LeAnne Dorothy (Johnson) Schmitt was born in Minneapolis on a hot July day and was the seventh and youngest child of Selma and Art Johnson. LeAnne had four sisters and two brothers. Growing up LeAnne would visit the family farm in North Dakota in the summers and often reminisced about playing house in the chicken coop with her cousins. She would return to the farm for summer visits throughout her adulthood, always enjoying time spent with her family. After graduating from Central High School in Minneapolis, she started her first job at The First National Bank in downtown Minneapolis. Over her lunch breaks, she enjoyed shopping at Dayton's and Young Quinlan Department Store along the Nicollet Mall.
As a child, LeAnne began her lifelong visits to Minnesota's North Shore, a tradition that held throughout LeAnne's life and one she instilled in her children. Her last trip to Lutsen was with her family in July of this year. LeAnne spent much of her youth on Gull Lake with her sister and also enjoyed a lot of time at the family cabin on Half Moon Lake in Wisconsin.
LeAnne, while having a quiet and calm demeanor, was an adventurer. She traveled the USA and visited nearly every state. She owned a dance studio for several years in Minneapolis named "Let's Dance." She was a graceful dancer and loved all music - except Country Western! LeAnne was a lifelong Lutheran and a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church of Shakopee for 48 years, where she volunteered in various capacities including cleaning the church and delivering meals-on-wheels.
In the fall of 1971, LeAnne began a new job at Contour Plastics where she would meet the love of her life, Howard "Howie" Schmitt. Working the nightshift, Howie happened to work overtime one morning when he was struck by a beautiful lady with gorgeous red hair, wearing a sleek dress and high heels, who was touring the plant as a new employee. To Howie's surprise she started on the third shift where he had the opportunity to talk to her every night. Howie was a material handler and made his rounds to fill the machines - stopping often at LeAnne's. After a couple of weeks, Howie mustered up the courage to ask her out and she said, "Yes!" To this day Howie can't believe that this striking woman would date, as he calls himself, "a country bumpkin" from Shakopee. But something special happened as they hit it off, and their hearts were as one from the start. After a two-year courtship, they married on August 30, 1974 at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church in Chaska and would have just celebrated 48 years of marriage. They had two daughters, Kimm Renee and Deena LeAnne and were blessed with six grandchildren, Tony (Lindsay), Matthew, Andrew, and Jessica Pastrana; and Laura and Charlie Theis; and two great-grandsons, Kellan and Asher Pastrana.
Gifted with quiet strength, LeAnne was a peacemaker with a kind and gentle soul. She had a fierce sense of humor, was adventurous, and spontaneous. She would be ready to go at the drop of a hat, whether to do something fun or to help another. While being rather quiet, she had endless energy and was always game for going shopping, out to eat or to the casino. She loved having her hair done and was always ready for fun. She enjoyed time with her family, siblings, nieces, and nephews. She was very giving, generous and supportive of everyone around her and was loved by all.
Some surprising things that you may not know about LeAnne are that she was a talented artist. She drew realistic pictures with pencil and charcoal, enjoyed painting on canvas, and doing ceramics. She had excellent penmanship, could type 85 words a minute, and was a sharp speller - we didn't need dictionary with LeAnne was around! LeAnne was an amazing cook, had a love and appreciation for good food and drink - especially a good brandy or an ice-cold beer. She loved pumpkin and lemon meringue pies and baked the best ones for her family to enjoy. She was a graceful dancer and enjoyed ballroom dancing such as the Waltz, Foxtrot, and Cha-cha. She loved watching game shows, especially Wheel of Fortune, which she enjoyed even in her last days. She was known for her lead foot and ability to navigate driving in the cities. But perhaps most of all she was known for her patience and kindness.
LeAnne loved her family beyond measure and was so proud of her daughters, their husbands, and especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was truly a remarkable woman and will be very missed.
LeAnne is survived by her husband, Howard; daughters, Kimm (Jesse) Pastrana, Deena (Neil) Theis; grandchildren, Tony (Lindsay) Pastrana, Matthew, Andrew, and Jessica Pastrana, Laura and Charlie Theis; great-grandsons, Kellan and Asher Pastrana; sister, Shirley Shupien; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Selma Johnson; siblings, Marvelyn Seymour, Donald Johnson, Loren Johnson, Lois Souba, Elaine Shopek.
Visitation is Friday September 2, from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by Funeral Service at 11 a.m., at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 12700 Marystown Road, Shakopee. Interment Catholic Cemetery, Shakopee.
Arrangements with McNearney-Schmidt
Funeral and Cremation, Shakopee, 952-445-2755.