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Jerome Michael "Jerry" Schmitz

Jerome Michael "Jerry" Schmitz

Jerome Michael "Jerry" Schmitz, 77, of Aberdeen, entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at his home, with his family by his side.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 2:00 p.m., Thursday, July 3, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 409 3rd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, with Father Shane D. Stevens presiding and Father J. Joseph Holzhauser, Father David Janes, Father Don Glover, and Father Mike Kelly, con-celebrating. Burial, with military rites being conducted by the Sidney L. Smith American Legion Post #24 of Aberdeen, will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Aberdeen.

Schriver's Memorial Mortuary & Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements. Friends may sign his online guestbook at

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, at the mortuary, followed by a Liturgical Wake Service and Knights of Columbus Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour prior to Mass at the church on Thursday.

Jerome was born on October 5, 1936, in Mitchell, SD, to John Edmund and Helen (Moran) Schmitz. He attended Holy Family Parochial School in Mitchell, where his mother was the music director and church organist. Jerry enjoyed lifelong friendships with many of the Sisters who taught there and also at Notre Dame, where he graduated from high school. Jerry furthered his education at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, before attending and graduating from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1959.

Jerry served in the Army National Guard for many years and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant.

He was united in marriage to Marlys Ann Strombeck on June 27, 1959, in Mitchell. The couple lived and worked in Rapid City, Mitchell, Pierre, and Sioux Falls, before making their home in Aberdeen. Jerry was employed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and then the US Fish & Wildlife Department Services as a land appraiser. Jerry finished his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as Regional Director, during which time he worked closely with Tribal Leaders on various reservations. In 1993, he retired from the BIA and continued to make Aberdeen his home until the time of his death.

Jerry was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen. He was a devout Catholic and spent many hours of his life in prayer and at daily Mass. He held a special devotion to The Way of the Cross and The Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jerry was a 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus and was also active in The Exchange Club, Jaycees, and Serra Club. Jerry had a beautiful tenor voice and showcased it for many years with The Friendship Singers.

Jerry was always generous to family and strangers alike. His children, grandchildren, and daughters-and-sons in law meant everything to him. He loved to sit on his patio and visit with his neighbors and friends. Jerry always appreciated homemade baked goods, although none could compare to the baking skills of his mother-in-law, Ann, his aunt, Clare, or his daughter, Mary. He enjoyed bowling, pheasant and goose hunting, and fishing, especially on the Missouri River at Chamberlain, SD, with his niece and nephew, Doris and Steve Dominiack and at Akaska, SD, with his niece and nephew, Kelly and Bill Hinds.

Blessed to have shared in Jerry's life is his loving and devoted wife of 55 years, Marlys Schmitz of Aberdeen; six children: Mary (Steve) Cwach of Aberdeen; John (Amy) Schmitz of St. Cloud, MN, Jerry P. Schmitz of Aberdeen; Anne (Larry) Hayden of Sioux Falls, SD, Joseph (Corina Booth) Schmitz and their dog, "Jack" of Dallas, TX, and James (Angela) Schmitz of Sartell, MN; eight grandchildren: Aaron (Clare), Alex, Nicholas, Kate, Lauren, Jack, Jameson and Sam; three brothers-in-law: Harry Hilton, Perry Lee (Gretchen) Strombeck and Delbert Kirkus; and many nieces and nephews.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen; his brother, Thomas; his sisters: Mary Jane Hilton and Kay Oster; his mother-in-law, Ann Strombeck; father-in-law, Perry Francis Strombeck; sisters-in-law: Frances Leiferman and Corrine Kirkus; brothers-in-law: John Oster and Don Leiferman; his aunt and uncle, Mary and Lloyd Tysdal; numerous other relatives; and his family's beloved dogs: "Flash", "Roscoe", "Wiz", "Ben", "Emma", and "Swiss".