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Thomas Schmitz

Jan. 31, 1947-Nov. 24, 2009

Thomas K. Schmitz, 62, of Detroit Lakes, died Tuesday, November 24, 2009, surrounded by his family, at Emmanuel Nursing Home, Detroit Lakes.

Tom was born the son of Kenneth and Rosemary (Eischens) Schmitz on January 31, 1947 in Park Rapids, where he grew up and attended school. While in school, he participated in football and track. Tom married his "high school sweetheart," Jane Edam, on August 28, 1965 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Park Rapids.

In September 1965 they moved to Detroit Lakes, where Tom worked for Northwestern Bell as a lineman. He continued to work there for 36 years, and retired as a installer/repairman. He thoroughly enjoyed his job and his fellow co-workers.

After his retirement in 2001, Tom enjoyed woodworking and helping his son-in-law in the construction business.

Tom loved the outdoors, hunting, especially deer hunting with family, being out in his yard and watching the wildlife, going to his kids' and grandchildren's sporting events, being a "substitute" daycare provider for his wife and daughter and taxi service for his grandkids. He also enjoyed visiting with family and friends.

Surviving Tom are his wife, Jane Schmitz of Detroit Lakes; four children, Brenda (Mike) Labine of Detroit Lakes, Brian (Jana) Schmitz of Wyoming, Minn., Stacy (Derek) Lee of Thief River Falls and Stephanie (Dan) Jorgenson of Detroit Lakes; 13 grandchildren, Dani, Steven and Brady Labine, Jake and Josh Schmitz, Zachary, Breanna and Mackenzie Lee and Hailey, Westley, Hunter, Kaitlyn and Wyatt Jorgenson; three brothers, James (Paulette) Schmitz of Detroit Lakes, Paul (Barb) Schmitz of Clearbrook, Minn., and David (Robin) Schmitz of St. Michael, Minn.; five sisters, Renee (Roger) Niemela of Park Rapids, Judy (Jim) Ryan of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Carol (Stan) Lehrke of Vadnais Heights, Minn., Kathy (Mark) Wilkins of Park Rapids and Mary (Murray) Olson of Inver Grove Heights; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Preceding Tom in death were his parents and two infant sisters.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit Lakes, with a 7 p.m. prayer service.

A mass of Christian burial is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with interment in Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

Arrangements are being provided by West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes. Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the online messages of sympathy section at