Ellen Marie Schmitz (nee Chappell), 77, of Spooner, Wisconsin, and formerly of California, died June 11, 2020, at her home surrounded by her family in Spooner. While she suffered for many years from Rheumatoid Arthritis, she always had a smile, positive attitude, and love of life.
Ellen was born in October of 1942 to Roy and Marian Chappell in Ontario, California. She graduated from Chaffey High School and San Jose State and taught Home Economics at the Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach for 10 years. She met David Schmitz at a Marine Corps mixer and married three months later at the Marine Corps Air Station in Santa Ana, California. She bravely moved to the cold north, Spooner, Wisconsin, in 20 below temps, in February of 1975 to own and operate Jim’s SuperValu, now Schmitz’s Economart.
Ellen was very involved in the Spooner community. She was a Girl Scout leader, a member of the Spooner Civic Club, an avid gardener and a member of the Spooner Garden Club for many years. She enjoyed shopping, sewing, and knitting and was an excellent seamstress. She loved adventure and travel and earned both her motorcycle and private pilot’s licenses. She flew with her husband for their entire 49 years of marriage. Ellen was a loving wife, mother, and doting grandmother.
She is survived by her husband, David; children, Gretchen Buxton (Scott) of Bemidji, MN, Ingrid Ney (Corey) of Medina, MN, and Ted Schmitz (Laura) of Spooner WI; nine grandchildren: Henry, June, Elizabeth, Liam, Oliver, Samantha, Margaret, David, and Phoebe; brother, Glen Chappell (Suzanne) of Redlands, CA, and sister, Marcia Lovelady (Phil) of Upland, CA; and eight nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her parents, Marian and Roy Chappell, and sister, Kay Kent.
A private funeral mass will be held for Ellen. There will be a public visitation at the Warbirds North Airport, located at W7953 County Highway E, Spooner, WI, on Thursday, June 18, at 11:00 a.m. with a service officiated by Fr. Phil Juza at 12:30 p.. A luncheon will follow. A private burial will be held at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Spooner Garden Club. N8385 Loon Lake Road, Spooner, WI 54801.
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