Joseph Schildmeyer

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 2:53 pm

Joseph Schildmeyer, 86, of Ossian, died Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at Ossian Senior Hospice, Ossian. Visitation Sunday, April 3, from 3 to 7 p.m., with a 3 p.m. scripture service at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Ossian. There also was a one-hour visitation before mass time at the church Monday. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 4, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian, with Rev. Robert Gross as the celebrant. Burial followed at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery, Ossian. Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, helped the family with the arrangements.

Joseph Henry was born March 27, 1930, to Henry and Elizabeth (Wülf) Schildmeyer in St. Lucas. He attended St. Francis de Sales Catholic School through the eighth grade. Joseph was united in marriage with Caroline Holthaus Sept. 29, 1952. Joseph was fascinated by the weather. He shared that thrill with anyone who was brave enough to stay on the porch with him as the storms rolled in. He loved his four-wheeler, as it gave him the freedom to explore the farm when his physical abilities were limited. Giving grandchildren rides was a great joy. He looked forward to the day when new additions to the family were granted their first ride with grandpa. He came back many times, with a sleeping toddler very gingerly draped over the gas tank, secured by his loving grip. He was an avid follower of politics while being cunning enough to avoid controversial discussions. Beginning every day with coffee around the kitchen table with family and friends was a daily ritual and an anticipated event for him. Joseph’s contribution to the coffee time discussion typically injected humor and wisdom. Reminiscing about farming practices of days gone by was his legacy to his family as a bridge to the past. Repair rather than replace is his most notable talent. This is evidenced by his mint condition line of Oliver and White field ready tractors. Not only have these antique machines been a pride for him to own, they were his working fleet. Therefore his hobby by necessity was scouring the Midwest territory for replacement parts. There are cherished works of his repair art scattered throughout the museum called his farm and serve as a reminder to his family of his quiet and humble talent.

Joseph is survived by his wife of 63 years, Caroline; his six children: Randal Schildmeyer of Cedar Rapids, Dale (Julie) Schildmeyer of Ossian, Sandra Bishop of West Union, Nancy (Gary) McIntyre of Hawkeye, Michael Schildmeyer of Ossian and Patty (James) Stammeyer of Ossian; special friends, Jerry (Eileen Courtney) Hemesath; 15 grandchildren: Mindy (Jaime) McLain of Circle Pines, Minn., Samantha (Matt) Schutte of Spillville, Amy Schildmeyer (Grayline Ross) of Columbus, Ohio, Gayle (Jacob) Baker of Berwick, Ill., Renae (Matt) Main of Des Moines, Kyle (Hannah) Bishop of West Union, Troy Bishop of West Union, Heather Darling (Jacob Groth) of New Hampton, Allison McIntyre (Dan Okonek) of La Crosse, Wis., Benjamin McIntyre of Hawkeye, Alex Stammeyer of Fort Rucker, Ala., Alex Upton of Ossian, Kayla Stammeyer of Ossian, Kerrigan Upton of Ossian and Alayna Stammeyer of Ossian; eight great-grandchildren: Jameson and Kaelyn McLain, Baby Schutte, Payden Bishop, Mariah, Mallory and Camren Darling and Whitney Okonek; two sisters, Sister Elizabeth Ann “Margaret” Schildmeyer of Michigan City, Ind. and Frances (William) Topf of Orange, Calif.; and his sisters-in-law: Dorothy Holthaus of Cresco, Lillian Holthaus of Decorah and Agnes Riha of Decorah.

Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Elizabeth; siblings: Bruno (Judie) Schildmeyer, Mary (Karl) Apel, Agnes (Omer) Topf, Ann Schildmeyer and William Schildmeyer; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Felix and Agnes Holthaus; brothers-in-law, August (Ethel) Holthaus, Ralph (Olivia) Holthaus, Rudy (Germaine) Holthaus, Severin Holthaus, Francis (Luella) Holthaus and Ed Riha; and one sister-in-law, Rosemary Holthaus.

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