Obituaries: Afton Marie Schmidtke
April 23, 2021
Afton Marie Schmidtke, 84, of Cloquet passed away April 17, 2021 in St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. She was born Oct. 13, 1936 in Shelly to Archie and Mildred Larson.
She grew up in Shelly and graduated from Halstad High School. Afton received her bachelor's degree in education from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her master's degree in special education from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Afton met Gary Schmidtke while attending college, and the couple was married on June 16, 1957. Throughout her teaching career, Afton taught in Edgeley, North Dakota, and Fosston and St. Cloud before she and Gary made their home in Esko. She was an elementary school teacher in the Cloquet school district for 27 years, retiring in 1997.
Afton was an active member at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Esko. She especially enjoyed the bible studies and book clubs she was involved with throughout her retirement. Afton and Gary wintered in Mission, Texas after they retired, and spent summers camping and fishing.
Afton was preceded in death by her husband, Gary, and brother, Curran Larson.
She is survived and will be sadly missed by her son, Mark (Sue) Schmidtke of Shoreview; her daughter, Beth (Chris) Umphress of Apple Valley; sister, Sharon (Gerald) Sorenson of St. Michael; sister-in-law, Betty Larson of Cold Spring; five grandchildren: Nicole (Tyler) Lackas, Danielle Dressel, Zachary Schmidtke, Jesse Umphress and Nicholas Schmidtke; one great-granddaughter, Austin; four great-grandsons: Jaxon, Brooks, James and Jace; one nephew and three nieces; and her beloved dog, Rusty.
Memorial service: 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24 in St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Esko. Masks and social distancing are required. Inurnment will be in St. Matthews Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Atkins Northland Funeral Home. To sign the guestbook and offer an online tribute, see http://www.atkinsnorthlandfuneralhome.com.
Pine Knot News, April 23, 2021