We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home
Francis Bernard Schmelzer, a/k/a Mike, age 94—joined his wife, Juanita, of nearly 74 years in heaven on July 2, 2022. Born June 20, 1928 in Little Falls Minnesota, Francis raised a family of four boys with Juanita in Glenwood, Illinois. Francis was employed for 39 years at the Ford Motor Company, Chicago Heights Stamping Plant, in their machine repair department, and upon his retirement in 1995, he returned to his Minnesota roots by moving to Winona in 2005.
Francis is survived by his four sons and families: Robert (Dolores) Schmelzer, Steven (Jackie) Schmelzer, James Schmelzer, and Michael (Kara) Schmelzer. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Francis spent two years in the early 1950’s serving his country in the U.S. Army in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Korean War, inspiring his son, Steven, to later serve in the U.S. Navy. Three of his grandsons also served, or are currently serving in the military.
Outside of work, Francis was a proud member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). He enjoyed a lifetime of hunting, especially with his son Michael and grandsons in Minnesota, and was a longtime competitive trap shooting participant, most recently with the Winona Sportsman’s Club. Francis was also an active private pilot and aircraft owner of a Cessna 172 that son, Robert, as his primary flight instructor, was blessed to teach his father to fly. Francis also shared his love of automobiles (especially Fords) with sons Steven and James. Francis really loved watching sports nearly every day. His favorites included Baseball, Hockey, Horseracing, Golf, Bowling, and especially his beloved Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Wild. You name it, he loved his sports!
Francis will be especially missed for his quick wit and delightful sense of humor. He was uniquely sensitive and mindful of the feelings and rights of others, never placing his needs or feelings ahead of those around him. He always did his very best to provide for and take care of his family; a great Dad and respected member of the human race. He will be a much-missed member of the “greatest generation”.
Visitation will be held from 2 PM until the funeral service at 3 PM on Friday, August 12, 2022, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 East Sarnia St., Winona. Interment for Francis and Juanita will be held at a later date at their family gravesite at the Momence Cemetery in Momence, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the preferred charity of your choice. Thank you!