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Irene Emma Schmalz

Irene Emma Schmalz, age 98, of Lester Prairie, died Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted.

She was born Jan. 24, 1910, in rural McLeod County, the daughter of August and Meta (Schuette) Rolf. Irene was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.

She attended Lester Prairie public schools.

Irene was united in marriage with Andrew Martin Schmalz June 25, 1930. The couple made their home on a farm near Lester Prairie, and were blessed with three children.

Irene worked on the family farm, in the lunch program at Lester Prairie schools, and assisted as an activities director for disabled adults and children.

She was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie and served many years as a Lutheran Women’s Missionary League member and Sunday school teacher.

She made many quilts and afghans and other knitting projects, which she gave to family members and various missions. Irene truly enjoyed the simple things in life.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers; three sisters; her husband; and her daughter, Margaret Oehme.

She is survived by her children, Loren Schmalz (wife Eloise) of Brooklyn Center, and Wesley Schmalz (Mary Barrick) of Darwin; grandchildren Gary Schmalz, Jeffrey Schmalz (partner Andy Pollock), Michael Schmalz (wife Meg), Ruth Conoryea (husband Ross), Donald Schmalz, Naomi Morris (husband Jeff), Matt Barrick (wife Elizabeth), Helena Schmalz, Mark Oehme (wife Debbie) and John Oehme (wife Ellene); great-grandchildren Samantha (Ken), Zachary, Nicole, Hillary, Emily (husband Joe), Alyssa, Andrew, Kylee, Evan, Garner, Kaitlyn and Isabella; and great-great-grandchildren Caine and Delilah.

Irene is further survived by a brother, Gilbert Rolf; as well as many other relatives and friends.

The funeral service took place Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie with the Rev. Eric Nelson officiating. The organist was Marsha Christenson, and the congregational hymns included “Amazing Grace,” “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past,” “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” and “Jesus, Lover Of My Soul.” Special music was performed by Eloise Schmalz and Ruth Conoryea. Interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation took place Tuesday evening, Sept. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie, and continued Wednesday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Serving as casket bearers were Gary Schmalz, Michael Schmalz, Donald Schmalz, Mark Oehme, John Oehme, and Ross Conoryea.

Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie. For an online guestbook, please visit www.mcbridefuneralchapels.com