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Dori Schmauss obituary

Dori Nelson Schmauss, loving mother, grandmother, auntie, and friend, was joyfully welcomed into heaven on Jan. 29, 2021 at the age of 98. She was born to Paul and Cora (Williams) Nelson on April 20, 1922. Dori’s greatest pride was becoming the mother of three almost-adult children, Henry Schmauss, Jr., Barbara Stevens, and Judy Siebenaler, born to Henry and Edith (Fenwick) Schmauss and happy she was all her days in that role.  
Dori lived a purpose driven life, one that valued being of service to others, faith in God, and lifelong learning. In dedication to her country, Dori was among the first 800 women to serve in the Army during WWII as a Staff Sergeant. She went on to become a social worker for 27 years upon graduation from Smith College in Massachusetts with a master’s degree in social work – an impressive feat for a young woman of her time. Dori had a strong faithlife – first as a member of the Methodist Church and later as a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.  She was an active member of both her Bible study and book club where her love for learning and faith were fostered and friendships treasured. In her free time, Dori was an avid golfer, a superb cook, and enjoyed playing bridge.  Mostly, Dori loved spending time with family and friends, listening, encouraging, and loving.
Dori gave generously of her time and talents. Upon her marriage to Henry, Dori continued her volunteer work in Lake City with the Vietnamese Refugee Committee through which she maintained lifelong friends. She volunteered with Partners Aiding Children Today and helped bring children from Vietnam to Metropolitan Medical Centers where medical staff volunteered their time and talents to perform heart surgeries. Dori took great pride in carrying her Camp Fire girl work to adult leadership in Camp Fire. She was also on the Lake City Healthcare Board and Auxiliary, involved in the Friends of the Library, Women’s (ECW) treasurer, Vestry and Altar Guild member at St. Mark’s Church, and a Hospice volunteer.
Dori’s proclivity to help people – especially children – can be further found in her working life. She loved the memories she gained through her work, volunteer, and social life and was proud to sign the first contractual agreement of Thursday’s Child, a KSTP News program that helped older children become adopted.  Dori completed her career working at the Children’s Home Society where she had wonderful experiences, including trips to Korea and Vietnam.
Dori is preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Cora (Williams) Nelson; sister, Emily (Nelson) Leutgeb; husband Henry Schmauss; brother-in-law Donald Leutgeb; and son-in-law John Schierts.  She is survived by her children, Henry (Cheryl) Schmauss, Jr., Barbara (Orrin) Stevens, and Judy (Frank) Siebenaler; nephews, Paul (Diane Camp), Stephen, and Mark (Rosey) Leutgeb; ten beautiful grandchildren, Jowelle (Rick) Henning, Jason (Michelle) Schierts, Jennifer (Craig) Junker, Justin Schierts, Greta (Gabe) Noska, Eric (Melinda) Stevens, Kirk (Carolyn) Stevens, Ben (Chunyan) Wilburn, Bob (Lucy) Wilburn, Katherine Schmauss, and great grandchildren and great-nieces and nephews numbering so many.
Dori passed away with the same beauty, love, and determination with which she lived her life. In her final act of kindness, Dori donated her body to the Mayo Clinic Whole Body Donation Program. “Do not be sad when I am gone,” she once said, “I have already lived a long life and had a great run with good friends, travel, excitement, and a wonderful marriage to Henry and a legacy of his precious family. My life has been more than one could dream about – so sing and laugh and be merry and enjoy your life and remember that there is always forgiveness.”
A celebration of life will take place on a later date.

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