Gloria Iola (Harris) Schmit

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Gloria Iola (Harris) Schmit, 91, passed away due to pancreatic cancer, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at Prairie Maison in Prairie du Chien. 

She was born Oct. 8, 1928, to John and Nina (Brodt) Harris in Bloomington Township, Grant County. She attended grade school at a one-room schoolhouse on Military Ridge and graduated from Patch Grove High School in 1946. After graduating high school, she worked in Chicago, Ill. and Dubuque, Iowa. Gloria returned home to Patch Grove to help care for her mother after surgery. While working in the restaurant in Patch Grove, she met Elroy Deininger and they were united in marriage Feb. 5, 1948. Elroy died suddenly on Jan. 13, 1955, leaving Gloria to raise four children. She met the second great love of her life and was married to Emil Schmit at St. John’s Catholic Church on Sept. 26, 1959. They had a son and were married for over 58 years until the time of his death on Jan. 13, 2018.

Gloria was a dedicated mother first and foremost. She treasured her children and grandchildren and embraced every moment with them. She was a caregiver to many throughout her life and truly believed that family was the most important thing in the world. Many returned that love and included her in their family celebrations for which Gloria was so thankful for.

Gloria was a member of the Homemakers Club for many years and was also a 4-H leader and Den mother for the local Cub Scout program. She loved sewing and crocheting and made many of her own clothes as well as her daughters’ clothes when they were young. Gloria enjoyed traveling all over the U.S. with her husband Emil and had fond memories of her trips to Hawaii and especially England, where she was able to see the home where her Grandpa Harris was born. She loved playing bingo and had a fondness for listening and dancing to country and western music. She enjoyed collecting and reading books about Wisconsin history and how it intersected with her ancestry. She researched this history using documents passed down through her family.

Survivors include her children: E. Michael (Patricia) Deininger of Oldsmar, Fla., Joseph (Peggy) Deininger of Verona, Regina (Dana) Fleming of Chino Valley, Ariz., Pamela (Jeff) Buttikofer of Chino Valley Ariz.; and Peter (Jill) Schmit of Hudson; grandchildren Michelle, Chad, Zak, Justin, Jared, Jake and Noah; great-grandchildren Mike, Riley, Skylar and Axxel; a sister Crete Schmidt, of Dallas, Texas; a brother James Harris (Nelda) of Union Grove; and many adored nieces, nephews and friends.

In addition to her parents and spouses, Elroy and Emil, Gloria was preceded in death by a grandchild, Gabriel Fleming; siblings June Owens, Thelma Benkovic, George Harris, Bonnie Cull and Dale Harris.

Services will be at the Martin Schwartz Funeral Home and Crematory in Bloomington at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Family and friends may call on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Father John Meinholz will be officiating. Lunch will be served after service and burial at St. John’s Cemetery, Patch Grove, will follow.

The family would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Hospice team of Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, the entire staff of Bluff Haven Assisted Living and Prairie Maison Nursing Home, for their exceptional care and compassion shown to our mother in her final days.

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