Elsie Schmidt, 91, of Marion, S.D., passed away on Oct. 29, 2020 at the Freeman hospital. A funeral service will be Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Salem Zion Mennonite Church of rural Freeman with visitation beginning at 12 p.m. on Tuesday at the church prior to the service. The family asks that masks be worn and COVID-19 guidelines be observed.
Elsie Marie Joffer was born on June 25, 1929 in Okaton, S.D. to George and Marie (Hoekman) Joffer. The family moved to Chandler, Minn. in 1934 where she completed grade school and graduated from Chandler High School. Elsie was the eighth of 13 children. The family moved to Canton, S.D. in 1948 and then later to Parker, S.D. Elsie was a long-time member of Salem Zion Mennonite Church in Freeman, SD.
Elsie taught country school for many years and attended Sioux Falls College for her teaching certificate. She had many fond memories of these years and would frequently share her stories about her former students as well as the challenges of teaching multiple ages in a one room schoolhouse.
Elsie met Aaron G Schmidt who was a fellow teacher in a neighboring country school. They were married on June 1, 1956 in Monroe, SD. Elsie, Aaron and Douglas made their home in Marion, SD. To this union four children were born: Orlin, Ronald, and twins, Jay and Jeff. She enjoyed being able to be both a stay at home mother, as well as working outside the home with various jobs. Aaron passed away in 1998.
Once grandchildren arrived, Elsie was thrilled to be an integral part of Evan, Nathan and Ra-chel’s life. She played a very important role in their formative years as both a daycare provider and loving Grandma. Elsie was an excellent cook and thoroughly enjoyed having family come to her house for holidays and family get togethers.
The past six years, Elsie has been a resident at the Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion. She passed away on Oct. 29 at the Freeman Medical Center in Freeman at the age of 91 years. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Elsie is survived by her sons, Orlin (Kathy) Schmidt, Marion, Jay (Sharon) Schmidt, Sioux Falls, S.D. and daughter-in-law Saundra Schmidt, Fort Worth,Texas; her grandchildren: Alex Schropp, Arlington, Texas, Sophie Schmidt, Dallas, Texas , Megan Schmidt, Anchorage, Ala, Evan Schmidt, Hartley, Iowa, Nathan Schmidt, Montrose, S.D., Rachel (Brandon) Soulek, Pierre, S.D., Sarah (Nate) Vinzant, Rochester, Minn., Grant Schmidt, Spring Hill, Tenn., and Tyler Hattervig, Sioux Falls, S.D. Elsie became a great-grandma last week to Summer Jeanne Soulek.
She is also survived by sisters, Helena (Harold) Lawrence and Sarena (George) Breza; sister-in-law, Coral Joffer; as well as a host of nieces and nephews.
Elsie is preceded in death by her husband, Aaron G. Schmidt; her sons: Douglas Schmidt, Ronald Schmidt and Jeff Schmidt; her brothers: Harvey (Ida) Joffer, Peter (Lillian) Joffer, Garrett (Mildred) Joffer, John (Ruth) Joffer, Arthur (Ione) Joffer, Charles Joffer; and her sisters: Marie (John) Busman, Effie (Richard) Warne, Margaret (Alvin) Dykstra and Janice (Richard) Thompson.