Viola V. Schmelzer, age 93, passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus the Lord on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at The Heritage, Appleton, WI. She was born November 24, 1927 in St. Lucas, Iowa, the fourth of five children of Clement and Elizabeth Blong. She is survived by her younger brother, Irvin (Marie) of St. Lucas.
Viola was married October 7, 1947, to Joseph Schmelzer, who predeceased her in 2007. They were blessed with seven living children. Viola worked beside her husband raising Brown Swiss cattle for many years at their dairy farm in Decorah, Iowa. In 1983, Vi moved to Appleton, WI, where—with her expertise in analyzing dairy records and in bookkeeping—she was employed for 20 years by All Creatures Animal Hospital.
She will be greatly missed by her children: Michael (Ruth), Appleton, WI; Daniel (Mary Mauger), Colorado Springs, CO; Art (Rhonda), Decorah, IA; Alan, Chicago, IL; Jane (Dave) Jansch, Stevens Point, WI; and Anne (Tom) Keenan, Hatley, WI. One son, Eugene (Karen, Appleton, WI) predeceased her in 2016.
Viola’s grandchildren and spouses include Bob (Bethany) and Sarah (Andrew) Birky; Lisa, Jennifer (Brett), and David; Matthew and Jacob; Nicholas (Samantha) Hageman and Caitlyn (Jarad) Dotseth; Emma; Hannah and Ethan; Jennifer and Rachel. Great-grandchildren are Zachary and Amber; William and Adalyn; Rocklyn; Lorraine and Charles; and Oliver.
Viola will be remembered for her steadfast faith in Jesus Christ and her active participation in St Therese and Sacred Heart Catholic parishes. She made pilgrimages to the Holy Land, to Rome, and to the Marian shrines at Lourdes, France, and Fatima, Portugal (besides the local Marian apparition site near Green Bay https://championshrine.org/). For 35 years she was active in sharing her holy life with the brothers and sisters in the People of Praise, an ecumenical and charismatic covenant community www.peopleofpraise.org with a branch in Appleton.
For five years, Viola enjoyed independent living at The Heritage where she was noted for her social engagement and card-playing acumen. A special Thank You to the diligent and loving staff at The Heritage assisted living for her care through the six-weeks of her final illness.
The Funeral Mass for Viola will be 11AM, Tuesday, August 31, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 222 E. Fremont St., Appleton, WI, 54915, with Fr. John Katamba officiating. Visitation will begin at the church at 9:30AM.
Viola was an ardent, pro-life mother of one miscarried and seven living children. Donations in lieu of flowers will be forwarded to 40 Days for Life www.40daysforlife.com.
Viola’s chosen epitaph is Psalm 9:2 (NLT) -- I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
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