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Judy Hartz-Schmitz

Judy Rae Hartz-Schmitz of Granger, Iowa passed away peacefully from cancer with her life-partner, Geoff Whitlow and family by her side on January 5, 2021.

Judy was born on September 2, 1956 in Cavalier, ND. She grew up on the family farm and attended Cavalier Public School, graduating in 1974.

Judy’s passion for music led to a double major in Vocal and Instrumental Music from Mayville State College. Judy lived in Minnewauken, ND for 11 years and taught K-12 Music. She moved to Granger, IA in 1990 where she was the K-12 Vocal Music teacher at Madrid Public School until retiring in 2014.  An annual highlight for the community was the Minnewauken and Madrid School K-12 Combined Christmas Concert well prepared and performed before a much appreciative audience in a packed gymnasium!

Judy’s love for music led to singing at well over 300 weddings and funerals. In 7th grade, she sang at her first wedding. She was an accomplished musician playing at least 10 musical instruments. Judy loved her students, tutored them intensely and was blessed to see them advance their God-given talents in many ways.  One year during Judy’s tenure, Madrid had 17 entries in the Iowa State Music Contest and received 17 Superior ratings, truly exceptional by any standard at any school.

Judy was a member of the Granger Emmanuel United Methodist Church. She supported the Madrid Performing Arts Council, the American Choral Director Association and the Music Teachers Association.

Judy enjoyed baking delicious morsels to give away. She was a wonderful hostess as she prepared amazing appetizers and goodies for Super Bowl and Christmas parties.  She loved to play her piano and sing. She also played the piano at church.

Judy is preceded in death by her parents, Emery Hartz and Lois (Peterson) Hartz, Cavalier, N. Dak.

Judy is survived by her life-partner Geoff Whitlow, Granger, IA; sisters, Diana (Mike) O’Shaughnessy, Grand Forks, ND; Carol (Jim) Groven, Grand Forks, ND; brothers, Gary (Janet) Hartz, Poolesville, MD; Dale (Kay) Hartz, Maple Valley, WA; and David (Robin) Hartz, Cavalier, ND as well as 13 nieces and nephews and 22 grand nieces and nephews. Her family and friends will miss her beyond what words can express.

The first service is scheduled on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:00 am in the Madrid Community High School gymnasium in Madrid, Iowa.  The live stream for this service is  available at www.grangereumc.org, click on Facebook icon at the bottom of the home page. 

A second service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Cavalier, ND at 11:00 am on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  This service will be webcast on www.askewfuneralhome.com shortly after the service. Go to Judy's obituary and the webcast is available. 

Masks are required at both services.

Memorials, in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Cavalier Trinity United Methodist Church, or the Granger Emmanuel Methodist Church or the Madrid Community Schools Vocal Music Department in Madrid, IA.


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judy Hartz-Schmitz, please visit our flower store.


Judy was a great person, great heart and a great classmate of "74" she will always be part of our class. RIP Judy

Barry Puppe Apr 24 2021 12:00 AM

My sympathies to Judy's family. She sang at my wedding 43 years ago. She had such a beautiful voice.

Deb Common Kopecky Apr 21 2021 12:00 AM

Geoff and Judy's family: A bright light is gone from this world. Judy brought so much joy. She loved working with her students--and it showed. We will miss her.

Marion and Linda Romitti Jan 13 2021 12:00 AM

To the Hartz Family...I want to express my sincere SYMPATHY to you.Judy was such a nice gal. She came home with Barb & Marilyn tp stay all night & giggle & laugh;Now she can see Marilyn again. Janny Cull

Janny Cull Jan 11 2021 12:00 AM

Mrs. Schmitz...she was my music teacher K-12, i was very sorry to hear of this sad news. Prayers for the whole family

Brandi Kennedy Jan 10 2021 12:00 AM

Judy was my music teacher from kindergarten through high school and I am so grateful that I was able to learn and perform under such a wonderful, talented, and generous mentor. She later played piano at my wedding and once again blessed us with her incredible gift. I am so sad that she has passed but so thankful for all the time we had with her and the lives she touched. I am keeping Geoff and the Hartz family in my prayers.

Michael Geneser Jan 9 2021 12:00 AM

My deepest and heartfelt sympathy to Geoff and Judys family.

I met Judy our first day of college outside Merwyn Greens office door and it lead to our riding with him and Tony Thein in the car to our first weekend choir retreat to Itasca State Park. That bonding experience led to a lifetime friendship. Although over the years our busy lives did not allow us see each other often we kept in contact regularly, and every time we talked it was like we were together everyday. She was that kind of a special friend.

Judy was a very special person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. You know shes in that angel choir and anchoring that alto section.

Kimberly Bommersbach Jan 9 2021 12:00 AM

My deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Geoff and all of Judys family.

Judy and I met the first day of college outside Merwyn Greens door waiting to go in and sing for him. This encounter somehow led to us two freshmen riding in the car with him and Dr Thein to the Fall Choir Retreat at Itasca State Park. That bonding experience led to a lifetime friendship. Although our lives did not allow us to see each other regularly we stayed in close contact and when we did get the chance to visit it was like we saw each other everyday, Judy was that type of friend.

You know Judy is singing in that angel choir right now and anchoring down that alto section. She was such a special person and was always so proud of her students when we talked through the years and singing and playing at events and church.

Judy will be greatly missed by the many people whos lives she has touched.

Kim (Juntunen) Bommersbach Jan 9 2021 12:00 AM

I never jbew her by Judy, she was always Mrs Schmitz to me. She was my music teacher from elementary to when she retired. I remember her as loving the kids and loving what she did. Thanks for the memories!

Emily Heldt Jan 9 2021 12:00 AM

When I taught with Judy at Madrid Elementary we had many laughs. She was fun to hang around with. I will miss her.

Cathy Koster Jan 9 2021 12:00 AM

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