Jane Schmitz

Tuesday, February 13, 2024 11:45 am

Jane Schmitz, 87, of Arkadelphia, Ark., and formerly of Ossian, died peacefully on Monday evening, Feb. 12, 2024, at her home with her family by her side.
Mass of Christian Burial is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian, with the Rev. Henry Huber officiating. Visitation is from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the church. CDA Rosary is at 3 p.m. Monday at the church. Parish Scripture Service is at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the church. Interment is at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Ossian. A memorial fund has been established. Online obituary at www.jamisonschmitzfuneralhome.com and www.georgeboom.com

Helen Jane Donlon was born on Saturday, March 28, 1936, in Elkader, Iowa, the daughter of Arthur Thomas and
Florence C. (Bauer) Donlon. She received her education at St. Joseph Catholic School in Elkader. While in
high school, Jane played basketball, was a cheerleader, sang in the choir, won a prize in the Halloween Parade
and was in the plays, Cheaper by The Dozen and Big Hearted Herbert. She was a 4-H Club member and was
able to participate at many conventions in Des Moines. Jane was the president of the Clayton County 4-H Club
her senior year. Jane was the only girl in the graduating class of 1954. She moved to Minneapolis with her
sister, Pat, where Jane worked at the Marquette National Bank in the proof and transit department from 1954
until January of 1957. While in the Great Northern Railroad Depot in Minneapolis, Minn., traveling back home,
Jane met a young man, Kenny Schmitz, who helped her with her luggage, as Jane was short in stature. They
began a conversation in a Vista Dome Railcar from Minneapolis to Prairie du Chien, Wis. Following their
courtship, Jane was united in marriage to Kenneth Frank Joseph Schmitz on Jan. 12, 1957, at St. Joseph
Catholic Church in Elkader, with celebrant Msgr. Cletus Hawes. They made their home in Ossian,
where Ken joined his father, Philip Schmitz, in the family businesses, Schmitz Furniture, Floorcovering and
Funeral Home. In addition to Jane’s primary role as wife and mother, Jane worked for a short time at Kathryn
Schroeder’s Dress Shop and at Brockman’s Grocery Store. The family moved to Waukon, IA from 1964 to
1967 where Jane worked as a waitress at the Purple Cow. The family then moved to Clinton, IA for seven years
where Jane worked from home for several years for Nielsen Clearing House. Throughout these early years of
their marriage, they were blessed with eight children: Maureen, Michael, Philip, Paul, Kevin, Kent, Lisa and
Linda. The decision was made in the fall of 1973 to return the family to Ossian where Ken would again work
with his father in the family business. Philip Schmitz died suddenly,shortly thereafter, and the family moved to
Ossian in January of 1974. Ken and Jane along with Ken’s mother, Florence Schmitz, and their children,
operated the family businesses in Ossian. Jane was the bookkeeper and co-owner of Schmitz Furniture,
Floorcovering and Funeral Home, working side-by-side in the businesses with Ken. She was also instrumental
with helping Ken with the many community events of the Ossian Crown Club including Ossian’s 125th
Centennial Celebration and many Crazy Day events and parades. Ken and Jane moved to Arkadelphia in 1989
where Jane worked at Hardman Lumber for a short time and then was an in-home childcare provider for
newborn babies, retiring in January of 2016.
Jane was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arkadelphia and a longtime member of the Catholic
Daughters of the Americas, Our Lady of Victory Court #983 in Ossian. In the early years, Jane enjoyed sewing,
knitting, craft projects, playing cards, reading, and attending her children’s school activities when possible.
Many of Jane’s craft projects included her sister, Babs, and the cousins to keep them busy and out of trouble.
When her children were young, Jane was a Cub Scout leader in Clinton and a 4-H leader from 1977-1986 in
Ossian.
Jane’s role of wife, mom and teacher was very important to her. She was able to manage her eight children,
but, rarely when things got out of hand, she would call on Kenny for backup. When this happened , the kids all
knew she was serious, and it was time to shape up! She taught her children with some of her famous quotes,
like, “If all the other kids are jumping off the bridge are you going to jump too?” or, when she was in a hurry,
“Come on girls, put a wiggle in it!” You never wanted to tell her you were bored because she would find a job
for you. As a mom, Jane relied on everything she learned on the Donlon farm growing up, how to stretch a
meal for her family of ten, how to mend clothes so that clothing item could be handed down to one more child
and canning and freezing fresh produce for the family to enjoy later. Jane was an excellent cook and baker.
Birthdays, holidays, and church events were always made special by Jane allowing her child to pick their
favorite foods to be prepared for the event. Weekday dinner was always ready at 5:30 P.M. and she made extra
effort so that Sunday dinner was always the best meal of the week. Jane was famous for her cinnamon rolls,
peach flip, ham balls, burnt sugar cake, strawberry freezer jam and all the birthday, first communion,
confirmation, and graduation cakes she made. In 1992, Jane hand typed all the family recipes that she used
while her children were at home and had them printed into a cookbook. Many times, each recipe included
where the recipe came from and if it was a favorite of one of her children. She sewed Christmas stockings and
centennial costumes for the entire family. Jane did all the extra packing and food planning for the family
camping vacations to various states. She told her children it would be easier to stay home but she wanted them
to know that the world was a bigger place than the hometown they grew up in. When her children were raised,
she filled her passion of caring for children by being an in-home childcare provider. She quickly became
known as “Ms. Jane” to the children and then to all of Arkadelphia. Jane was a devoted wife, mother,
grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend and we miss her dearly.
Jane is survived by her 8 Children: Maureen Nesvik of Arkadelphia, AR, Michael Schmitz (Kirsten Dellatorre)
of Arkadelphia, AR, Phil (Pam) Schmitz of Sioux Falls, SD, Paul Schmitz of Oelwein, IA, Kevin Schmitz of
Davenport, IA, Kent (Diane) Schmitz of St. Joseph, MN, Lisa (Matt) Beecher of Davenport, IA and Linda
(Michael) Raines of Arkadelphia, AR; 12 Grandchildren: Steven (Amanda) Nesvik of Calmar, IA, Jen
Campbell of Clearwater, FL, Zachary Schmitz of Minneapolis, MN, Abigail (Joe) Bouska of Oelwein, IA,
Elizabeth (Levi) Bostian of Cedar Rapids, IA, Margaret (Jake) Engel of Evanston, IL, Mikayla Schmitz of
Sartell, MN, Kandra Schmitz of St. Joseph, MN, Katie Schmitz of St. Joseph, MN, Emily Beecher (Zach
Schmidt) of Washburn, IA, Aleah Beecher of Ames, IA, Ben Beecher of Davenport, IA; 5 Great Grandchildren:
Jaylee & Brinlee Nesvik of Calmar, IA; Cory & Evan Bouska of Oelwein, IA and Eden Bostian of Cedar
Rapids; Brother-In-Law: Rick Johnson of Verndale, MN; Sister-in-law: Sharon Schmitz of Clinton, IA, many
Nieces & Nephews & Cousins and the Schmitz Family.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Ken on Jan. 23, 2020; five siblings: Mary (Ed) Force,
Arlene (Orlin) Moran, Patricia (Randall) Milbrandt, Babs Johnson and John Donlon and in-laws: Mary Lou
(Ivan) Uhlenhake, Karl Schmitz, Sr. and Karen (Jack) Hemesath.
The family would like to thank CenterWell Home Health, Hospice Home Care, and all other medical care teams
that assisted in Ms. Jane’s care. We also want to thank our church family, friends, and neighbors for all their
help, prayers, phone calls and cards.

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