Jerry and Lila Schmitz
 Granton's Honored  Grandparents


Jerry and Lila Schmitz



Jerry and Lila Schmitz were selected Granton’s Honored Grandparents for 2009

and will be riding in the 59th annual Granton Fall Festival parade Sunday, Sept. 13.

(Contributed photo)

“Grandma and Grandpa are happy to help us if we ever need anything.  They are always there for all of us.  I am very proud to have them for my grandparents.”  These are the words often repeated in the many letters received by the Granton FFA Alumni for nominations of this year’s Honored Grandparents, Jerry and Lila Schmitz.

Jerry and Lila have been Granton natives all their lives, both graduating from Granton High School, and ever since have lived and farmed at their current homestead located east of Granton in the township of Lynn.  Jerry and Lila were married May 26, 1956, and recently celebrated 53 years of marriage.  Throughout the years they raised four sons, Tim (Jane) Terry (Sandy), David (Karen) and Kevin (Shelly) and they now have a total of 13 grandchildren ranging in ages from 21 to one and a half years old.  They include Molly, Ali, Matthew, Tara, Kortney, Logan, Nicholas, Kelsey, Carter, Kenzie, Kolin and Karcyn Schmitz and Jason Kurth.

Grandpa and Grandma Schmitz are kept busy going to the many activities of the grandchildren.  They attend softball, baseball and basketball games, birthday parties and school activities, such as dance recitals and concerts.  They also spend many hours with the grandchildren on the farm.  Most of the grandchildren made reference to time on the farm and enjoying the cows and other animals.

“We learn to care for animals on the farm; stray cats wander around the farm and we feed and play with them, and my brother tames them,” says Ali.

“Grandma is never too busy to sit down and spend time with us,” said David’s children.  “Sometimes we work on puzzles with Grandpa or catch up on the sports news.”  Playing games is another popular family event as they play Royal Rummy, Rummy, Goldfish, Dominoes, Cards, Uno Attack, Candy Land and other games.  They also put puzzles together and hang them up when they are done, even though “it takes forever to put them together and find all the pieces.”  There are also plenty of toys to play with when the grandchildren visit.

Grandma Lila is known for her cooking and baking and has taught the grandchildren the secrets of making such things as cakes, cookies and egg salad.  One of the favorite things about Grandpa and Grandma’s house is “that they always have cookies in the cookie jar.”  Grandma specializes in chocolate chip cookies, elephant ears, pumpkin pie and scotcheroos.  They also know how to pick strawberries and raspberries and love to share them with their children and grandchildren, “usually with ice cream,” shares Kevin’s children.

Family values and time together are important messages that Jerry and Lila have passed on to their children and grandchildren. They attend church regularly at Zion Lutheran Church, where they were married.  Many Sundays the grandchildren get to sit right beside them. They have both been active in the church, Lila teaching Sunday school and Bible school, while also being active in the Ladies Aid group and LWL (Lutheran Women’s League) Missions.  Jerry served as a board member and elder for many years throughout their marriage.  In addition, they are active in the Senior Citizen’s Card Club and Granton Card Club.  Lila worked hundreds of hours on genealogy projects, publishing hundreds of copies of two different family editions.  Jerry played baseball for years in the Town of Lynn.  They are both active members of the Granton FFA Alumni organization, and they donated beef to the Granton Community park benefit twice, as well, showing the values of being involved in the community.  “They are good role models for my parents and lots of other families” say the grandchildren.

Each year they go camping together at Lake Arbutus as a family tradition that stared when the grandchildren were little.  They visit often and “you can sure tell they are proud grandparents” when grandpa picks them up for little talks or grandma cuddles beside them.

When they were first married, Jerry worked at Weyerhaeuser second shift and he also helped his dad on the home farm.  He was actually born across the driveway from their current farm.  Lila attended Wood County Normal School and the UW-Stevens Point to earn her teaching degree.  She taught in the K-8 country schools of Lynn and Mayflower for five years before taking 11 years off to raise her children.  She then taught at Granton Schools until 1994 when she retired, teaching elementary classes and intermediate English for 28 years.  Jerry retired from farming in 1996 when Tim and Terry and families formed the fourth-generation family farm known today as Schmitz Farms, LLC, but he continues to help out with fieldwork if needed.

As for vacation over the years, Jerry and Lila have visited numerous places, including Alaska, California, Florida, and traveling out West, Tennessee and Branson, along with other shorter trips.

As Granton’s Honored Grandparents, Jerry and Lila will be one of the leaders in the annual Granton Fall Festival Parade Sunday, Sept. 13. This is a special treat for Lila, as she served as the first Granton Fall Festival Queen 59 years ago.

Kolin, along with older brother Jason, said, “Grandma and Grandpa Schmitz would be honored to ride in the parade.  Maybe I could ride with them!  Grandma and Grandpa are special people."

From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 2, 2009, Page 7

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, September 10, 2009

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, October 4, 2009

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