Johanna Sarah (Freese) Schmitt

Johanna Sarah (Freese) Schmitt passed from this life to her eternal home with her Lord and Savior on Monday, October 30th, 2023, at Edencrest at Green Meadows in Johnston, IA.

Johanna was born in rural Ackley, IA on December 30, 1934, to Herman Onno Freese and Christina Eilderts Freese, the oldest of their four children. She grew up on the family farm and graduated from Dumont High School. After high school, she relocated to Des Moines to begin a long career of more than 44 years with Farm Bureau Insurance Company, starting as a file clerk and retiring as a supervisor in the Accounting Department. She enjoyed the professional and volunteer opportunities of the insurance business, serving as President and Board member of Insurance Women of Des Moines. She was recognized as Insurance Woman of the Year in 1977. After retiring from Farm Bureau, Johanna established a second career in sales at the Merle Hay Younkers Store for 14 years. Johanna battled cancer three times in her life, overcoming that enemy twice to live a long, busy, helpful, faithful, joy-filled life.

In 1962 Johanna met a handsome Air Force veteran through mutual friends. She and Robert Kevin Schmitt were married on December 6, 1969. They made their home in Highland Park; together they loved to dance, play cards, travel and entertain friends until his death in 1991.

Johanna had a rare gift of making friends wherever she went: work, church, clubs and trips. She embodied the saying, “In order to have friends, you must first be one.” Not one to sit quietly, she was active in Volksport, the Red Hat Society, Farm Bureau retirees, Younkers retirees, Widowed Persons of Central Iowa (WPCI) and Hospice volunteering. She loved to travel, both domestically and abroad; and she was grateful for those many opportunities to see the world. She was an active attendee and supporter of the Drake Women’s Basketball Team, the Des Moines Playhouse and the Des Moines Symphony. Special friends were her neighbors at Meredith Pines Townhomes in Urbandale, the Nashville Seven and the Fab Four. Her church family was very important to her; she was baptized and confirmed at Aplington Reformed Church in Aplington, IA and was a faithful member of Meredith Drive Reformed Church/The Bridge for more than 40 years. She recently attended Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and found hope, comfort and peace there. Her strong Christian faith sustained her always, especially during difficult times.

Johanna was preceded in death by her beloved husband Kevin, her parents and her brother Harm Freese. She is survived by her brother Herman Freese and his wife Marge, her sister Julie Kreimeyer and her husband Vernon, her sister-in-law Alida Freese, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and friends who will miss her terribly.

Memorial arrangements are being made by Iles-Dunn's Chapel, Visitation will be Friday November, 3rd from 1;00 pm to 2:30 pm at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Urbandale with a memorial service starting at 2:30 pm. Private burial will be held at the Washington Reformed Church Cemetery Rural Ackley.

Iles-Dunn's Chapel


Hampton Chronicle

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Hampton, IA 50441
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