A funeral service was held on September 9, 2017, at GracePoint Church in New Brighton, Minn., for Henry D. Schmiess, 97, Blaine, Minn., formerly of Alsen and Langdon, who died peacefully in the home of his daughter, Holly, and son-in-law, Michael Donato, on September 5, 2017.
Posted on 9/14/17
A memorial/committal service in North Dakota will be held in the spring.
“Hank,” as he was known, was born December 10, 1919, in the farmhouse of his parents, David D. and Julia Schmiess. He attended Gordon Township country school through 8th grade and graduated from Alsen High School in 1941. He briefly attended business college in Wahpeton. When his older brother, Victor, was inducted into the Army, he returned to the farm to help his father. After his brother died at Normandy in 1944, farming remained his occupation for the next 78 years. He married Verna Warwick from Hannah on June 8, 1946. They raised four children – Nola, Lauren, Steven and Holly. He served many years on the Swiss Mennonite Church board, and as Sunday School teacher and songleader. In the Alsen community he at various times was on the elevator, oil company, school and curling club boards. His singing talent, accompanied by Verna, gave him opportunity to solo for many church services, weddings, funerals, and anniversaries. When they moved to Langdon in 1993, they were active in the Emmanuel Evangelical Church and continued music ministry there and at Maple Manor Nursing home. In his younger years, he was an avid participant in high school and independent basketball and refereeing, and in bowling and curling for years to follow. He was a Minnesota Twins baseball fan from their beginnings in 1960 and watched every game up to the last days of his life. He retired from farming in 1995, and in 2001, he and Verna moved to the Twin Cities to be nearer their children and families.
Survivors include children Nola (Dennis) Port, Lauren (Sheryl) Schmiess, Steven (Debbie) Schmiess, Holly (Michael) Donato, 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Henry was preceded in death by his wife Verna, parents David and Julia Schmiess, brother Victor, and sisters Lydia Severson and Clara Goertzen.
Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home, New Brighton, was in charge of arrangements.