Obituary of Rita Schmitz
Rita Anne (Bauman) Schmitz was born on April 14, 1928 in Delano, MN the fourth child of Herbert and Catherine (Muckenhirn) Bauman. After graduating from Delano High School Rita attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN where she received a teaching certificate and after secured employment at St. Mary's Catholic School in Sleepy Eye, residing at the Sisters of St. Francis convent and teaching elementary school. One spring Sunday morning she was introduced to E. Peter Schmitz. They celebrated their marriage at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Delano on June 21, 1951 and moved to the Schmitz Homestead Farm East of Sleepy Eye where they operated a dairy, farmed and raised their family. Rita was devoted to her husband, her children and her faith. She worked tirelessly alongside her husband to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to her children. She was an avid gardener and grew a great deal of the food that her large family consumed every day and was generous in sharing the fruits of her labor, whether with neighbors or visitors to the home. For many years Rita and her children raised large flocks of chickens for meat and eggs, and also grew and harvested cucumbers for commercial sale. She and Peter left their farm for a period in the 1970's while Peter managed an Insurance Agency in Montevideo, MN. They returned to their cherished farm in 1978 and Rita remained there until shortly after Peter's death. In 2013 Rita moved to her son Dan and his wife, Amy's home in Springfield, MN where she lived out her remaining years surrounded by family love.
She is survived by her 13 children, David (Natalia), Joseph (Pauline), William (Suk), Marita, Catherine (Steve) Smith, Peter (Peg), Clare (Kevin) Bjork, Paul (Deb), Anthony (Lisa), Ann (John) Schotzko, Carmella (Robert) Leggon, Daniel (Amy) and Jonathon (Amber). Rita also leaves behind her dearly loved 49 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, E. Peter, infant daughter, Elizabeth, brothers, Joseph, John and Clarence Bauman and sisters, Catherine Bauer and Dorothy Jean Griep.