The Central Minnesota Credit Union in St. Joseph is accepting checks for a fund on behalf of the family of Joe Schmitz, the Sartell police officer who died March 27 at the St. Cloud Hospital.
Checks should be written to “Joe Schmitz 7907” and mailed to Central Minnesota Credit Union, P.O. Box 87, St. Joseph, MN 56374.
Checks or cash can also be deposited in person at that bank or at any of the other 16 branches of Central Minnesota Credit Union, including ones in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Freeport and Paynesville..
Schmitz, 44, died following complications from surgery for a swollen disc in his neck. After surgery, when he was back home the next day, March 21, an artery ruptured, blocking off his air passage, and he was rushed back to the hospital. He died March 27 with his family by his side.
Schmitz and his wife, Stacie Landborg-Schmitz, have a 4-year-old son, Andrew.
Born and raised in Paynesville, Schmitz had a long career in law enforcement, 19 years as an officer with the Paynesville Police Department and 17 months with the Sartell Police Department.
Schmitz’s wife, on the Caring Bridge website, wrote how she loved her husband’s smile.
“He had the biggest smile on his face,” she said. “The smile I saw first at the finish of our first date when I asked him if he would want to meet me again; the smile when he asked me to marry him; the smile when our son was handed to us at his birth.”