Edward William Schmelzer Jr., 82, died Thursday (Feb. 25, 2010) at home from COPD.
He was born March 6, 1927, in McCook, the seventh child of Edward Sr. and Lula Mae (Cooley) Schmelzer. He was baptized March 9, 1927, in St Catherine's Hospital because he was thought not to live. His mother died when he was 3 months old and he was cared for by relatives until school age. He attended grade school at District 50 Hayes County and graduated from Hayes Center High School in 1945.
On April 24, 1951, he married Betty Jean Lenz at St. John Lutheran Church in Curtis. He made his home for 40 years on the homestead which he purchased in 1976 from his father's estate. He was a progressive farmer and one of the first in the area to ecofallow corn. He raised Hereford cattle. After years of helping maintain a line telephone system, he carried a petition to get underground phone service. He was honored in 1985 by Aksarben as a Pioneer Farm Family. He bought a home in Curtis in 1991 and retired from farming.
He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith on August 9, 1942 at St. John Lutheran Church, White. He served his church as treasurer, elder and chairman. He served on the school board of District 50 as secretary and treasurer. He was a member of Arrowhead Meadows Golf Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Mary; in-laws, Albert and Grace Lenz; three brothers, Glenn and wife, Anna, Howard and wives Vivian and Dolly, Donald and wife, Clara; and one sister, Sylvia Manchester and husband, Herman.
Survivors include his wife, Betty of Curtis; two sons, Douglas of Lincoln and Mark of Omaha; three daughters, Dian and husband, Jeff Pickherd of Lincoln, Joanna and husband, Ronald Schott of Thorton, Colo., Lisa Mallon of Curtis; brother, Percy and wife, Jeanne Schmelzer of Fort Collins, Colo.; sister, Cora and husband Bob Kern of Rialto, Calif.; four grandchildren; one great-grandson and one step-great-grandson.
Memorial services will be Saturday, 2 p.m., at St. John Lutheran Church in Curtis with the Rev. Carl Pullmann officiating. Inurnment at a later date at St. Lutheran Cemetery, Hayes County.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.blasestrauser.com ;
Blase-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel of Curtis is in charge of arrangements