Wanda Lou (Gatzke) Schmidt

July 5, 1936 ~ October 31, 2021 (age 85)


Wanda (Gatzke) Schmidt, age 85, died peacefully on October 31st, 2021 at Good Samaritan Retirement Village in Fort Collins, Colorado following heart failure.

 Wanda was born on July 5th, 1936 on the family farm near Preston, Minnesota. She was the sixth child of John and Winnie (Bigalk) Gatzke.  The family lived on the farm until moving into town, when she was twelve years old.  She continued her schooling in Preston and was very social. She enjoyed playing trombone in band, singing in the choir, and participated in many extracurricular activities. She graduated Preston High School in 1954.

Following graduation, Wanda attended Minneapolis Business College, graduating in 1955.  She was first employed by Ewald Dairy of Minneapolis, Minnesota where she lived with close friends and enjoyed many aspects of city life. 

On May 2nd 1959, life in the city ended when she was married Richard Joseph Schmidt at St Paul’s Lutheran Church.  During those early years, in and near Preston, they were blessed with a daughter and a son. In 2021, Richard and Wanda celebrated 62 years of marriage!

 Upon returning to Preston, Wanda began what was to be her lifelong career, applying her talents in the County Clerk's office in Fillmore County. Following a move to Colorado, she took a position in Breckenridge and later, was offered a position in Eagle, Colorado as the Clerk of the County Court and eventually the Clerk of the District Court. Wanda was appointed to the position by Judges who highly respected her people skills and abilities. It was challenging but she had the drive to succeed and excel, reluctantly retiring in 1999 after 25 years of service.

She was a faithful member of the Lutheran Church, Eastern Star and the American Cancer Society.  She was a two time cancer survivor who provided inspiration and encouragement to others throughout her life.  She loved her family and friends and is sadly and lovingly missed by all who have known her.

She was survived by her husband, Richard Schmidt (who has since passed away); her daughter, Shelly (Wayne) Cash of Erie, CO; her son, Karl (Lori) Schmidt of Fort Collins, CO; five grandchildren, Wesley (Felicia) Cash, Lyndsay (Andrew) Warner, Zachary Yust, Benjamin Yust, and Levi Schmidt; seven great grandchildren, Laurel Warner, Mona Cash, Mia Cash, Jenette Cash, Beringer Cash, Matthias Cash and Verity Cash; a brother and sister in law, Christopher (Marlene) Schmidt; and sisters in law, Mary Gatzke and Jeanette Schmidt.  She was preceded in death by her brothers: Lester (Opal) Gatzke, Vernon (Doris) Gatzke, Milo Gatzke, Dale Gatzke; one sister Norma Lyngen; and brother-in-law, David Schmidt.

Family & friends of Richard and Wanda are invited to a reception in Preston, Minnesota on June 11, 2022, from 2-3pm at the Christ Lutheran Church.  Joint graveside memorial services & burial will follow at the Carimona (Minnesota) Cemetery.

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