Loren James Andrew Schmalz, age 84, of St. Paul, formerly of Lester Prairie and Hutchinson, passed away Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, at Cerenity Senior Care Marian of Saint Paul.
He was born Aug. 9, 1931, in Lester Prairie, the son of Andrew and Irene (Rolf) Schmalz. Loren was baptized as an infant by Pastor J. A. Schert at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, and was later confirmed in his faith by Pastor R.A. Ritz at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.
He began his education in Lester Prairie, and continued on to receive his high school equivalency in 1952.
From 1972-1974, after a distinguished military career, he completed a two-year degree in tool and die making (machinist) at the Hutchinson Area Vocational Technical Institute (HAVTI), with additional competencies in gas and arc welding.
Loren served in the United States Army during World War II, from Sept. 11, 1946, to July 30, 1948; and in the Air Force during the Korean War and Vietnam Conflict, from Dec. 14, 1950, to July 31, 1971. Discharged honorably as a technical sergeant after serving 22 years, Loren’s initial role was a ground radio repairman, and later an electronics technician, progressing to becoming a master instructor in electronics, while receiving a Letter of Appreciation, as well as the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.
Loren was united in marriage to Eloise Thelma Franzmeier July 24, 1952, in Mason City, IA. The couple made their first home in Cheyenne, WY, and throughout their marriage would make 12 more moves to accommodate Loren’s career at Air Force bases such as Scott (IL), McChord (WA), Keesler (MS), and Tachikawa (Japan). In 1957, Loren also reported for duty at Labrador, Canada at a strategic air command base, while his wife and children stayed back in St. Paul.
Loren and Eloise were blessed with six children: Gary, Jeffrey, Michael, Ruth Ann, Donald, and Naomi. The family saw much of the United States, traveling from base to base, and also spent three years in Japan.
After Loren retired from the Air Force, the family moved to Minnesota, where Loren worked as a machinist for EDCO, and as a parts manager for John Deere, both in Winsted. He lived and farmed north of Hutchinson, attended church regularly, and shared his strong Christian beliefs with his family and friends.
In 1987, Loren and Eloise made a second trip to Japan to start an English speaking and teaching ministry. In 2002, they traveled around the United States assisting churches with building projects.
Loren enjoyed watching and feeding birds and squirrels, farming, camping, playing cards, traveling, and listening to music, with his favorite being blue grass. He loved visiting with his family and friends, and had a special fondness for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Loren is survived by his wife, Eloise Schmalz of St. Paul; and children, Gary Schmalz of Greenville, SC, Jeffrey Schmalz (Andrew) of N. Dartmouth, MA, Michael Schmalz (Meg) of Brownton, Ruth Ann Conoryea (Ross) of St. Paul, Donald Schmalz (special friend, Theresa Rhyn) of St. Paul, and Naomi Morris (Jeff) of North Hudson, WI.
He is further survived by grandchildren, Samantha Schmalz (special friend, Ken Edwards), Zachary Schmalz (special friend, Courtney Stellman), Nicole Conoryea (special friend, Andrew Barsness), Hillary Schmalz (special friend, Saad Rasouli), Alyssa Morris, Andrew Morris, Kylee Morris, and Emily Dusenka (Joe); great-grandchildren Caine Edwards, and Cruze Edwards; a brother, Wesley Schmalz of Litchfield; nephews, nieces, other relatives and many friends.
Loren was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Irene Schmalz; and a sister, Margaret Oehme.
Funeral services took place Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie, with Pastor David Franzmeier officiating. Special music was “Down To The River To Pray,” by Hillary, Nicole and and Ruth Ann; and “It Is Well With My Soul” by Loren’s children. Congregational hymns were “How Great Thou Art,” and “Fairest Lord Jesus (Beautiful Savior).”
There was visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home, prior to the service.
Interment took place Friday, Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis with full military honors.
Casket bearers were Michael Schmalz, Donald Schmalz, Gary Schmalz, Jeffrey Schmalz, Zachary Schmals, and Juan Esquivel.
Arrangements were with the Paul McBride Funeral Home in Lester Prairie.