Hedwig (Hedy) Schmitke, 88, of Chandler, MN, died on Monday, January 31, 2022 at Murray County Hospice House, in Slayton, MN. Services for Hedwig Schmitke are planned for Memorial weekend in Virginia, MN. Condolences may be mailed to Karl Schmitke, 310 3rd Ave. SW, Pipestone, MN 56164.
On July 19th, 1933, in the town of Fulda Germany a sprightly little red head was born to Martha and August Karl Eltese and that began the adventure of Hedwig Luzie Elteste. Her idealic childhood was interrupted by World War II when Hedy, age 11, lost her mother and four siblings (ranging from age 17- 1 ½) in a bomb shelter on December 26. Her oldest brother, Stephane, age 19, also died in the war as a soldier. But her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had greater plans for her. He guided her through a new stepfamily when her father, who survived the war, remarried. Hedy continued to grow into a strong, kind, independent woman behind the Iron Curtain.
She was finally able to get back to West Germany and then at the age of 24 she met and fell in love with an American soldier named Arnold Schmitke. He was stationed with the Army in Germany and served as a Tank Commander. They were married in a lovely castle in Frankfurt, Germany on July 27th, 1957. Soon, Hedy and Arnold began a new adventure in the U.S. where they settled in Northern Minnesota, eventually moving to the Mesabi Iron Range where Arnold worked in the mines for 37 years. After several years of marriage and a newfound saving faith in Christ, they began to adopt children. Growing up on a hobby farm was a perfect setting to raise four beautiful kids.
Hedy's faith was tested by tragedy again when she and Arnold lost their first son, Erik to a brain tumor at the age of 11; during the long illness Hedy was able to minister to other children in the children's ward. Life went on and her oldest daughter Heidi married Patrick Randall and had three boys; Yvette married Matt Lange and had three kids as well; Karl was the last to marry and had two children with Marcy.
Hedy dearly loved her grandchildren and poured into their lives. After 49 years of marriage Arnold went home to be with the Lord he loved and served. Shortly after Arnold died, Hedy decided to leave the family homestead to start the next and final chapter in her life in Chandler to be near her son Karl and his family. It was here she met several wonderful people who blessed her with their friendship. Throughout Hedy's long and full life, she has left seeds of kindness, generosity, and the Love of God. On Monday, January 31, 2022, Hedy died at the Murray County Hospice Home in Slayton, MN. Now she is reunited with her husband and son and lives in the presence of the Savior who sustained her and gave her strength.
She is survived by daughters, Heidi (Patrick) Randall, Yvette (Matthew) Lange; son, Karl (Marcy) Schmitke; grandchildren: Christopher Randall, Justin Randall, Sean Randall, Maralee Biddle, Isaac Lange, Alicia Lange, Alexandria Schmitke and Charles Schmitke; great-grandchildren: Cameron Henderson-Shockley, Gage Randall, Chloe Randall and Luca Swanson; one sister, Monica and numerous nieces and nephews in Europe.
Hedy is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Arnold and son, Erik; siblings, Stephane, Helene, Erik, Helga and Siegfried.
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