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September 10, 1935 - December 5, 2020

Services: Will be held at a later date.

Funeral Home Westbrook Funeral Home

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Eugene “Gene” Schmitz, age 85 of Westbrook formerly of Okabena, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Ava’s House Hospice in Sioux Falls.  Services will be held at a later date. Stephens Funeral Service – Westbrook Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Eugene “Gene” Schmitz was born September 10, 1935 to Joseph and Rose (Uhlken) Schmitz in Amo Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota.  He was baptized in Windom and confirmed in the Catholic faith in Heron Lake.  Gene attended school in Heron Lake.  On June 1, 1955, he married the love of his life Jean Mittelstadt at Sacred Heart Church in Heron Lake.  The couple lived in Worthington, and then moved to Blue Earth County.  It was there they started a group home for teenagers.  Over the years, Gene & Jeannie provided a home for 88 children.  The couple also ran Okabena General Store and worked as livestock dealers; where they bought and sold dairy calves.  Gene and Jeannie ran low income apartments in Windom for 12 years, before settling in Westbrook for retirement.  Gene enjoyed helping others; he was involved with the food shelf in Westbrook. He loved yardwork, landscaping, hanging out with his son and flipping lake homes with Jeannie. 

Eugene is survived by his wife Jeannie; son Robert Schmitz of Sanborn; siblings: Joe Schmitz of Bloomington and Carol Groene of Worthington; and many nieces & nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings: Genevieve (Marvin) Hendrick, Merle (Bonnie) Schmitz & Jim (Betty) Schmitz, infant sister Darlene, and brother-in-law Al Groene.

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