Emil “J.R.” Junior Schmeling, 86 of Elkhart, Ind., passed away Feb. 19, 2013, at Elkhart General Hospital. He was born Jan. 3, 1927, in Union, to Emil and Elsie (Hoffman) Schmeling.
He married Lois A. Kruse, who survives along with a daughter, Sue Ann (Tom) Cloud; two sisters, Dorothy (Wayne) Reber and Arlene (Jim) Southard; three nieces, Karla Moore, Karen Wruble and Kim Schaus; and a nephew, Randy (Kathy) Schmeling.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jo Ann Schmeling; and a brother and his wife, Edward M. and Vera Schmeling.
Friends may call from 2-7 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2013, at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home at Cobblestone Crossing. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Porter Baptist Church in Union, with Pastor Randy Peterson officiating. The U.S. Navy will perform military honors following the service.
J.R. was forthwith in meeting the challenges of life. His lasting public legacy was providing assistance to the communities in which he lived. His lasting personal legacy was the love and admiration he shared with his wife, children, extended family and friends. His love for young and old always showed in his smile, freely given with a greeting. Among his favorite pastimes was spending the past 20 winters in Arizona.
“Seventy-two years ago I met a handsome young man and to my amazement he agreed to go roller skating and later date. They say ‘you can’t tell a book by its cover’ and I admit his cover was the attraction. It was the book that blessed my life for 64 years.
“A true Midwestern man and all that implies, the love of my life, my childrens’ father, my business partner, the maker of my home and my best friend. I will honor his life with the rest of my life as best as I can. I am humbled by the life he led, a Christian life, and diminished by his loss.
“Today he is gone from all of us, daughter Sue Anne and son-in-law Tom, his sisters Dorothy and Arlene and our friends whose love and support remained constant. We all ache with this taking of J.R. He was braver than I shall ever be. I will honor his wishes for my life after him, cherish the life he made for me, and keep his memory in my heart and treasure his philosophy of life. Thank you to our family and friends for blessing our lives together.” This said to celebrate the life of Emil Junior Schmeling, 1927-2013, by his wife, Lois Anne. “P.S. from J.R. to all of you- And in the springtime the flowers bloom. Remember me that I love you.”
Mr. Schmeling was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy. Memorial contributions may be given to the JoAnn Schmeling Scholarship Award in care of White Pigeon High School.
Visit www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com to share a message with the family.