Armella Schmitz

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for Armella Schmitz was Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at the Historic St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael.

Concelebrants were Rev. Peter Richards and Rev. Xavier Thelakkatt.

Gift bearers were Brad Schmitz, son-in-law, and Ken Davis, fiance of Shelley Patnode.


Pall placed by Alice Schmitz, daughter, and Kenneth Zachman, nephew/godson of Ray and Armella.Reader was Skip Holtan, nephew. Psalm Reader was Shirley Zachman-Holtan, niece. Special music was by Wayne and Mary Lou Kolles, friends, and Rachel Kimmerle, friend.

Private interment was at St. Michael Cemetery.

Mrs. Schmitz, 95, of St. Michael died Dec. 7, at her home. Survived by daughter, Alice (Brad) Schmitz and granddaughter, Shelley Patnode (Ken Davis); many other relatives and friends. Preceded in death by husband, Raymond, her parents, a sister and brothers.


The life of

Armella Schmitz

I was born Oct. 16, 1917, at our farm home near St. Michael, Minn.

I am German in descent. My mother, Mary Willems, was also born outside of St. Michael. She was a homemaker who helped out a great deal around the farm. My father, Ambrose Zachmann, was also born around St. Michael. He was a farmer who did wood cutting and helped out our neighbors.

I grew up with two brothers Nick and John, and a sister Louise. I was the youngest in our family. Our pets included dogs, cats, chickens and all the farm animals! I went to a country school through the eighth grade. My favorite subject was penmanship. School days were some of my favorite memories from my childhood. It was so much fun playing outside at recess and lunch with the forty children at our school! No one claimed to be better than anyone else. We all enjoyed just being together, playing ball and horseshoes.

Raymond Schmitz and I were married April 14, 1937. We were blessed to be married for 42 years. We were farmers, happily working side by side. We started our farm from scratch, with little help from our parents. I’m proud we were able to make our farm grow!

Raymond and I mixed over 6,000 bags of cement that we used to improve the farm. I remember one winter going out with Raymond to cut trees for fence posts and buildings. The snow was up to our knees. But it was a happy time as he took one side of the saw and I took the other, piling the logs onto the horse drawn sled. And speaking of sleds, I had a bobsled that Raymond would pull behind his big sled. It was so much fun when the horses were cold and would run 100 miles per hour to get back to the barn! I had quite a ride!

I thank God for the gift of farming He gave me. It was dirty, hard work, but it was God’s purpose for my life and I felt His pleasure in it. I worked every piece of farm equipment we had. I would do the disking and Raymond would do the planting and we would wave and smile to each other as we passed one another in the field. That was such a happy time! Raymond and I were very close. We’d walk hand in hand going to the barn or returning to the house for breakfast.

The Lord blessed us with one child, Alice. She gave us a granddaughter, Michelle. We always enjoyed spending every Christmas together as a family. The only trip we took was to Iowa to get new seed corn after a small tornado had destroyed the crop we’d already planted.

My spiritual background is Catholic. I belong to St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael. One of my favorite parts of God’s word is the book of Psalms, especially Psalm 103. I have many favorite hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Through the years I have been involved in many church activities. I was also a lifetime member of the St. Michael Council of Catholic Women

Through my godly parents, I’ve learned the importance of going to church. Even when it was 20 below zero, my Dad would hitch up the sled and take us to catechism. I also have learned the importance of modesty.

I would like to be known as a humorous person who enjoys clean jokes and playing games. I am always ready to help anyone who needs it!