Joel E. Schmieg, age 63, of Houston, TX, formerly of Howard Lake, passed away peacefully and gracefully Tuesday, Oct. 23 after a courageous fight with cancer.
Born to Clifford and Mildred Schmieg, Joel grew up on the Schmieg farm in Howard Lake. He and his twin sister, Jan, had two older brothers, Roger and Wayne.
From a very young age, Joel worked hard to help his family manage the fields and livestock. After graduating salutatorian from Howard Lake High School, he went on to graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
In his late 20s, Joel’s job with ExxonMobil moved him to the Houston area with Linda and their two daughters, Jessica and Melissa.
Joel loved spending time with his kids, working with the local community theater, Mel Brooks movie nights, reading the newspaper every day, and was a talented photographer.
As a chemist with ExxonMobil, Joel became an expert on additives, experimental design, and statistics. He earned many impactful patents throughout his career and was always enthusiastic to share his hard-earned knowledge with his colleagues.
Joel met Sue through his work and they married in Hawaii in 2009. In their retirement, Joel and Sue were world travelers, worked together building their new home in Sugar Land, TX, and enjoyed tending their gardens.
Joel was a wonderful husband, a loving father and grandfather, a caring brother and uncle, a considerate and generous friend, and a man of integrity and honesty. He enjoyed a lifelong love of knowledge, family, friends, laughter, travel, Diet Coke, puns, Christmas decorations, and music. He had many family, friends, and colleagues who love and admire him, and who will miss him dearly.
Joel is survived by his loving wife Sue; daughter Jessica and husband Austin Skaggs; daughter Melissa and husband Duncan Hunter; stepdaughter Kelly Wu and husband Ryan Dumas; stepson Roland Wu; grandchildren Samantha Skaggs, Charlie Skaggs, Remy Wu, Allene Wu, Lucy and Amy Hunter; sister Janet Sawatzke; brother Roger and wife Patricia Schmieg; brother Wayne and wife Denise Schmieg; niece Tamara Sawatzke; nephews Jeffrey Schmieg, Scott Schmieg and Eric Sawatzke; former spouse and friend Linda Collins; and many loving family members and friends.
Joel was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Mildred Schmieg; and by his brother-in-law, Dick Sawatzke.
A visitation for Joel took place Thursday, Nov. 1, followed by a memorial service Friday, Nov. 2 at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home in Houston, TX. Online condolences may be made to http://www.memorialoaksfunerals.com/