Caroline “Joan” Schmitz


Caroline “Joan” (Gaida) Schmitz, age 93, of Perham, passed away on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Ecumen Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes.

She was born in Browerville, Minnesota on February 20, 1929, to John and Elizabeth Gaida. She graduated from Browerville schools in 1947. She then attended the College of St. Benedict’s and majored in music and minored in English. She married Tom Schmitz in 1952.

Joan was a teacher for over 30 years at Perham High School. She loved teaching 7th grade English and had the unique opportunity to teach each of her five children, which was more fun for her than it was for her kids. She was a well-known and beloved teacher in the Perham schools. Her advice to her students was to read as many books as possible and immerse themselves in the story.

Joan and Tom loved to travel with their children, and later in life, with each other to places around the world. Their travels took them to the Holy Land, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Norway, China, Japan and almost every state in the United States. After their many adventures, Joan and Tom spent their retirement years at their home on Little Pine Lake, where they enjoyed the solitude of the lake and the craziness of getting together with their ever-expanding family. They lived the dream with great joy and love for each other.

She enjoyed cooking, eating, and entertaining family and friends. Her greatest joy was attending her children’s sporting and school events throughout the years. Tom and Joan also made sure they attended their grandchildren’s events as much as possible. They were always ready to make a hand turkey, sit through a long baseball or soccer game in the rain, cheer on 3rd graders playing basketball, or watch an ice-skating program. She was the biggest fan for everyone.

She is survived by her husband, Tom Schmitz; sister, Mary Brown; children, Mary Veldhouse, Tim (Nancy) Schmitz, Cathie (Jim) Peterson, Carol (Mike) Rengel, and Jennifer (Clint) Conzemius; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Perham. Visitations will be on Tuesday, June 14, from 5-7:00 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 6:30 p.m. at Schoeneberger Funeral and Cremation Service of Perham, and one hour prior to Mass at church. Interment will be at St. Henry’s Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to St. Henry’s Area School. Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service Perham, MN (218) 346-5175

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