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Obituary: Donald Lee Schmelter

Donald Lee Schmelter, age 99 of Brillion, WI, passed away peacefully on May 10th, 2024.  He was born on January 25, 1925, the son of Hildegard (Jensen) Schmelter and Elmer Schmelter in New Holstein, WI.

Don grew up in Brillion, WI and graduated from Brillion High School in 1943.  While attending high school, he excelled in basketball and was an excellent trumpet player!  Three days after graduation, Don enlisted in the Navy, having his dad sign for him as he was too young. He went into boot camp, then to medical school and from there went right overseas.  Don served in the South Pacific with their Mobil Medical Unit as a Pharmacists Mate Second Class for 4 years, only returning home when WWII ended.

When he returned home, Don married the love of his life, Phyllis Kings, on July 23, 1949 in Maple Grove.  They made their home in Brillion, not knowing the love they would have for the community at that time.  Don also started his career with the United States Postal Service in 1949, when he became a substitute for the city mail route, as well as working for Nestle’s Milk.

Don was then recalled to military duty during the Korean conflict for more than 2 years.  He was a Hospital Corpsman Second Class working for the Radiology Defense and Disaster Relief.  Returning to Brillion, Don worked for the Brillion Iron Works for a few years, while still subbing for the for the Brillion Post Office.  In January of 1957, Don became the regular city carrier.  As Brillion grew, Don would walk up to 26 miles a day delivering mail to the whole city.  In February of 1975, he became the regular rural carrier on Route 1, Brillion.  Don hung up his post bag in June of 1983.

Don was involved with the Brillion Lion’s Club, being a past president and also a charter member of the Brillion Jaycees.  He was also very active in Boy Scouting, as a past Cub Scout Leader, past Boy Scout Leader, and Explorer Leader.  Don was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.  Don was an avid Wisconsin sports fan of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers.  He, also spent many hours watching and following his grandchildren participate in their high school sports.

Don and Phyllis purchased a cottage in Door County in 1962 and enjoyed many years spending their summers with family and friends.  Once retired, they also purchased a condo in Florida and enjoyed spending their winters in the warmth.  Many good times were had with new friends in both residences. Don was also honored by taking the Old Glory Honor Flight in July of 2011.

Don is survived by his children:  Donald (Sue) Schmelter, Brillion and Jan (Dwight) Keuer, Sherwood;   his grandchildren:  Max (fiancé Tiffany) Schmelter, Michael (Alyssa) Schmelter, Morgan (Kurt) Kiesow, all from Brillion, Marty (Hannah) Keuer, Lakeland, MN, Mitchell (Melissa) Keuer, Lake Elmo, MN, and Marcus (Dawn) Keuer, Oshkosh, WI;    and great grandchildren:  Lydia, Maverick, and Navy Schmelter, Ryker and Ryatt Schmelter, Callen and Aiden Keuer, Owen and Graham Keuer and Aubree Keuer, Aurora Framnes, and Ryan Frank.  His wife, Phyllis (Kings) Schmelter, his great-granddaughter, Valerie Rose Keuer, his brother Ray Schmelter, his sister Sallie Steinfest, and his parents and in-laws preceded him in death.

Funeral Services will be held on at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Brillion. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be the Rev. Tom Pomeroy with burial to follow at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery. Military rites will be accorded by the Brillion American Legion Post #126.

The family will greet relatives and friends on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11:00 a.m.

Our family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of New Prospective Island Shores for the care and compassion shown to Dad and our family over the past 8 years.  Thank you, also, to the nurses and staff on Theda Care’s 5th floor and those at Cherry Meadows for the support and care for Dad’s journey in his last month. 

We all will remember Dad and his quick smile, sense of humor, and his bright blue eyes that charmed all those around him! To the man many called wonderful and sweet, we love you and will miss you dearly.

The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion & Reedsville are assisting the family with funeral arrangements.


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