Leo Vernon Schmidthuber
Leo Vernon Schmidthuber, 99, played his last inning, passing away in his home the evening of Jan. 4, 2018. There will be a Celebration of Leo’s life held in Lake Mills, when baseball season is in full swing. Memorials may be directed to Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills.
Leo was born in rural Worth County, Iowa to Michael and Ragnhild (Lolla) Helland Schmidt-huber, Oct. 20, 1918, the sixth of eight children. Leo attended country school and then Lake Mills High School, where he was a multi-sport athlete, graduating in 1936. He played baseball in the Southern Minnesota League, a part of the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Leo served in the United States Army in World War II, spending much of his service as a member of a U.S. Army baseball team.
Leo married Margery Paulson, Oct. 14, 1944 at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, while home on leave from the Army. He served in post war Japan, visiting Hiroshima, and talked about the damage done by the Atomic Bomb.
Leo traveled to Greenland in 1952, to work on Operation Blue Jay, constructing the Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, a project that historians compare in size to the construction of the Panama Canal. He returned to Iowa to work at Wilson Packing Company in Albert Lee, Minnesota and to farm with his brother, Horace, both on the family farm, and on the land, he and Margery purchased in 1948. He continued to play baseball on the Emmons Minnesota town team.
Leo retired from Wilson in 1983 and from farming in the mid 1990’s. In his retirement, Leo worked as a volunteer ambulance driver, and delivered Winnebago Motorhomes all over the United States.
Leo was a voracious reader, and never lost his love of baseball.
He is survived by one son, Michael, Montana; daughter, Jane (Steven) Noah, Clive; and Ann (Matthew) Spanjers, York, Neb.; as well as grandsons: Bart Schmidthuber, Montana; Andrew Spanjers, Nebraska; Jake Spanjers, San Diego, Calif.; and granddaughter, Mariah (Aaron) Collmann, West Des Moines; one great-grandson, Parker Collmannm also survives him; as well as many nephews and nieces.
He was pre-deceased by his parents; his wife; and seven siblings—sisters: Gladys Lande, Irene Lande, Viola Gavle, Doris Stamatelos; and brothers: Horace, Russell, and Dale.