October 5, 1921 - November 17, 2020

 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Private Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Benedict's Catholic Church on Wednesday, November 25th, for Stephen Schirmers age 99, of Avon who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 of natural causes at the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud. The Rev. Greg Miller, OSB will officiate and burial will be in the parish cemetery. Mass will be live streamed at 11:00 AM via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ChurchofStBenedicthohcatholic

Stephen was born October 5, 1921 in Avon Township to James & Walburga (Preusser) Schirmers. He grew up in Avon and attended a one room school house that was on the end of the road from the family farm. He farmed at home until being drafted into the Army, serving his country during WWII from August 1942-October 1945. He was wounded in action during the Battle of the Bulge, captured in Belgium in December 1944 and taken as a prisoner of war in a German prison camp. He was liberated in April of 1945 and received the Purple Heart and the European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon with Five Battle Star Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He married Marie Raab on May 24, 1950 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Avon, where he was an active member of the church.

He worked for an implement shop before he owned and operated the Avon Blacksmith Shop from 1951 until 1975. He then worked in Building Maintenance at the St. Cloud Minnesota Department of Transportation from Nov. 1971 through retirement in June 1985. He was a member of Avon American Legion Post 0538 for 73 continuous years, a lifetime member of the St. Cloud East Side VFW Post #4847, and a member of the Central Minnesota American ExPOW’s group.

Steve’s favorite pastime was fishing especially with his children and grandchildren. He also loved nature and spending time in the woods. Steve and Marie enjoyed gardening and many years at their “cabin in the pines” in Pine River spending time with family and friends. He was a man of deep faith and a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He also liked to read, especially the daily newspaper. His family cherished hearing stories of his childhood memories as well as his many life experiences. He was a kind, gentle, humble, and warmhearted soul and had a smile that would melt your heart. He was independent and liked to do things for himself even until the end of his life. His family liked to call him “the Energizer Bunny.” His family has been blessed to have had him all these years.

Survivors include his children, Ann (Art) Chaika of St. Cloud; Lois (Daniel) Scudder of St. Louis Park; Mark (Brenda) Schirmers of Avon; 5 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years, Marie, daughter, Kathy Lemke, parents, siblings, Teresa Schadeg, Gust, Joe, Brother Al Schirmers, MSC, Bill, Leo, Clare, Sister Cyrene Schirmers, OSF, one infant brother and one infant sister.

A heartfelt thank you to all the healthcare workers, staff, and volunteers at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center for their exceptional care, kindness and compassion for Steve —especially those in Bldg. 49-1 and 50-1.