Obituary: Jeanette “Jean” (Bretl) Schmitz

March 28, 1927 – Sept. 30, 2019 

Jeanette “Jean” (Bretl) Schmitz, 92, of Maplewood died at Oak Creek Assisted Living in Algoma. She was born in the town of Nasewaupee to John and Pauline (Blonde) Klaubauf.

On June 25, 1947, Jean married Francis Bretl. He preceded her in death on April 3, 1962. She married Norbert Schmitz on Dec. 9, 1966. He preceded her in death on July 19, 1987. 

For a number of years, Jean worked for the Title One Program at Southern Door School. She was a lifetime member of the Holy Name of Mary Church and the Christian Mothers. She also made hundreds of rosaries and sewed quilts for missions. Jean loved gardening, knitting, sewing and especially spending time with her grandchildren and cats.

Survivors include her seven children, Jane (Mike) Charles, Green Bay; Mary (Paul) Penovich, Sturgeon Bay; Barbara (Dennis) LeFevre, Maplewood; Robert (Diana) Bretl, Portland, Oregon; Patricia (Thomas) Vetter, Janesville; Marie (Mitch) Paschke, Sturgeon Bay; John (Susan) Schmitz, Kaukauna; 20 grandchildren, 32 great-granchildren; in-laws, Joyce Klaubauf, Joyce and Don Cole, David and Susan Bretl, and Mark Zettel. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands; two grandsons, Jonathan Schmitz and Ryan LeFevre; two great-grandchildren, Riley Charles and Natalie Bretl; three brothers, Walter (Marguerite) Klaubauf, Edward (Leatrice) Klaubauf, Richard (Elaine) Klaubauf; a sister, Marion (Edward) Gosser; and several in-laws on the Bretl and Schmitz sides.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Holy Name of Mary Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Oct. 5, 9:30-11 am. Forbes Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. A tribute page is available at

Special thanks to the staff at Oak Creek and to Unity Hospice for all the wonderful care and support.

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