WISNER — Services for Gwendolyn A. A. “Gwen” Eggers Schmidt, 96, Wisner, will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 16, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wisner. The Rev. Jared Hartman will officiate.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday and will continue on Thursday from 9 a.m. until service time, both at the church. Social distancing guidelines will be observed.
She died Sunday, July 12, 2020, at her daughter’s home in Norfolk.
Minnick Funeral Home in Wisner is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Gwendolyn Anna Alma “Gwen” Eggers Schmidt was born July 4, 1924, in rural Wisner, the daughter of George and Laura (Spreen) Eggers. She was baptized on July 27, 1924, at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Wisner and confirmed in 1937 at Zion Lutheran Church. She attended rural elementary school and graduated from Wisner High School in 1941.
Gwen and the late Artie Schmidt were united in marriage on Jan. 3, 1943, at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Wisner. They lived on a farm near Pender the first two years they were married. They moved to a farm near Beemer, where they lived for a year before moving to their farm 9 miles southwest of Wisner. They lived there until moving into Wisner in 1972.
They were members of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in rural Wisner for 25 years. At the time of her death, Gwen was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wisner.
She loved music and performed from childhood until she was 88 years old. Gwen started playing the alto saxophone when she was seven years old, and she and her brother, Wymore, participated in many talent contests as children, but Gwen insisted they won because not many people had instruments at that time, and they didn’t have a lot of competition.
In the late 1930s, Gwen and Wymore joined Artie, Ervin and Walt Schmidt to form the Schmidt’s Rhythm Swingsters.
Gwen also played in her high school band and could read music, but she learned to play by ear and provide harmony to Artie’s tenor saxophone. In 1966, she learned to play a drum set and she, Artie and their daughter, Marty, formed a trio and played all over Northeast Nebraska for dances.
Then in the 1980s, she taught herself to play the keyboard, and she and Artie continued to provide music in the area until she was 88 years of age.
Gwen worked on the farm with Artie, side by side, in the fields, and could operate any tractor or machine on the farm. She gained some fame in the neighborhood by always wearing a white dish towel (with eyes, nose and mouth cut out) to cover her face and protect her from the harmful effects of the sun while working in the fields.
In 1972, when Gwen and Artie moved to a home in Wisner, they bought the “Schmidt House” bar and ran that establishment for five years before selling it.
Gwen and Artie enjoyed golfing after they sold their bar, and Gwen earned many trophies playing in various women’s golf tournaments until problems with her shoulder forced her to give up the game.
Gwen was determined to live as well as she could after Artie died, but was always a little lost without her life partner beside her. Today, Heaven is a little sweeter as their souls join in a final and eternal dance.
Gwen is survived by a daughter, Marsha (Marty) Burke and her spouse, Don (Boston) of Norfolk; a grandson, Nick, and his spouse, Kate of Omaha, and one great-grandson, Aiden of Omaha; many beloved nieces and nephews; her sister-in-law, Lucille Kaul of Lincoln; and cousins Allen Schwartz, Wanda Sramek and Norris Schwartz.
Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, brother Wymore and sister Maxine.