Ardell "Art" Schmidtbauer, 81-year-old resident of Harding, MN died Saturday, September 26 at his home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, September 30 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Harding, MN. The burial will be held in the parish cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:30 -11:00 A.M. on Wednesday at the church. Please respect the COVID-19 current guidelines with the Department of Health.
Ardell was born on December 9, 1938 in Center Valley, Minnesota to the late Aloysious and Mildred (Hoheisel) Schmidtbauer. Al and Mildred moved with Art to Harding, MN in 1943 when he was 5 years old. In his early years, Art attended Harding school where he met Phyllis Rudolph who would eventually become his wife. Around the age of 17 he worked on the ore boats out of Duluth and Superior ports and sailed the Great Lakes. After 2 years in the Duluth area, Art moved to Minneapolis and began a career in die casting at Hartzell Manufacturing. On July 25, 1959 Art married Phyllis Rudolph at Holy Cross Church in Harding, MN. Together they bought a house in Northeast Minneapolis. Art began working at St. Paul MetalCraft as the very first employee as the shop foreman. He would continue to work at MetalCraft for 42 years, holding this title with great pride. After 9 years in Northeast Minneapolis Art and his family built a house in Forest Lake, MN and lived there for 3 years. In 1970 they purchased his family farm in Harding. Art and Phyllis raised crops, cattle and pigs and all-the-while Art continued to work full time at St. Paul MetalCraft.
Art’s successful die casting career did not hamper his true passion for tractors. All of us have memories of Art with his John Deere tractors – whether working the land, sawing wood, picking rocks or buying and restoring old models – the memories are endless. Art’s favorite tractor was his John Deere 730; however, he took pride in each one and made sure they were always cleaned and waxed. When not in the shop, Art could be found playing cribbage. Despite playing thousands of games, sadly, he never got a “29-hand”. Art also enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. One fond memory was his trip to Tanzania for an African Safari.
Art is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis; one daughter, Shelly (Tim) Chaput of Red Lake Falls, MN; two sons, Brad (Sharon) Schmidtbauer of Nowthen, MN and Brian (Shannon) Schmidtbauer of Dalbo, MN; 4 grandchildren, Kristin (Derek) Schatz, WA, Jenna (Daniel) Bendickson, MN, Charles Schmidtbauer, MN and Matthew Schmidtbauer, MN; siblings, Diann (Gerald) Boser, MN, Urban Schmidtbauer, MN and Lori (Bob) Burggraff, AZ.
He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter Rachel Schmidtbauer, MN and great-granddaughter Aibee Mae Bendickson, MN.
The arrangements for Art are with Emblom Brenny Funeral Service in Pierz, MN.
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