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Curtis Robert Schember, 83, of Geneva, died Saturday, July 23, 2011 at his home. A Memorial Service and Picnic is being held in celebration of his life at the Geneva Community Building between 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.

Curt was born February 20, 1928 to George and Mary Schember in New Richland. He was the fifth and youngest child. He was baptized, confirmed and attended school in New Richland. 

Curt was a hard worker, had many interests and was employed at a number of different jobs; the poultry house, the bakery, the “hemp plant”, Kalke’s tile plant, the canning company, and many local farmers along with assisting his dad on the snow plow. Curt also worked for a lumber yard along with a trucking firm in St. Paul, driving all over the Twin Cities area without a license as he was only 14 years old. He later ran a filling station in New Richland on the corner where Wagner’s store is now, what he remembers was “Full Service Gas-6 gallons for a dollar.” 

Curt — the man who wore many hats — always said “the more things you know how to do, the better chance of always having a job.”

Curt also served his country in the United States Army, along with being an active member of the New Richland American Legion.

He married Carole Hanson at the First Baptist Church in Clarks Grove on June 24th, 1951. After living in Ellendale and Geneva they called St. Olaf Lake home for almost 40 years.

When he and Carole married he decided to sell his truck and start farming with her father, Richard Hanson. Later he started working for Wayne Construction of Geneva and then the Scott Kelly crew out of Albert Lea doing house construction which helped him to start out on his own in the early 60s. He always said he would only live in a house he himself built and was true to his word. The only house he lived in but didn’t build is the house he lived in when he died and that house he rescued from destruction and later renovated it.

He loved his girls and expected as much of them as if they had been boys. They learned to side and shingle, put up walls and mix cement. One year he gave them each a bicycle for their birthday and said, “Take care of it, it’s the only one you’ll get. Put it away at night.” Only a couple times did he have to wake them up because they hadn’t. “Dad was proud that we still have those bikes.” Before they were allowed to drive, he insisted they learn how to check the oil and change a tire following that through with his grandkids and he also thought it should be the first part of drivers training.

Curt is survived by his wife Carole of 60 years and two daughters, Kathy (Daryl) Paulsen, Geneva, MN and Kaye (Mike) Schember-Cady, Cave Creek, AZ.

Grandchildren Krista Paulsen, Rochester, Kade Schember, Geneva, Kimberly (Mike) Luhring, Albert Lea, Cameron (Dayna) Schember, New Richland and Keralyn (Bill) Powers, Burnsville. Along with his great grandchildren, Mallory and Morgan Luhring, Albert Lea, Ava Schember, New Richland and upcoming great grandbaby Powers due in September. He loved them all.

Curt is also survived by one sister, Delores (Glea) Hyland, Rockford, IL and sisters-in-laws Eleanor Schember, Albert Lea, Helyn Langlie, Ellendale, Phyllis Hanson, Albert Lea and Phyllis (Eugene) Hagen, New Richland; many nieces and nephews along with many close friends he considered his extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law Richard and Christine Hanson, his sister, Marian (Richard) Pichner; his brothers George (Marcella) Schember and Arnold Schember, brothers-in-laws; Athan Langlie and Paul Hanson.

The celebration of his life lives on forever in all of the people he touched.

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