Roland L. ‘Rollie’ Schmidt — Wabasha

WABASHA — The funeral Mass for Roland L. "Rollie" Schmidt will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Felix Catholic Church in Wabasha, with the Rev. Glenn Frerichs officiating. Interment will be in St. Felix Cemetery, with military rites by the Wabasha American Legion and VFW Posts.

Mr. Schmidt, 86, of Wabasha, died Sunday (April 6, 2008) at St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center in Wabasha.

He was born June 2, 1921, in Wabasha, and graduated from St. Felix High School in 1939 as salutatorian. He attended Winona State Teachers College then enlisted in the Navy. He served with the Seventh Fleet in the South Pacific during World War II. He was discharged in 1946 and graduated from Winona State in 1947 with majors in science and math. He received his master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota in 1954. Mr. Schmidt taught math and science in the Cannon Falls, Willmar and Robbinsdale school districts, all in Minnesota. He was active in the Robbinsdale teachers union for 20 years, including two as president, and also served as vice president of the Minnesota State Federation of Teachers for 13 years. He also wrote a computer program to help Minnesota teachers analyze their retirement benefits.

On July 15, 1946, he married Elaine Ehlers in Winona. They later divorced. He married Elizabeth "Betty" (Klein) Roemer on May 19, 1979, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Hope, Minn.

He was a member of St. Felix Catholic Church, Wabasha American Legion Post 50, and Burkhardt-Roemer Wabasha VFW Post 4086. He enjoyed studying the history of Wabasha, photography, reading newspapers, and spending time at the library.


Survivors include his wife, Betty; a son, Roland (Charlene) of Auburn, Calif.; a daughter, Kristine (Rance) Ragan of Crystal, Minn.; four grandchildren; six stepdaughters, Kathleen (Roger) Edwards, Shirley (Donald) Sylvester, Judy (Peter) Loechler and Janice (David) Evers, all of Wabasha, Barbara (Peter) Mathias of Lake City and Mary Guertin of Burnsville, Minn.; two stepsons, Allan (Elaine) Roemer and Joseph (Jane) Roemer of Wabasha; 26 stepgrandchildren; 16 stepgreat-grandchildren; and a brother, Alphonse of Batesburg, S.C. He was preceded in death by 15 brothers and sisters.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue an hour before the service Wednesday at the church.

Memorials are preferred to St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center.

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