Verdell C. Schmalle

Verdell C. Schmalle, 80, of Fayette died Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union.

Memorial services will be held 11:30 a.m. Monday, October 10, 2016, at the United Methodist Church in Fayette with Rev. Mee Kang officiating.  Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 9th, at Becker-Milnes Funeral home in Fayette and for one hour preceding services at the church on Monday. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in his name to the Dollars for Scholars program at North Fayette Valley Schools in West Union.  

Verdell Clare, son of Samuel and Nellie (Merchant) Schmalle was born December 16, 1935 in Thornton, Iowa. He received his education in Thornton, graduating from Thornton High School in 1953. On June 2, 1957 he was united in marriage with Bonnie Aamodt in Joice, Iowa.  Verdell went on to receive his Bachelor of Science Degree from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1958. He would later complete his Master's Degree from the University of Iowa in 1964.

Verdell spent his working career as an educator. He taught and coached in Dayton (1959-60), Martell (1961), and Ventura (1962-68), before moving to Fayette in 1968 and serving as principal of the Fayette Community Schools until 1984. In 1984, he began working for the Iowa Commission for the Blind as a counselor and did so until retiring in 1998. Verdell was recognized by the Governor’s Committee as the state’s Handicapped Employee of the year in 1985. Verdell’s work as an educator, coach, and counselor was an example and inspiration to his students and earned the respect of all who knew Mr. Schmalle.

Verdell was a member of the local Lions Club International and was recently honored as a fifty-year member. He was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church in Fayette where he served on the Church Council. He was also a member of the Iowa Retired School Personnel Association and Big Rock Country Club, where he enjoyed playing cards with his friends. Verdell learned how to sail at the age of fifty-five, and following retirement enjoyed traveling. He never missed an opportunity to listen to his favorite sports teams, the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes.

In addition to his wife, Bonnie of Fayette, he is survived by his three children, Verlynn (Anne) Schmalle of Wausau, Wisconsin, Margaret Schmalle (Pat McArtor) of Iowa City and Marlys (Steven) Franzen of Hawkeye; seven grandchildren, Angela (Jesse) Craycraft, Greta (Dan) Backman, Andie (Curtis) Davis, Kayla Schmalle, Kimberly Kallis, and Max and Gabriel Caballero; special friend and companion, Bonnie Lindquist of Fayette; sisters-in-law, Beulah Schmalle of Belmond, Iowa and Myrna Langerud of Des Moines; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Verdell was preceded in death by one brother, Wayne Schmalle; two sisters and their spouses, Lois and Roger Caffrey, Ardeth and Alvin Aastrup; and one brother-in-law, Duane Langerud.


Gladys Olsen on October 11, 2016 at 7:59 PM said:

Mr. Schmalle was my teacher and basketball coach in Martelle Iowa in 1961--my junior year. I remember him all these years later as a well prepared teacher and a kind and ethical man and leader of young people. I remember Bonnie as his beautiful flaxen haired wife. You lived above the Martelle post office in the apartment there. There were 10 of us in the junior class, and probably 13-14 students in the senior class. Many of those students have gone on to live productive lives. My life involved teaching, including being Iowa Teacher of the Year. In my acceptance speech I referred to the people on whose shoulders I stood. Surly those shoulders included those of Verdell Schmalle. I remember him as ethical, straightforward and very kind. Those were wonderful attributes at the time, but have become exceedingly rare. To paraphrase Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed person can impact the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has. Mr. Schmalle was that person for many of us in little Martelle. He taught us a lot about life and how to cope with it. Thank you for a committed and ethical life. A man who struggled with his own sight (even then) gave many of us vision. Accept my sympathy and regrets that I could not join you in honoring his life.
Todd Rowley on October 6, 2016 at 4:42 PM said:

My deepest sympathies to the Schmalle family. May the wonderful memories of your spouse/dad/friend bring you comfort. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers...

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