We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary
Pius George Schmalz
Pius George Schmalz, 82, passed away at his home on December 12, 2021, as a result of natural causes. This ended a seven-year battle with cancer and, more recently, the grief of losing his lifelong sweetheart and partner, Amy.
He was born March 16, 1939, to George Schmalz Junior and Matilda Rose (Hartman) Schmalz on the family farm near Fayette, North Dakota. Pius loved growing up on the farm and initially believed this was his calling in life. He and his siblings attended primary and middle school in a one-room schoolhouse, Dunn County School No. 6, near Fayette. He also attended Saint Mary’s High School of New England, North Dakota.
Pius met his lifelong sweetheart, Amelia “Amy” Mary Klein of Dodge, North Dakota, on a blind double-date to the Easter Monday Dance. After going steady for two years, Pius and Amy were married on June 15, 1959, at St. Martin’s Catholic Church near Dodge. This began the lifelong adventure that was highlighted by the birth of five children: George, Marchell, Timothy, Arlen, and Kathryn. Dad assigned affectionate nicknames for each of us.
Dad was a gifted storyteller. A consistent element of each story was the car he had owned at the time as well as some general trivia of the make and model. Favorite subjects included his childhood and early work history. He was proud to be a linesman bringing electrical power distribution to the area, pumping gas at the Killdeer CO-OP, as well as farming. Dad’s determination to provide for his family led him from the farm to the construction sites of Minuteman Missile silos and eventually to a successful trucking business. This resulted in relocation to Billings, Montana during 1967. A & P Schmalz Trucking grew along with local corporations, West Chem and Transbas, which the company was associated with. Subsequently, Pius opened Schmalz Incorporated, the Deutz diesel engine distributor, which was later operated by sons George and Timothy. After retirement, Pius drove tour buses for Rimrock Stages. Dad was very proud of his work ethic and the people he worked with, but he was also aware of happenstance that signaled God’s plan in it all.
Mom and Dad enjoyed a wonderful marriage as true sweethearts. Each pursued individual dreams (e.g. Mom quilted and Dad obtained a private pilot license). After recovering from open heart surgery in 1978, Pius won a precedent decision against the FAA in district court to reinstate his pilot medical. Dr. Leonard Etchart of Billings proudly issued Pius’ 3rd Class Pilot Medical in April 1981, and later, published Dad’s case and recovery from the disease in the Journal of Medicine. Together, Mom and Dad enjoyed many years of cherished activities: touring on a motorcycle, snow-bird wintering in Arizona, and a significant motor-home journey to Alaska. They were devoted partners, inseparable lovers, and a great team.
Pius is survived by his four children, George (Misuk Kim) of Billings, Marchell (Charles) Mahoney of Carson City, Nevada, Arlen (Sandra) of Houston, Texas, and Kathy (Martin) Henderson of Butte, Montana; 13 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; his sister, Ramona (Don) DesJarlais of Scottsdale, Arizona; Paul (Terry) of Dayton, Nevada; Patrick (Vikki) of Bismarck, North Dakota.
He will be welcomed into Heaven by his wife and parents; son, Tim (Heidi); grandson, James Schmalz; and sisters, Rosemary (Ernie) Frank, Roberta (Doug) Way, and Renita Schmalz.
Vigil services will be 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Avenue, Billings, Montana. The Funeral Mass will be 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 226 Wicks Lane in Billings, followed by the reception at the church hall. Committal will follow at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 30, at Calvary Cemetery located near St. Pius X Parish, 717 18th Street West in Billings.
Contributions may be made to the following in memory of Pius Schmalz: https://www.unbound.org/DonationFunds/General or by check to Unbound, PO Box 219114, Kansas City, MO 64121 with “In memory of Pius Schmalz” in the memo line.