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Kathleen Schmitt


Kathleen “Kay” Schmitt passed away peacefully at her home on the afternoon of June 18, 2024, surrounded by her three daughters.

Private services will be held at a later date. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements.

Kathleen “Kay” Joanne Stille Schmitt was born Feb. 12, 1929, in Storm Lake, the daughter of Henry A. Stille and Irene C. Burkhardt Stille. She grew up on the farm south of Alta and attended Maple Valley #7 Country school for eight years. She grew up with three brothers and one sister: Henry Carl, Robert, Gerald and Karen. She graduated from Alta High School in 1946 and attended the University of Iowa for two years. Kay then worked for DeKalb Agricultural Association in Storm Lake for nine years. She married Richard “Dick” Schmitt on April 14, 1951. When their first child Stephanie was born in 1957, Kay stopped work to raise her growing family, including two more girls, Stacy and Sandra.

First Federal Savings and Loan of Storm Lake was her place of employment for the next 23 years from 1968 to 1989. She was a bookkeeper, then vice president and comptroller, retiring in 1989. She was active in Lakeside Presbyterian Church, serving as Elder and Deacon, a representative of the Synod of Prospect Hill, Sunday School teacher and chairperson and secretary-treasurer for many years for Presbyterian Women. Other activities included Buena Vista Hospital Auxiliary, Storm Lake Business and Professional Women’s Club, serving Meals on Wheels and as a precinct election official in Buena Vista County.

Dick and Kay liked to play bridge, travel and visited their children and grandchildren many times. Dick passed away in 2005. They had been married for 54 years.

Toward the end of her life, she suffered from failing eyesight ending in blindness. She was cared for in her own home by her three daughters. Left to celebrate her life are her daughters of Storm Lake: Stephanie Schmitt, MD; Stacy Blee; and Sandra Schmitt; grandchildren: Olufemi Julia Sobowale of Washington, D.C.; Olufunso Richard Sobowale of Orlando, Fla.; Olufunmi Michael Sobowale of Tampa, Fla.; Alyssa Ann Blee of Burnsville, Minn.; and Alanna Rae Blee of Rochester, Minn.; sister Karen Stille Johannesen of Alta; sister-in-law Carolyn (Gerald) Stille of Schaller; sister-in-law Veronica Schmitt Lutter of West Des Moines; brother-in-law Donald (Betty) Schmitt of Storm Lake; sister-in law Dorothy Schmitt (Fran) Waldo of Canyon Lake, Texas; brother-in-law James Schmitt of Alta; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.