Peter Schmitz

Peter Schmitz

  • Funeral Date: 2/03/14
  • Funeral Time: 11:00 AM
  • Date of Birth: 4/28/40
  • Date of Death: 1/29/14
  • Funeral Location: Church of St. Dominic - Northfield

Peter James Schmitz was born April 28, 1940, in Hastings, Minnesota, to Elmer and Marjorie (Hansen) Schmitz. He was baptized in Hastings and as an infant moved with his family to St. Louis Park and later Hopkins. He was confirmed at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and graduated from Hopkins High School in 1958. In 1962, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Notre Dame. Following graduation from Notre Dame he enrolled in Law School at the University of Minnesota. Peter married Emily Johnson on December 28, 1963, at St. Francis Cabrina Catholic Church in Minneapolis. Following graduation from the University in 1965, Peter and Emily moved to Pierre, South Dakota. After three years in Pierre, they moved to Northfield where Peter joined the firm Sawyer and Lampe. Peter then opened his own firm, building Schmitz, Ophaug & Dowd over many years, while earning the highest honors as a trial lawyer, until he retired on June 30, 2000.
Peter was a member of the Church of St. Dominic, the Minnesota Bar Association and the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division- spending several years traveling with a team that worked to mentor young attorneys. He was an active community leader and volunteer: chairing the United Way annual drive and frequently volunteering at the Community Action Center and Thursday’s Table. He enjoyed photography, fishing, cutting wood, and his beloved bulldogs. Peter had a strong work ethic and was a tough lawyer. Over the years he was not only a devoted and loving father to his children, but a mentor and father figure to many others. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Emily; 2 children: Bill and wife Karen of Woodbury, Martha of Fridley; 2 grandchildren, Stephanie and Sydney; his brother-in-law, Bill Johnson and wife Jennifer Cox of Northfield; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Margaret Greene.
Following a brief illness, Peter passed away at home with his wife and family by his side on Wednesday morning, January 29, 2014, at the age of 73.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00AM Monday, February 3, 2014, at the Church of St. Dominic in Northfield with Fr. Dennis Dempsey and Fr. Steve O’Gara officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Northfield Casket bearers will be Mark Estrem, Jim Blaha, Bill Cowles, John Holden, John Ophaug, and Adam Dowd. Visitation will be 1:00-4:00PM Sunday, February 2, 2014, at the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. Visitation will continue at the church on Monday one hour prior to the funeral.
Memorials are preferred to St. Dominic’s Church, the Community Action Center or the Northfield Senior Center.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

13 comments

  1. BILL STORLIE

    PETER WAS SUCH A GOOD PERSON AND A GREAT LAWYER. HE WILL BE MISSED BY HIS WONDERFUL FAMILY EMILY, BILL & WIFE AND MARTHA.OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH PETERS FAMILY AND FRIENDS. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU. BILL& MARY STORLIE

  2. Sorry hear about peter he gone be miss

  3. Barbara Barth

    Emily – You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Barb, Chris, Martha and Libby…

  4. Katie & Steve George

    Dear Emily, Bill & Martha, We are so sad to hear of Peter’s death. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. Katie & Steve

  5. We are very sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. Billy – we are thinking of you and Martha and your mom.
    Edie Rue (parents Paul and Linda Rue)

  6. Carol Ceder-Behrens

    Emily-I have lots of skills other than nursing, let me know if you need ride, shoulder, food, quiet listener…anytime! 649-1311

  7. Ken & Jane Persons

    We were so surprised to hear about Peter’s death. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.
    May family and friends support you with all that you need! God bless…

  8. Fred and JoAnn Blesener

    Emily and family we were sorry to hear about Pete. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  9. Carol Shanks

    I am so sad that Peter is gone. Emily, Martha and Bill you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love you! Carol, Lucy & Greg.

  10. Laurie Hoppe

    Emily, I wish I could be there to celebrate Peter’s life. My thoughts are with you.

  11. JIM FEENEY

    Emily – Peter was a good man, and a good friend. We will miss him. We have some wonderful memories of our days together in Northfield, all those years ago.

    Jim, Sandy, Jim Jr., Pat, and Dan Feeney

  12. Matthew Taylor

    Peter was a good man, and he will be missed. I remember riding my bike over dirt roads to enjoy riding on the Schmitz’s smooth paved driveway, and if Peter was outside he was sure to wave and give a warm greeting. I also fondly remember how great sense of humor:I still remember his joke about a college student asking his father for more money! You had a kind heart, and a warm smile. Peter, you will not be forgotten.

  13. Leland J. Frankman

    I knew Peter in law school. A good guy and a gentleman.
    Leland Frankman

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