Esther Schmalz, age 88, of Buffalo Lake, MN, died Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center. Funeral services will be Friday, May 3rd at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo Lake with Rev. Jackie Cook officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation is Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the church with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continues Friday for one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia, MN.
Esther Nielsen Schmalz was born July 15, 1930 at Buffalo Lake, MN, to John and Dora (Krueger) Tokkesdal. She was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo Lake. Esther attended country school and graduated from Buffalo Lake High School as valedictorian. Her mother had died when she was young and therefore she worked hard on the family farm doing field work and caring for the animals. She was out doing chores one day when the neighbor boy came over to ask her father if he could take her out. A family friend was visiting and convinced her dad to let her go. Esther graduated from teachers college in St. Cloud and taught school for one year in Bird Island. She married the neighbor boy, Marvin Schmalz, on June 24, 1951 and they were blessed with four children Larry, LeRoy, Susan, and Dale. Esther and Marvin shared 67 years of marriage. When Esther got married she didn’t know much about cooking and Marvin’s mother came to help her learn….and according to her children and grandchildren she became a fantastic cook. Since Esther had food allergies everything she made was homemade. She had enjoyed flowers and had a huge vegetable garden from which she did much canning, as well as sharing her harvest with family. Marvin and Esther purchased the Malz farm which then became the Schmalz farm. She stood side by side with Marvin on the farm working hard raising the crops and animals. What little time was taken away from the farm was for visiting distant relatives as family was a priority for her. Esther enjoyed sewing and making dresses for herself and Susan and she tied many quilts for her children. Each of the grandchildren received a special graduation quilt made by her. Esther also put together many picture books over the years. Esther was an animal lover and her favorite were horses, cats, and dogs. Her pride and joy were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and she always had a smile for them. Over four years ago she entered the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center where she had many friends and participated in various activities. Even though she had health issues through the years Esther did not complain and just kept moving forward.
Esther is survived by her husband Marvin Schmalz of Buffalo Lake; her children: Larry (Roxanne) Schmalz of Buffalo Lake; Susan (Doug) Dahmes of Buffalo Lake; Dale (Cheryl) Schmalz of Buffalo Lake; grandchildren: Chad (Dayna) Schmalz of Buffalo Lake, Jennifer (Brad) Abrahamson of Shakopee, Brandon (Beth) Karnik of Buffalo Lake, Nicole (Ryan) Schaufler of Cedar Mills, Brent (Laura) Schmalz of Buffalo Lake, Josh Schmalz (fiancé Kelsey Glasser) of Buffalo Lake, Carly Schmalz of Chaska; her great-grandchildren: Owen, Anna, and Ella Schmalz, Ashlyn, Brooke, and Gracelyn Karnik, Hudson Abrahamson, Bentley, Henry, and Roman Schmalz; step great-grandchildren: Austin Rose, Hannah Glasser, and Hailey Glasser; sister Sylvia Aufderheide of New Ulm; brother Rudy (Joyce) Tokkesdal of Buffalo; and many nieces and nephews. Esther was preceded in death by her parents John and Dora Tokkesdal; stepmother Annie Tokkesdal; son LeRoy Schmalz; granddaughter Christine Schmalz; brother-in-law Jim Aufderheide; and her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ortwin and Lucille Schmalz.
Dirks-Blem Funeral Service offers many styles of services to honor the memory of your loved one. Funerals should be meaningful, reflect the individual, and celebrate the life they led. Personalized funerals are more involved, giving people a chance to remember what made that individual so unique.