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Philip Edward Schmeltzer (Ed)

Grant County, SD

1941, 762, Custer, F-12

Longtime Worland, Wyo. resident Philip Edward "Ed" Schmeltzer died peacefully at his home, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2002, following a brief illness.

He was born on Oct. 29, 1922, in Waubay, S.D., to John Edward and Mary Della (Englert) Schmeltzer. He was raised in Bowman, N.D., and Milbank, S.D., where he learned to work alongside his father on the farm.

As a young man, he served in the CCC camp in Custer, S.D., while Mt. Rushmore was being constructed. During WWII, he willingly served his country in the United States Navy aboard the USS Panama, an amphibious cargo ship, in the Pacific Theater. He received his battle star in Okinawa and was present in Tokyo Bay when the surrender papers were being signed aboard the USS Missouri. He was aboard his ship when it was both commissioned and decommissioned. He was honorably discharged on May 23, 1946.

Upon arriving in Worland, he was employed by John Velte as a painter, and in 1952, he started his own successful painting business, Schmeltzer Painting and Decorating, which he operated for more than 30 years. His oldest son Phil owns and continues to operate it today.

On Jan. 14, 1948, he married his wife, Mary Jane Murdoch, as St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Worland, and they have been together for 54 years. He enjoyed life, their home and their ranch "The Ol' Circle Eight" at Neiber, nine miles south of Worland.

He served as a Washakie County Commissioner for 12 years, where he was one of the first lay-people to serve as a Eucharistic Minister and was also a Trustee. He was a member of the American Legion and VFW, the Elks and the Knights of Columbus.

He enjoyed raising draft horses, and, along with his wife, traveled with the Wyoming Centennial Wagon Train from its beginning in Casper to the Murdoch lambing pens west of Worland. They traveled in a covered wagon he restored himself. He could be found tending his band of sheep or putting up his hay. He enjoyed bowling, golf, vacationing in his RV and a good hand of cards.

He leaves a legacy to his children and grandchildren to be faithful to the Lord, to be loyal and serving to their country and to feel joy in being at the end of an honest day's work. He taught them to be good parents by leading by example and was fond of saying that "There's not a dog in the bunch!"

He is survived by and will be sadly missed by his wife, Mary Jane, of the family home; his five sons, Philip (Rhonda), Thomas (Vicki) and Christopher (Lauree), all of Worland, John (Beth) of Helena, Mont., and Joseph (Elaine) of Orland, Calif.; and his four daughters, Janet (George) Barp of Kimball, Neb., Margaret (Greg) Lungren, Nancy Martinson and Frances (Scott) Heessel, all of Worland. Thirty adoring grandchildren and three great-granddaughters also survive him. He also leaves his brother, Charles Schmeltzer of Spokane, Wash., and his two sisters, Ione (William) Craft of Greybull, and Kathleen (Terrill) Gibbons of Worland. His granddaughter, Diana Renee Schmeltzer, preceded him in death.

Burial Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery, with the American Legions and VFW in charge of arrangements.

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