Jo Schmidtgall asked, ‘How can I help you’
Funeral services for Josephine “Jo” Schmidtgall, 80, of Mobridge, were held Thursday, April 24, 2014, at the United Church of Christ in Mobridge.
Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Jo passed away Monday, April 12, 2014, at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen.
Josephine Schmidtgall was born on April 27, 1933, to Jacob and Johanna (Wald) Huft at Bowdle. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Bowdle. She attended a rural school and graduated from Bowdle High School with the class of 1951. She attended Northern State College for six weeks to obtain a teaching certificate.
Jo married Clarence Schmidtgall on June 8, 1952, at St. John Lutheran Church. They made their home on his parents’ farm until 1958 when they purchased the Clarence Anderson farm, where they ranched and operated a dairy farm with their children. For many years, Jo would raise 300 to 400 chickens, and with the help of her children, would dress and deliver freezer-ready chickens, and many times there were more orders than chickens.
In August of 1988, they moved their home from the farm, and despite total knee replacement in 1987, Jo went to work at the Mobridge Tribune until 1992, when she started babysitting, going into the parents’ home. Jo did not only babysit, she did the laundry, baked angel food cakes and moms would come home and find a kettle full of knoepfle soup ready for supper. It was said, “When you see Jo, you would see her babysitting kids with her.” She was proud of her babysitting kids and treated them as her own. She also clerked for Droog Auction. When she was asked how long have you done this? Her answer would be, “Don’t remember, it’s been so long.”
She was a member of the United Church of Christ, where she served on the Board of Deacons for many years, was secretary and treasurer of the Couples Club, served on the AARP board as a director and member of the Women’s Fellowship. You would never hear Jo say “no” when called upon for food or working for a funeral; her first question would be, “How can I help you?”
She kept busy crocheting afghans, embroidering baby quilts and enjoyed playing cards with her friends.
Jo is survived by two daughters, JoAnne (Leonard) Deibert of Redfield and Connie (Dale) Fiedler of Redfield; two sons, Dean (Jean) Schmidtgall of Gettysburg and Doug (Barb) Schmidtgall of Watertown; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Tillie Eisenbeisz of Aberdeen and Helen Bieber of Mobridge. Also surviving are Jo’s special babysitting kids, Sarah, Grace, Stone, Hilary, Haley, Hudson, Hayden, Jace, Stryker, Cruz, Kanter and Hailey.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Clarence; five brothers, Jake, Adam, David, Henry and Philip; one sister, Mary Sandmeier; nephew, Kerry Huft; and niece, Rebecca Eisenbeisz.