Louise Schmitz Kortz — Rochester

Louise S. Kortz, 1914-2013

Honored Hospital Pharmacist

Louise Schmitz Kortz, 99, of Rochester, retired pharmacist of Saint Mary's Hospital, died Wednesday, May 22, 2013, of heart failure at her Madonna Towers residence.

Louise Frances Schmitz was born Feb. 23, 1914, in Wells, the second child of George Louis Schmitz and Mary Margaret (Mame) Hines Schmitz. In 1929 the Schmitz family moved to Minneapolis where Louise attended Central High School and discovered her interest in pharmacy while working weekends at Walgreen's Nicollet/Lake Drug Store. She attended the University of Minnesota, earned her degree from the School of Pharmacy and passed all examinations for her State Pharmacy License on July 6, 1936. (The day was one of the hottest in Minnesota's history, 114°F in Moorhead and 104° in Minneapolis.) Her first hospital pharmacy position was at Saint Barnabus in Minneapolis.

In 1942 Louise was asked by the War Production Board to move to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the duration of World War II and later for the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA). She enjoyed playing Contract Bridge throughout her life, and it was during a game of cards in Washington that Louise met her husband, Philip M. Kortz, Lieutenant Commander in the Navy from Pennsylvania. They were married on June 21, 1947, at Incarnation Catholic Church in Minneapolis and then moved to Rochester, where Louise worked as a hospital pharmacist and Philip taught at Rochester Junior College. Among her many achievements, Louise facilitated the distribution of antibiotics during wartime and was instrumental in developing hospital pharmacy automations and best practices at health care facilities. In 1975 Louise was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy and in 1983 was chosen as honorary chair of the APhA Board of Directors. She proudly served her profession and retained her pharmacy license for a total of 50 years.

Louise's long life and positive attitude were achieved by her focus on spiritual faith; unlimited benevolence; appreciation of violets and pansies; delight in arts and history; joy of winning hands at bridge and the unconditional love she shared with family and friends.

Survivors include two daughters, Jane Kortz, of Seattle, Wash., and Elaine Kortz (John Hammond), of Plymouth; two sons, James, of Woodbury, and David (Andrew Rogosheske), of Minneapolis; grandson, Matthew, of Woodbury; sister, Dorothy Wolf, of North Oaks; brother, Robert (Geri) Schmitz, of Palm Springs, Calif.; sisters-in-law, Dolores Schmitz, of Crystal, and Joan Schmitz, of Roseville; and many nieces and nephews.

Louise was preceded in death by her husband; three brothers, Thomas, George and Daniel; daughter-in-law, Catherine Shipman Kortz; sister-in-law, Marie Schmitz; and brother-in-law, Richard Wolf.

Louise, Philip and family were longtime members of The Church of St. John The Evangelist in Rochester.

Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 31, at 1 p.m. at Madonna Towers Chapel, 4001 19th Ave. N.W. in Rochester, with the Rev. James Russell officiating. Reception will follow.

Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Friends may gather from noon to 1 p.m. before the funeral Mass.

Memorials preferred to Madonna Towers Foundation, U of M School of Pharmacy or the charity of donor's choice.

Macken Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences are welcome at .