Leila M. Schmitz, age 81, of Lancaster and formerly of Bloomington, passed away on Sunday morning Sept. 25, 2016 at Atrium Post Acute Care in Lancaster. Leila was born on July 11, 1935 in Beetown, WI the daughter of Vernon and Alta (Bishell) Laufenberg. She was united in marriage to Robert Schmitz on Feb. 6, 1952 in Lancaster.
Following graduation from Lancaster High School in 1952, Leila and Robert worked hard farming in Beetown Township and raised their family of 10 children. In 1974, Leila and Robert started Schmitz Sanitary Service, which is now owned by their son Tim. Leila began working for Lancaster Hospital as a ward clerk beginning in 1975, retiring in 2005 after 30 years of service. Leila was a member of St. Clement Catholic Church where she taught catechism for several years. She enjoyed gardening, canning her famous pickles and traveling throughout the area cheering on Robert in truck pulling competitions. Later in life, she found enjoyment playing cards and bingo, traveling to the casino and hosting numerous family gatherings. Leila’s dedication to family, hard work and strong will has left an everlasting memory.
Leila is survived by her nine children; Bonnie (Fred) Maughan of Lancaster, Larry (Linda) Schmitz of Stitzer, Diane (Doug) Haufler of Mt. Hope, Betty (Darwin) Pierce of Potosi, Ron (Nancy) Schmitz of Bloomington, Jim (Shelly) Schmitz of Lancaster Barb (Lynn) Millard of Lancaster, Tim (Charlene) Schmitz of Bloomington and Teresa (Greg) Fry of Mesa, AZ, 23 grandchildren; Travis, Michelle, Doug, Jeannie, Tonia, Jeremy, Jen, Jamie, Dan, Ryan, Tabitha, Jon, Eric, Dusty, Jesse, Jake, Sara, David, Keith, Kyle, Brittany, Travis and Cory, 39 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, five sisters; Rosella (Don) Hosch of Dubuque, Marsha (John) Pace of Lancaster, Gloria (Jim) Cooley of Lancaster, Alverna (Robert) Esser of Cassville and Joyce (Kenn) Zenz of Potosi, sister-in-law Opal Laufenberg of Mauston, son-in-law Tony (Cathie) Brendemuehl, special friend Dr. Robert Railey and beloved cat Fluffy.
Leila was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert in 2009, daughter Mary Jane Brendemuehl in 2001 and brother Orville in 2015.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday Sept. 29, 2016 at St. Clement Catholic Church in Lancaster with burial to follow in the Hurricane Cemetery in South Lancaster Township, Grant County, WI. Visitation will be held from 4:00- 8:00 P.M. on Wednesday evening Sept. 28, 2016 at St. Clement Catholic Church and from 10:00 until the time of service on Thursday morning. In lieu of plants and flowers, a memorial fund is being established in loving memory of Leila M. Schmitz. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family.