmidt (wife Lois), and Deb Heldt (husband Earl Jr.), all of Lester Prairie; grandchildren Terrese Norman (husband Chad) of Robbinsdale, Rebecca Birkholz of Oakdale, Jennifer Quast (husband Clayton Jr.) of Brainerd, Rebecca VonBerge (husband Jerry) of Byron, Rachel Schmidt-Zienty (husband Jason) of Dickinson, N.D., Craig Schmidt of Mankato, Mandy Sturges (husband Jason) of Hutchinson, Melanie Heldt of Eagan, Justin Heldt (special friend Amanda Gruenhagen) of Lester Prairie, and Jared Heldt of Lester Prairie.

She is further survived by great-grandchildren Jessica Thompson, Jordan Thompson, Joscelyn Woods, DeJuan Woods, Tyler Quast, Zachery Quast, Dillon VonBerge, Kelsey VonBerge, Ashley VonBerge, and Connor Sturges; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Lorna Schmidt of Glencoe, Ruth Kruschke (husband Rueben) of Glencoe, Verona Schmidt of Hutchinson, John Schmidt (wife Wilma) of Glencoe, Ann Ulrich of Hutchinson, Martha Stoeckman of Glencoe, and Victor Schmidt (wife Harriet) of Hutchinson; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Funeral services celebrating Edna’s life were Monday, March 27 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, with the Rev. Gerald Schwanke officiating. Organist was Mary Mielke, and congregational hymns were “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and “Nearer My God To Thee.” Soloist Lawrence Biermann sang “So Nimm Denn Meine Haend.” Interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation took place Sunday evening, March 26 at the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.

Serving as casket bearers were Edna’s grandchildren Terrese Norman, Rebecca Birkholz, Rachel Schmidt-Zienty, Craig Schmidt, Justin Heldt, and Jared Heldt. Honorary casket bearers were Janice Tonn and Beth Schlauderaff.

Arrangements were by the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.

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