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Nona Schmelter 04/29/2024

Nona R. Schmelter, age 89, passed away April 29, 2024, at Westfield Hospital.

She was born on August 5, 1934, to Hubert and Zerlina Schoenwether in Hancock, MN. She was the oldest of 6 children.

Nona married the late Allen A. Schmelter on April 12, 1952. She and Al spent 21 years serving in the US Army where they traveled and lived in many places. Together, they had 4 children, Lori (Michael) Schara, David (Jill) Schmelter, John (Lori) Schmelter and Kathy (Harley) Durand.

For 6 years, Nona was a beloved band booster for the New Richmond Marching Tigers. She never missed a parade or band trip. Nona was also the one to create the taco stand for the band fundraiser at Funfest. Nona loved to play cards with her family and grandchildren. Hand and foot was her specialty and loved to win. Nona worked for 16 years as a dietary supervisor at Maple Manor Healthcare Center. She enjoyed going out to eat once a month with the ‘department heads’ after all these years. Her friends did such a great job taking her clear up until the end.

After Nona’s retirement, she started volunteering her talents by cooking for Bible camps around the country with Al. They did this together until Al passed away in 2000. Nona continued to travel and cook, taking her all the way to Albania to serve the Lord through her food.

In 2004, she married Lowell Gauer and spent 7 years in Willmar, MN. Then in 2012, they moved to New Richmond to be closer to her family. In September 2013, Nona was diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Even then, she was able to have a ‘cute little house’ built right next door to her daughter, Kathy. It was the perfect place for her–living (mostly) independently with her two cats Jodie and Jackie until the very last day.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, sister Nola, brother-in-law Fred, 3 nieces, and 2 nephews.

She is survived by her 4 children and 9 grandchildren, Melinda (Max) Weissner, Jarek (Haley) Schmelter, Madalyn (Adam) Bruce, Rebecca Zimmerman, MSgt, USAF, Aaron Zimmerman, Laurynn (Dylan) Zimmerman, Emma McVitty, Spc, WI National Guard, Daisy Durand, Maggie Durand, and 3 great grandchildren, Ella, Lincoln, and Nathan.

Her family would like to thank the staff of Westfields Hospital who cared for her for the short time she was there.  A visitation for Nona was held on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services (728 S Knowles Ave) in New Richmond, Wisconsin from 2:00-4:00PM with a service at 4:00PM.   Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • Tony and Shelley Mazelin Posted April 30, 2024 6:43 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • Mary Looper Posted April 30, 2024 7:30 pm

    Nona was my dear sister and friend. We had a wonderful time together. I will miss you, Nona.

  • Diana Posted April 30, 2024 8:10 pm

    What a wonderful aunt, she will be missed very much. Our deepest sympathies.

  • LUANN PROPP Posted May 1, 2024 9:40 am

    Thinking about your family at this sad time. Hopefully your memories will give you comfort.

  • Sarah Hall Posted May 1, 2024 11:41 am

    Prayers & condolences to the whole family. I remember the days in band & she was my boss at Maple Manor for 8 years I was there. Great lady!

  • Jerry & Mariyn Schoenwether Posted May 1, 2024 12:18 pm

    Jerry was Nona’s Baby Buddy as he was born on her 3rd birthday. It was always talked about whenever we got together.
    We loved her and will miss her until we meet again.

  • Leanne Brown Posted May 2, 2024 4:11 pm

    Prayers to your family. I worked with Nona at Maple Manor. I was telling her that my kids, who were little at the time, wouldn’t eat the lasagna I made due to the ricotta in it. She shared here recipe with me which my boys loved. Still using her same recipe and my grandchildren love it too. I think of her every time I make it!

  • Donna Maier Posted May 4, 2024 6:05 pm

    Kathy, I am so saddened to hear of the passing of your Mom. I have many fond memories of her. I am so very sorry for your families loss.

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